Lady Chants shot down in first round by Lady Dawgs

Coastal Carolina lit up the scoreboard first at Jack Turner Stadium; however, No. 10 Georgia tallied 12 hits, including two round-trippers, to down the Chanticleers by a 13-3 count in both teams’ opening game of the 2012 NCAA Athens Regional.

Coastal Carolina (43-19) came out swinging and struck first in the top of the opening inning. Sarah Maples started the Chanticleer attack with an infield single. Brooke Donovan followed with a sharply hit ball to second that was misplayed, moving Maples to third. Kory Hayden then stepped to the plate and knocked in Maples with a single to center to collect her 45th RBI of the season. A Cacia Pierre groundout to first scored Donovan, pushing Coastal up 2-0 heading into the bottom of the frame.

Georgia (42-15) responded tallying three runs of its own in the home half to take the lead. Ashley Pauly and Paige Wilson, both of whom singled up the middle, scored on a Kristyn Sandberg frozen-rope single to left. ­Sandberg would advance home, giving Georgia the lead on an Ashley Razey single to left. The Chants would escape the inning before any more damage could be done.

After Coastal went down in order in the top of the second, the Bulldogs pushed across two more in the bottom of the inning. Gracie Goulder led off with a single before stealing second and moving to third on a sac fly to right.  Tess Sito was then hit by a pitch and stole second before Pauly ripped a single to the gap in right, scoring both Goulder and Sito to push the Bulldogs’ lead to 5-2. Kiana Quolas was then lifted for Ashley Bagwell, who closed the frame.

The Chanticleers got a run back in the third off the bat of Pierre. Hayden drew a two-out walk and advanced to third on an error by at short on a hard hit ball by Quolas. Pierre then picked up her 28th RBI of the year with a single through the right side.

Razey would answer Coastal’s run with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the frame as she sent the 1-0 Bagwell offering over the left field wall, restoring Georgia’s three-run lead at 6-3.   Two batters later, Niaja Griffin sent a low-lying line drive over the wall in left-center to give the Bulldogs an 8-3 advantage. Georgia would plate one more before Coastal could retire the side.

Georgia took advantage of two Chanticleer errors and a pair of hits to plate four in the fourth to take control of the game at 13-3.

Quolas (24-9) suffered the loss as she went 1.1, giving up five earned runs on seven hits. Georgia’s Erin Arevalo notched her 24th win of the year as she went the distance, giving up three runs on three hits with five strikeouts.

Coastal plays Georgia Southern, who fell 2-1 in eight innings to No. 21 North Carolina in the day’s first game, in an elimination game at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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