Lady Chants shut out Drexel, suffer tough loss to Albany

The Coastal Carolina softball team split its first two games of the Coastal Carolina Invitational on Friday, shutting out Drexel 8-0 before falling to Albany 4-2 in the final game of the opening day at Carolina Forest High School.

The loss to the Great Danes snapped the Chanticleers’ (7-9) five-game winning streak and was their first home defeat of the season. Albany won both of its games Friday to improve to 2-5.

Morgan Noad hit a grand slam homer to highlight the Chants’ victory over Drexel (2-8), while Kiana Quolas recorded the team’s first shutout of the season. Jazmin Daigle went 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored, while Brooke Donovan added two hits, two runs and an RBI.

Quolas (3-4) allowed just three hits – each of them singles – and struck out 10 to tie a season-high. She walked just one and now has 41 strikeouts with only seven walks on the season.

Coastal got on the board in the top of the second inning as Donovan led off with a double and scored on a throwing error.

It stayed a 1-0 lead until the fifth when Noad hit the Chants’ second grand slam of the year. Daigle and Donovan hit two-out singles and Jessie Winans walked to load the bases. Noad then crushed a 3-2 pitch from Albany pitcher Shelby Taylor well over the fence in right for her third homer and first career grand slam.

The Chants added two more runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Daigle and a run-scoring walk to Donovan. An RBI single by Kory Hayden in the seventh capped the scoring.

Albany used two hits and an error in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead against CCU starter Ashley Bagwell.

The Chanticleers tied the game in the bottom of the third on a two-out, two-run double by Cacia Pierre. Winans led off the inning with a single and Bri Chiusano followed with an infield single. After a sacrifice by Quolas and a strikeout, Pierre lined one down the right-field line to even the game.

Albany, though, regained the lead with a run in the fifth on a hit batter, stolen base and two-out single by designated player Marlin Solano.

Coastal had a chance to tie it again in the sixth. Donovan ripped a hard liner back up the middle off of Albany pitcher Emily Ostrom and the ball ricocheted well into the outfield, allowing Donovan to turn it into a triple with one out. However, Ostrom recovered to get two groundball outs to keep the Great Danes ahead.

Albany then added a run in the seventh on another RBI single by Solano. Bagwell (4-3) pitched into the seventh, allowing three earned runs on six hits. She struck out 10, including a stretch of seven in a row from the first to the third inning.

Donovan went 3 for 3 at the plate in the loss, giving her five hits on the day. Chiusano had two hits and a run scored. Quolas had one hit in the Drexel game to extend her hitting streak to seven games before going 0 for 2 with two sacrifice hits against Albany.

The Chants face Albany again Saturday at 4:30 p.m., followed by a matchup against Wichita State, which also won both of its games on Friday.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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