Pineda’s grand slam lifts Lady Chants to sweep of Liberty

The Coastal Carolina softball team fell behind 2-0 to Liberty in the first game on Saturday, but came from behind to pull off the 5-3 victory with help from Chelsea Pineda’s grand slam.

The Chanticleers won the second game handily by a 7-2 margin. Coastal is 32-14 overall and 9-5 in the Big South following the back-to-back wins over the Flames.

Coastal’s defense started the game off strong recording six straight outs against Liberty , while the Chants threatened to score in the first inning. Sarah Maples had Coastal’s first opportunity to score, but was out at home on Kiana’s sharply hit ball to second. Kory Hayden advanced to third on the play, but was left on base as Liberty picked up the third out during Coastal’s next at bat.

The Flames took the 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Kelby Allen advanced home on Sammi Shivock’s hard hit single to the pitcher. During the fourth inning Liberty went ahead by two runs on a home run to center field by Meredith Crisante.

Nicole Saggiomo pulled the Chanticleers within one of the Flames, as she scored on a sacrifice fly by Sara Rasley in the fourth inning.

Liberty looked to extend its lead back to two in the fifth inning when Marybeth Sciolino advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Bridget Woods. The Flames grounded out during the next two at bats, leaving Sciolino stranded on third.

Pineda hit her first grand slam of the season in the bottom of the fifth to put Coastal ahead 5-2, as Hayden, Nicole Saggiomo and Cacia Pierre all advanced home on the play. Pineda is second on the team in home runs.

Liberty continued to fight, making it a 5-3 game in the seventh on an Amber Donovan home run to left center during the first at bat. Bridgett Woods advanced to second with two outs, but Liberty was unable to get any closer to scoring as the Chanticleers tallied the final out of the game during the next at bat.

Pineda finished the game with two hits, four RBI and a run in three at bats. Hayden posted one hit and one run in one at bat, while being walked twice. Pierre was also walked twice, as she recorded one run in one at bat. Jessie Winans tallied two hits in three at bats, along with five assists. Rasley ended the game with 10 putouts for the Chanticleers.

Kiana Quolas pitched a complete game, striking out five, walking just one and allowed seven hits in 29 batters faced. She improves to 19-5 from the circle for the Chants with the win.

Liberty had an opportunity to get on the board first during the second game of the doubleheader when Jill Stephens advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jenny Law. The game remained scoreless, as the Chanticleers were able to get the next two batters out.

Brooke Donovan put the Chanticleers ahead 1-0, scoring on Sarah Maples single up the middle during the bottom of the third inning. Pierre hit a single to right field that allowed Maples and Quolas to score to extend Coastal’s lead to three. Two batters later, Pineda hit her second home run of the day and 10th of the season to give the Chants the 5-0 advantage, as Pierre crossed home.

Coastal recorded a three and out during the top of the fourth. Winans then hit her fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the inning to put Coastal up 6-0.

The Chanticleers didn’t let up and in the sixth inning Rasley hit a home run of her own to give Coastal a comfortable 7-0 lead.

Liberty didn’t go down without a fight by getting on the board in the seventh inning. Kelly Strickland earned the Flames first run of the game scoring on a double by Stephens. Sciolino pulled Liberty within five, scoring on a single by Shivock. Stephens advanced to third on the single by Shivock, but Tamara Hawkins picked up the third out in left field to give Coastal the 7-2 win.

Pierre tallied two hits, two RBI and one run in three bats for Coastal. Pineda had one hit, two RBI and one run in three at bats, along with six putouts. Quolas, Rasley and Winans each had one hit, one RBI and one run in three at bats. Rasley also had six putouts in the win, while Winans had three assists.

Ashley Bagwell earned the win for Coastal from the circle, as she struck out seven, walked four and gave up five hits in 30 batters faced.

Coastal wraps up its series against Liberty at home on Sunday, April 15 with the third and final game beginning at 1 p.m.

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