Quolas hurls no-hitter to lift Coastal past North Carolina

ccusoft-quolaspomKiana Quolas pitched the first no-hitter of her Coastal Carolina career on Wednesday evening, leading the Chanticleers to a 3-0 shutout of North Carolina at Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium.

Quolas struck out five Tar Heels in the game, with two of them coming in the seventh inning, including the final out to cap off the achievement in style. She had previously pitched three one-hitters, including one this season. Just three North Carolina batters reached against the junior right-hander – on two walks and an error – no Tar Heel got past first base.

“Any one of their nine and even their entire bench can come in and get the job done so for her to do it against a quality team like that is unbelievable,” head coach Kelley Green said. “She pitched a phenomenal game. Credit to (assistant) coach (Kristen) Erb for calling a phenomenal game and our defense behind her made some fantastic plays as well. But Q was spot on and really mixed up speeds well and was just nasty today.”

Quolas (10-3) also notched her 56th career victory and moved into a tie with Sara Norwood for the second-most wins in Coastal history. She now trails only Michelle Hall in the record book. The no-hitter is the first for Coastal since Morgan Mastriania tossed a five-inning one against Saint Peter’s two years ago.

Quolas’ performance against an ACC-level team was also helped by a Chanticleer defense that came up with some big plays, while Morgan Noad provided the offense, driving in all three runs on a home run and a two-run triple.

The Chants’  first defensive highlight came in the second inning when centerfielder Brooke Donovan laid out to make a sensational diving catch in left-center and rob the Tar Heels of a possible extra-base hit. Amanda Daneker followed up by throwing out a pinchrunner trying to steal second, ending the inning.

Noad then led off the bottom of the frame with a deep flyball to center that went off the tip of the glove of UNC centerfielder Amy Nece and over the fence for her fifth homer of the season.

The first triple of Noad’s career then made it 3-0 in the third. Jessie Winans drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on an infield single by Bri Chiusano. A groundout by Quolas moved Chiusano to second and, two batters later, Noad hit a line drive down the right-field line to the corner.

The strong CCU defense showed up again in the fifth inning as Hayden dove to her right to grab a groundball up the line and turn it into an out. Quolas then helped herself by snagging a grounder right back at her to end the inning.

The lone error came with two outs in the sixth. North Carolina leadoff hitter Kristen Brown sent a grounder up the middle and shortstop Winans was able to get a glove on the ball, preventing a hit, but her throw was wide of first. Quolas followed by getting an inning-ending groundout and then retired North Carolina’s 3 and 4 hitters before striking out pinch-hitter Jillian Ferraro.

Coastal totaled six hits against Lori Spingola, the Tar Heels’ No. 1 pitcher, who took the loss to fall to 6-6. Noad was the only player with multiple hits.

Coastal is back in action for its final home regular-season tournament this weekend. The Chanticleer Showdown will be held Friday through Sunday and include No. 18/21 Minnesota, College of Charleston, Fordham, Georgia State and Troy. The Chants will take on Georgia State Friday at 4:30 p.m., followed by a matchup against Troy at 6:30 p.m.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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