Quolas hurls shutout, hits homer to sweep Longwood

The Coastal Carolina softball team scored two early runs and Kiana Quolas pitched a complete-game five hitter as the Chanticleers blanked Longwood 3-0 Wednesday afternoon to cap off a three-game sweep in their first Big South Conference series of the season.

Quolas also homered in the game while notching her fifth shutout of the season as Coastal won its fourth straight and eighth in nine games to improve to 16-11 and 3-0 in the BS

“I was pleased with the way we played and constantly fought back Tuesday (in 6-5 and 11-5 victories),” head coach Kelley Green said. “The offense seemed to respond each time Longwood got a rally going. Our defense and pitching bent a little, but didn’t break. Then the defense and Kiana put on a fantastic performance today. It was great to see her make some good adjustments to shut down a very strong offense.”

Longwood (19-10, 5-4), which entered the series leading the conference in hitting and averaging 7.7 runs per game, was kept off the scoreboard in a game for the first time all season.

The Chants totaled just five hits against Lancers’ starter Brooke Short, but took advantage of scoring opportunities to score single runs in the first and second inning. Bri Chiusano drew a walk to start the game, moved to second on a sacrifice by Quolas, then stole third and scored when the throw got away from the shortstop covering third.

In the second, Morgan Noad hit a two-out double over the centerfielder and scored on Chiusano’s RBI single through the left side to make it 2-0.

Quolas hit the first pitch of the sixth inning over the fence in left-center for her sixth of the season to make it a three-run advantage and took care of the rest in the circle.

The sophomore right-hander worked around singles in each of the first three innings, getting groundouts to herself to end the first and third and a groundball double play in the second, then cruised through the fourth and fifth. She retired nine straight Longwood batters before a two-out double by Megan Baltzell in the sixth. After hitting Short with a pitch and walking cleanup hitter Emily Murphy to load the bases, Quolas but got out of the jam by getting to Chelsea Sciacca to bounce another one back to her.

The Lancers got a one-out single in the seventh, but Quolas finished off the shutout with a popout and a strikeout. She struck out three in the game, while walking one and was backed by flawless defense in the field.

Coastal continues its key first week of conference games on Friday and Saturday as it hosts Campbell (17-9, 3-0). Friday’s doubleheader starts at 2 p.m., followed by a single game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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