Lady Chants hit six homers in shutout twinbill sweep

ccusoft-noadThe Coastal Carolina softball team started off Big South Conference play in a big way Saturday, banging out six home runs and rolling to a doubleheader sweep of Gardner-Webb with a 9-0 five-inning rout in the opener and a 6-0 shutout in the nightcap at Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium.

The Chanticleers (19-9, 2-0) recorded home runs on six of their 15 hits Saturday, totaling three in each game, while Kiana Quolas and Ashley Bagwell limited Gardner-Webb (10-20, 0-2) to five total hits in their shutout victories.

Morgan Noad and Kory Hayden both homered twice, once in each game, while Quolas and Jessie Winans hit the others. Noad, who now has eight homers on the season and seven in the last 16 games, totaled four hits on the day, going 2 for 2 in the opener and 2 for 3 in the second. Hayden upped her season total to 12 and career number to 42, just two shy of tying the program’s all-time record.

Noad set the tone for the day with a three-run homer first inning of the first game. The Chants sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning and scored five runs off of Gardner-Webb starter Jessica Childers, who recorded just one out before the Runnin’ Bulldogs changed pitchers.

Quolas and Hayden drew one-out walks and Noad followed with a homer toward the scoreboard in right. Amanda Daneker then singled and Brooke Donovan walked, bringing in the Gardner-Webb reliever, who was greeted with a Kasey Oliver single to left to load the bases. Sara Rasley then sent a grounder to third and the throw home was dropped, allowing Daneker to score to make it 4-0. Jessie Winans then drew a bases-loaded walk for the fifth run.

Quolas led off the bottom of the second with her second homer of the season to a similar spot as Noad’s before Hayden’s three-ruun homer capped the scoring In the third. Rasley walked and Bri Chiusano reached on a bunt single before Hayden blasted a 3-2 pitch well over the left-field fence.

Quolas, meanwhile, had just two strikeouts in the game, but allowed only two hits – scattered infield singles in the third and fifth innings – while just one ball off a Gardner-Webb bat reached the outfield. She needed just 63 pitches in the game, throwing 44 for strikes, with just one walk to improve notch her fifth shutout and improve to 12-4.

Bagwell was equally effective in the second game and was provided run support with four Coastal runs in the second inning and two more in the third. Bagwell (7-4) allowed just three singles – two of them infield hits – struck out seven and walked one for her second shutout of the year.

The Chants scored all four of their runs in the second with two outs against starter Ashley Rhyne.  After Noad started the inning with a single, Winans delivered a two-run homer to left-center, her second of the year. Oliver then singled and Courtney Howell reached on an error that moved the runners to second and third for Chiusano, who hit a two-run single to right past the diving second baseman.

Hayden and Noad then hit back-to-back homers in the third inning, Hayden’s going over the fence in left-center and Noad’s to right. The six homers were the both Coastal has totaled in a doubleheader since hitting seven at Charleston Southern last April.

The teams wrap up the series with a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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