Lady Chants open league play with sweep of Lancers

The Coastal Carolina softball team opened up Big South Conference play with two impressive victories Tuesday, outslugging host Longwood 6-5 and 11-5 at Lancer Field.

The Chanticleers (15-11, 2-0 BSC) have now won 13 of their last 16 games. Longwood dropped to 19-9 overall and 5-3 in the conference. Coastal totaled 18 hits in the two wins and homered three times in the nightcap as they pulled away with seven unanswered runs.

After Longwood scored twice in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-4 lead, the Chants regained the edge for good with two of their own in the top of the sixth. Jazmin Daigle walked and Brooke Donovan reached on a bunt single. After the runners moved up on a groundout, Sara Rasley ripped an RBI single past the third baseman  to tie it and pinchrunner Courtney Howell scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-5.

Longwood, the conference leader in runs and batting average, threatened in the bottom of inning, putting runners on first and third. However, Kiana Quolas came on in relief of Morgan Mastriania and was able to knock down a liner by Lancer slugger Megan Baltzell and make the putout to end the inning.
Coastal then tacked on five more runs on four hits in the top of the seventh. Quolas led off with her fifth home run of the season and Rasley capped the scoring with a two-run homer, her second of the year.

Donovan led the way offensively, going 4 for 4 with a home run, a double, three RBIs and three runs scored. She tied her career highs for hits and runs. Rasley also had a big game, going 3 for 4 with three RBIs, which also tied a career-best. CCU tied a season-high with 11 hits overall.

Longwood took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Coastal scored two runs in the second on doubles by Daigle and Donovan, along with a Lancer error.

The Chants then added a run in the third when Bri Chiusano led off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kory Hayden and scored on an RBI groundout by Cacia Pierre.

Longwood scored twice in the bottom of the inning to tie it at 3-3. Back-to-back bunt singles started the frame and a two-run double by Emily Murphy evened the game. Mastriania came on in relief of Ashley Bagwell with runners on second and third and got out of the jam with two groundouts.

Donovan then homered to left leading off the fourth for her second of year before the Lancers regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run single by Murphy. Longwood followed with another single, but Donovan threw out Murphy at the plate to end the inning.

Mastriania (2-2) notched the win, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing one earned run on four hits, while striking out two and walking one.

In the first game, the Chants jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, saw Longwood chip away and eventually tie it, then scored three runs in the top of the seventh and held off a Lancer rally in the bottom of the inning.

Chiusano got things going for the Chants in the pivotal seventh with a one-out infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error. She went to third on a groundout and, after Hayden was intentionally walked, Pierre reached on another error, allowing Chiusano to score the go-ahead run. Daigle then singled down the right-field line to score two insurance runs.

The extra runs were needed as Longwood tried to rally in the bottom of the inning. The Lancers got three of their 11 hits, including two with two outs, to cut the lead to 6-5 and had the tying run at second. However, Bagwell, who entered in relief in the sixth, induced a groundball to Hayden, who stepped on third for the game-ending force out.

Coastal totaled seven hits in the game with six of them coming in the first and seventh innings. Daigle went 3-for-4 with two doubles and tied a career-high with four RBIs. Chiusano had two hits and two runs scored.

Bagwell got the win to improve to 6-4. She allowed two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings and struck out two. Starter Quolas went 5.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits, struck out five and walked none.

Coastal’s first five hitters reached to start the game against Longwood pitcher Brooke Short. Chiusano poked a leadoff single to center and Quolas ripped a single down the left-field line. Hayden walked to load the bases and Pierre drew an RBI walk for the first run. Daigle then doubled to the fence in right-center, scoring Quolas and Hayden to make it 3-0.

Longwood capitalized on a CCU error to score one run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Short and made it 3-2 in the fourth on a home run by second baseman Carly Adams. The Lancers then tied it in the sixth on four singles against Quolas and relievers Mastriania and Bagwell. Bagwell, though, was able to get back-to-back strikeouts with the bases loaded to keep the score 3-3.

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