Coastal Tops Georgia Southern Before Falling to UNC

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Coastal Carolina 2, Georgia Southern 1

Ashley Bagwell fanned 10 and Sarah Maples had a clutch RBI double in the fifth as Coastal Carolina eliminated Georgia Southern, 2-1, from the NCAA Athens Regional on Saturday.

The Chanticleers (44-19) will play No. 21 North Carolina, who lost 3-2 to Georgia in Saturday’s first game, at 5 p.m. on Saturday for the right to play Georgia in the Regional championship game on Sunday.

The win ties the 1994 squad, who finished the season 44-15, with the most wins in a single season. Additionally, the victory was the Chants’ first in an NCAA Regional since the 2000 team posted a 3-1 win over Penn State at the Tempe Regional.

Bagwell got the Chants started on the right foot in the first inning as she sat the Eagles down in order on K’s. Maples drew a leadoff walk and was advanced to second on a Brooke Donovan sacrifice; however, Georgia Southern got a pair of popups to escape the inning.

Bagwell would repeat her first inning performance in the second as she struck out the side after giving up a leadoff single; however, the Chanticleers would go down in order to leave the game tied at 0-0.

Both teams advanced runners to second in the third inning, but neither side could muster a hit to plate the runner.

Georgia Southern broke the scoreless affair in the fourth with an RBI sac fly off the bat of Andrea Tarashuk. Marie Fogle beat out a close play at first to start the inning and was a sacrificed over to third on a single to right off the bat of Kaitlyn Johnson. Tarashuk then stepped to the plate a sent a towering fly to left, scoring Fogle.

The Chanticleers answered right back in the home half of the frame with a run of their own. Kory Hayden drew a leadoff walk and was replaced on the base paths by Courtney Howell. Kiana Quolas then bunted Howell to third and Jazmin Daigle drove the sophomore home with a sharp single back up the middle.

Georgia Southern applied serious pressure on the Chants in the fifth as the Eagles loaded the bases with two outs thanks to a pair of weak singles and a walk. However, Bagwell was able to get Fogle to pop up her 1-2 offering to Jessie Winans in shallow left field to escape the jam.

Coastal made Georgia Southern play from behind for the first time in the NCAA Athens Regional as the Chants scored one in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead. After Winans was issued Coastal’s fourth leadoff walk of the game, Georgia Southern went to the bullpen and replaced starter Sarah Purvis with Allie Miles. The move was ill advised as Sarah Maples sent Miles’ fifth pitch of the game to the left-center field wall for her 11th double of the season, plating Winans. Coastal would load the bases with two outs after a pair of walks, but Chelsea Pineda flied out to left field to end the scoring threat.

Bagwell would face the minimum over the final two innings as she picked up the win. The sophomore gave up six hits and allowed one earned as she improved to 16-8 on the season. Purvis (23-12) took the loss for Georgia Southern allowing two runs on one hit, while failing to record a strikeout for the first time this season.

No. 21 North Carolina 5, Coastal Carolina 3

Coastal Carolina’s record setting season came to an end at the hands of No. 21 North Carolina by the way of a 5-3 final in the second elimination game of the NCAA Athens Regional on Saturday.

Coastal Carolina ends its superb season with a 44-19 record, which ties the CCU all-time mark for wins in a single season. Additionally, the Chanticleers won the program’s first Big South title since the 2006 season, made its first NCAA Regional since 2006 and won its first NCAA Regional game since 2000.

North Carolina (43-14) leadoff batter Kelli Wheeler homered on Kiana Quolas' fifth pitch of the game to give North Carolina an early 1-0 lead. Amy Nece followed with a bunt single and advance to second on a wild pitch before she was drove home by a single off the bat of Ally Blake. Haleigh Dickey then reached on a fielder’s choice. A wild pitch moved both Blake and Dickey into scoring position. Blake would score on an RBI single by Constance Orr and Dickey via a Jordan Scarboro line drive to left-center, making the score 4-0 after half an inning of play.

After sitting the Chants down in order in the bottom of the first, North Carolina added another run in the top of the second. Nece drew a one-out walk and stole second to put herself in scoring position with Amber Parrish at the plate. Parrish delivered Nece with a double to the gap in left, putting the Tar Heels in front 5-0.

Chelsea Pineda picked up Coastal’s first hit of the game with a two-out double down the left field line in the second inning. Kelsey McNaughton was inserted to run for Pineda; however, she would be stranded at second as Jazmin Daigle grounded back to the pitcher for the final out of the inning.

The pitchers took charge over the third and fourth innings, allowing no runs and only a single base runner each.

The Chanticleers broke through on the scoreboard in the fifth with two runs to cut UNC’s lead to 5-2. Cacia Pierre led off the frame with a sharp single to left. Tamara Hawkins, inserted to pinch run for Pierre, moved to second on a single through the right side by Daigle. Jessie Winans walked to load the bases for Maples. The senior made the most of her bases-loaded opportunity as she smacked a high-bouncing single to second that was mishandled by the Tar Heel second baseman to score both Hawkins and Daigle.

Kory Hayden brought Coastal a run closer to the Tar Heels in the sixth with her 15th blast of the season. The co-Big South Freshman of the Year was 1-for-6 in the Regional prior to the no-doubter down the left field line. Hayden is now tied for second in the CCU annuals for most home runs in a single season.

Lori Spingola (33-11) allowed seven hits and three earned runs, while striking out four to earn the win. Quolas (24-11) allowed five runs on nine hits to take the loss.

Maples and Pierre led Coastal at the plate with each picking up two hits. Scarboro went 3-for-3 with an RBI to pace North Carolina.

The game marked the conclusion of the careers of seniors Chelsea Pineda, Sarah Maples and Stacy Snellings.