No. 2 CCU Defeats No. 1 Radford to Advance to Championship

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RADFORD, Va. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - No. 2 seed Coastal Carolina beat Radford for the second time on Saturday in game 13 of the 2012 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting and Brookwood Farms Barbeque by a 4-0 score at Radford Softball Field in Radford, Va. to advance to the championship game.

The Chanticleers advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2006 when they won the event knocking off Radford by a 5-3 score in eight innings to advance to the NCAA Regional's for the fourth time in program history.

Coastal improves to 42-18 on the year, while Radford ends its season at 34-21.

Coastal opened up against Radford in the second game much like they did the first game on Saturday.  Kiana Quolas hit a home run to center field in the top of the first inning to put the Chanticleers ahead 2-0 as Kory Hayden reached base on balls in the previous at-bat.  The Coastal defense then held the Highlanders to a three and out during the bottom of the inning.

Both teams were held scoreless during the next three innings.  Coastal only had one hit during those three innings, while Radford had two.

Hayden scored her 14th home run of the season in the top of the fifth inning, knocking the ball out of center field to extend the Chanticleers lead to four.  Sarah Maples advanced home on the play after reaching base on a single up the middle.

Radford had an opportunity to score in the bottom of the sixth when Michelle Beall moved to second and Jessie Hutchens advanced to third on Micalah Sacre's ground out to Maples, who was playing second.  Jackie Warr then reached base during the Highlanders next at-bat, as she was walked with a full count and two outs.  Coastal picked up the third out and closed out the inning without giving up a run when Ryndee Ruch hit a fly ball to right field.

During the seventh inning Maples made it to first base on an error by the Radford shortstop and she advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brooke Donovan.  Hayden was then intentionally walked.  Radford earned the second and third out of the half inning on a fly ball to right field and a line drive to the pitcher.

Radford had two outs in the bottom of the inning before Hannah Ojeda reached first on a single to right field.  Vicki Madden was then walked before Coastal earned the third out on a fielder's choice to take the game 4-0.

Hayden ended the game with one hit, two RBI and two runs in two at-bats, while being walked twice.  Quolas finished with one hit, two RBI and one run in four at bats.  Maples recorded one hit and one run in three at bats during the win.  Sara Rasley led the team in putouts with nine, while Jessie Winans and Ashley Bagwell both had four assist.

Bagwell improved to 14-8 from the circle after pitching a complete game, striking out four, while walking four and giving up seven hits.

M. Beall recorded two hits in three at bats for the Highlanders.  Ruch, Sacre and Madden each had one hit in three at bats. Madden led the team with five assists.  Warr had one hit in two at bats, while she was walked once and had a team high four putouts along with Jessie Hutchens. 

Micalah Sacre took the loss for the Highlanders following 3.2 innings pitched, in which she struck out three, walked four and allowed two hits.

Coastal will play the winner of the Charleston Southern vs. Gardner-Webb game on Sunday, March 13 for the Big South Conference Tournament championship in Radford, Va. at noon.  The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Quotes
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Kelley Green
"I thought that Ashley Bagwell had a tremendous performance for us tonight, we couldn't have asked more from her.  She came out strong and kept us in that game the entire time, she just came up big along with our defense when they had runners on base and in scoring position.  Offensively, it was huge that two of our rookies got home runs against Radford.  We need all of the run support we can get, so it was nice that Kory and Kiana hit those home runs."

Radford Head Coach Mickey Dean
Quote to follow.