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Top-Seeded Coastal Holds Off No. 9 Seed Liberty, 3-1
The ninth-seeded Liberty Lady Flames outhit No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina, 6-4, but the host Chanticleers scored twice in the fifth inning to down Liberty, 3-1, during game three of the 2014 Big South Softball Championship on Thursday.
Coastal Carolina improves to 39-14 on the season, advancing in the winner's bracket to face No. 5 seed Winthrop, tomorrow at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames (11-45) will compete against fourth-seeded Campbell in an elimination game at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Coastal's Kiana Quolas ran her record to 25-5 on the season, allowing one run on six hits with three strikeouts and one walk in seven innings pitched.
Annah Jo Brittingham (6-21) pitched her second complete game of the day, giving up three runs on just four hits, fanning two and issuing three walks.
Morgan Noad went 1-for-2 with a home run, two RBIs and one run scored for the Chanticleers. Maicie Hahn batted 1-for-1 with a double and two runs scored.
Liberty's Katie Zavodny batted 3-for-3, stealing her team-leading 32nd base. Megan Robinson, Marybeth Sciolino and Jamie Crisp all singled. Blair Lawrence recorded stolen base No. 20 on the season, while Kelby Allen had one RBI and Grace Nordan scored a run.
Zavodny led off the game with a single, but was erased on a double play. Allen then grounded out for the third out of the first inning.
Quolas reached on a two-base error with one out in the bottom of the first. After a walk, Amanda Daneker hit into a fielder's choice. Brittingham fanned Kory Hayden, stranding two Chanticleers.
Both teams went in order during the second stanza. Sciolino then led off the third with a single, and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. She was caught stealing, before Quolas struck out Nordan to end the top of the third.
The Chanticleers got on the board first, with Hahn hitting a leadoff double and scoring on an RBI single from Quolas in the bottom of the third. Daneker hit a two-out single, but Hayden flied to left, leaving a pair on base.
Zavodny singled and stole second to start the fourth. Robinson then hit into an unconventional, 6-3-5 double play. Quolas got Allen to ground out, ending the Lady Flames' time at bat.
Brittingham pitched a 1-2-3 fourth frame, with Lawrence making a fantastic catch on a foul ball down the left field line for the third out.
Liberty got something going in the top of the fifth, when Han reached on an error with one out. However, she was retired at second after a fielder's choice. Lawrence then stole second, giving Liberty two players with 20 or more stolen bases in the same season for the first time. Sciolino struck out swinging to end the rally.
Hahn drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth, and was on second with two outs when Noad hit a 3-2 pitch over the fence in center, extending the Coastal Carolina lead to 3-0.
The Lady Flames entered the scoring column during the away half of the sixth. Crisp, Zavodny and Robinson all hit infield singles, loading the bases with one out. Allen plated Crisp with a groundout, before Nichols grounded to third, bringing the threat to a close.
Birttingham pitched a scoreless Coastal sixth inning, bringing the Lady Flames to bat for the final time. Sciolino drew a two-out walk, and Crisp then laced a line drive into the glove of pitcher Quolas to end the game.