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Coastal Carolina Narrowly Defeats Liberty, 2-1
Two runs in the bottom of the first were all the Chanticleers needed, Saturday afternoon, as they held on for a 2-1 victory over the Lady Flames in game one of a Big South doubleheader.
Liberty's run came on a solo homer by Meredith Crisante, her seventh of the year.
The Lady Flames drop to 24-27 overall and 9-7 in the Big South, while Coastal Carolina improves to 23-29 overall and 7-9 in the conference.
The Chanticleers put pressure on Liberty early, loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the first. Jessie Winans reached on a hit to left, and moved to second when Chelsea Pineda drew a walk from Liberty starter Katrina Johnson.
Jazmin Daigle loaded the bases with a single through the right side, and Sarah Maples followed up with a double to left center, scoring two runs to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
Ashley Bensinger recorded Liberty's first hit of the contest in the top of the second, leading off with a single up the middle. But she was forced out at second, when Kaylee West reached on a fielder's choice to shortstop for the first out. The next batter, Kelly Strickland, drew a walk, putting runners on first and second with only one out.
After Jenny Law fouled out, Keely McMillon walked to load the bases. However, Amber DePasquale struck out swinging, sending the game into the bottom of the second.
Katie Zavodny singled to second with one out in the top of the third, then stole second. But Coastal Carolina hurler Ashley Bagwell came up with two straight strikeouts to keep her from scoring.
DePasquale led off the top of the fifth with a one-out infield single, but Bridgett Woods popped out on the sacrifice bunt attempt. Depasquale stole second to move into scoring position, but Zavodny fouled out to first to end the at-bat.
Crisante single-handedly cut Coastal Carolina's lead in half in the top of the sixth, leading off with a solo home run to center field, trimming the score to 2-1.
Both teams went three-up, three-down in their final at-bats, as the Chanticleers walked away with the 2-1 win.
Crisante drove in the lone Liberty run with her bomb. Other Lady Flames recording hits were Zavodny, Bensinger and DePasquale.
The home team was led by Maples, who was 1-for-3 with a two-run double.
Johnson suffered the loss in the circle, dropping to 12-12 on the year. The sophomore gave up four hits and struck out nine batters in six innings of work.
Bagwell (13-13) picked up the win, giving up four hits and fanning eight batters in the complete-game victory.
The two teams will face off for game two of today's doubleheader later this afternoon.