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Lady Flames Fall to Coastal Carolina, 5-3
The Liberty softball team led Coastal Carolina, 2-1, after four innings, but a fifth-inning grand slam by Chelsea Pineda gave the Chanticleers a 5-3 win during game one of a doubleheader, Saturday.
The Lady Flames are now 14-25, including 5-8 in Big South play. Coastal Carolina advances its record to 31-14, 8-5 in conference games by posting its first win in four games.
Meredith Crisante and Amber Donovan both hit solo home runs for the Lady Flames. Crisante and Kelby Allen both went 2-for-3. Crisante's homer, her seventh of the season and 21st of her career, moved her into a tie for ninth place in program history.
Chandler Ball (7-8) drew the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. Alyssa DiMartino pitched 1 1/3 innings of one-hit relief.
Pineda went 2-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs for Coastal Carolina. Kiana Quolas (19-5) yielded three runs on seven hits during her complete-game effort.
The Chanticleers rallied with one out in the bottom of the first inning. Sarah Maples walked, and Kory Hayden followed by doubling to right center. Ball worked through the jam, as the next two batters recorded outs and the game remained scoreless.
Quolas retired the Lady Flames in order during each of the first two innings, a span which included four groundouts and one strikeout.
Following a three-batter Coastal Carolina second inning, the Lady Flames edged into the lead. Donovan opened the top of the third with a walk, and Jill Stephens hit a two-out double to left field. Shivock gave Liberty a 1-0 lead with an RBI single.
Coastal Carolina stranded two runners in the third when Quolas into a fielder's choice. Crisante led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run, extending Liberty's advantage to 2-0. Quolas struck out two Lady Flames in retiring the final three batters in order.
The first two Chanticleers reached base in the fourth inning, on a walk and a single. After a sacrifice bunt, Rasley drove in pinch runner Nicole Saggiomo with a sacrifice fly to draw the host to within one, 2-1.
Allen doubled to the gap as the first batter in the fifth frame. Woods moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt, where Allen was left after two groundouts brought the stanza to a close.
The Chanticleers claimed their first lead of the game when Pineda hit a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the fifth. Coastal Carolina loaded the bases on a single and two walks, and Pineda homered to give the hosts a 5-2 advantage. DiMartino then entered in relief of Ball and induced a groundout.
A scoreless sixth inning brought the Lady Flames to bat for the final time. Donovan led off with a home run to left center, slicing the deficit to two, 5-3. Allen followed by singling on the infield. The game concluded when Liberty grounded out twice, and Coastal claimed a 5-3 victory.