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Coastal Carolina Downs Liberty, 9-1, in Series Finale

March 26, 2016  Conway, S.C.  RSS
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Katie Han went 1-for-2 with an RBI on Saturday at Coastal Carolina.

Katie Han went 1-for-2 with an RBI on Saturday at Coastal Carolina.

The Liberty softball team entered Saturday's game at Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium looking for its first 6-0 start to Big South play in program history. However, the host Chanticleers snapped Liberty's six-game winning streak, downing the Lady Flames, 9-1, in five innings.

With the win, Coastal Carolina (16-17) evens its conference record at 3-3. The Lady Flames (16-14, 5-1) remain in first place in the Big South standings after winning each of their first two Big South series. Liberty's 5-0 start to conference play matched the program's best Big South-opening winning streak, set in 1999 and 2006.

Ashley Guillette (4-5) threw a complete-game two-hitter for the Chanticleers, allowing one run while striking out eight and walking two.

Chase Cassady's record falls to 6-6, as she allowed six runs on seven hits, with one strikeout and one walk in two innings pitched. Chandler Ball yielded three runs, two earned, on four hits, striking out four in 2 2/3 innings of work. Ball saw her streak of 16 straight innings without allowing an earned run end in the fourth inning today.

Taty Forbes batted 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Mackenzie Conrad hit 3-for-3 with two RBI. Morgan Noad went 2-for-3 with two runs. Bri Chiusano scored three times, while Kelsey Dominik went 1-for-2 with a homer and four RBI.

Tori Zavodny scored Liberty's lone run. She also stole her 16th base of the season. She is now tied with Meredith Crisante (2009-12) for sixth in program history with 40 career stolen bases. Sarah Robertson and Katie Han had one hit apiece, while Han posted one RBI.

Coastal Carolina jumped ahead early, as the first six Chanticleers reached base in the first inning. Noad hit an RBI single, before Dominik smashed a three-run homer to center to build a 4-0 advantage. Robinson made it 5-0, plating Conrad with a single to center. Cassady retired the next three batters in order.

The Lady Flames chipped away at the deficit in the top of the second. Zavodny drew a leadoff walk, and Robertson lined a single to left. After Zavodny stole third, Han sent an RBI single up the middle. Guillette kept the score 5-1 by registering three straight outs.

The Chanticleers matched Liberty's run with one of their own in the second. With runners on first and second and two out, Conrad plated Forbes with a single. Annie Robinson lined out to left for the third out, as Zavodny made a sliding catch.

Ball entered the circle in relief of Cassady to start the third inning. She pitched a 1-2-3 third stanza.

The hosts rallied during the bottom of the fourth, as singles by Chiusano and Noad put runners on the corners. An error on a fielder's choice allowed Chiusano to score, and Conrad made it 8-1 with an RBI single to center. Ball limited the damage, with a strikeout and flyout.

Guillette retired the last eight batters she faced in the game, spanning the third through fifth innings.

Coastal Carolina scored once in the bottom of the fifth, ending the game via run rule, 9-1, when Chiusano raced home from third on a wild pitch.

Liberty steps out of conference play for its next four games. The Lady Flames travel to Blacksburg, Va., for a doubleheader at Virginia Tech, Tuesday at 5 p.m. Then, Liberty returns home to host Hampton, Wednesday, with the twin bill starting at 3 p.m. at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.