RADFORD, Va. – Coastal Carolina's Cacia Pierre singled up the middle to drive in pinch runner Courtney Howell with the game-winning run to defeat Campbell, 3-2, in game nine of the 2012 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting and Brookwood Farms Barbeque on Friday afternoon at Radford Softball Field in Radford, Va. The Camels end their season with a 30-29 record, while Coastal Carolina improves to 40-18 and will play against Radford at noon on Saturday, May 12.
Kiana Quolas picked up her third hit of the game, a two-out double, in the seventh inning for the Chanticleers. Howell was inserted to run for Quolas and scored all the way from the second on a ball that was hit up the middle and just past two CU defenders.
The win was earned by Ashley Bagwell. Bagwell (13-8) allowed eight hits, one run, and struck out 11 in earning her 13th win of the season. Senior Christina Melton (4-7) took the tough loss for Campbell. She allowed seven hits, three runs and struck out four.
The Camels were able to outhit the Chanticleers, 9-7, but also left 11 runners on base in the game.
Freshman Stephanie Jones closed out her rookie year for Campbell with three hits and also drove in a pair of runs.
CCU scored a run in the bottom of the first inning. Brooke Donovan doubled and scored on Quolas single to right center.
The Camels tied the game up with a run in the third inning. Freshman Kailey Farmer started the inning off with a single. Fellow rookie Ericka Nesbitt moved her to second with a bunt single. Sophomore Jessi Lane was then inserted to run for Farmer. Jones would follow with a one-out single to score Lane from second. Jones and Nesbitt both moved up a base on the attempted play at the plate to put two runners in scoring position. The Camels could not drive them in though as a strikeout and fly out ended the frame.
The Chants took the lead back in the fourth inning on Sara Rasley's sacrifice fly foul out to left field to score pinch runner Nicole Saggiomo. Saggiomo was inserted to run for Quolas, who has singled to start the frame.
CU again tied the game with a run in the fifth inning. Nesbitt drew a lead-off walk. A fielder's choice sacrifice bunt from freshman Camise Patterson in which no one could be retired put runners on first and second. Jones then followed with another run-scoring single to drive in Nesbitt and tie the game at two all. Senior Taylor McGee, who played her last game in a CU uniform, then walked to load the bases with no one out. Bagwell was then reinserted to pitch, after exiting prior to the start of the inning, and got an infield pop out, a strikeout and ground out to end the frame unscathed and keep the scored knotted at two all.
The Camels again threatened in the sixth inning as Nesbitt reached on a two-out fielding error. She stole second to move into scoring position, but Bagwell recorded a ground out to end the inning.
CU again put multiple runners on base with less than two outs in the seventh inning. Jones led off the frame with a single. A fielder's choice eliminated Jones at second, but allowed McGee to reach. Junior Sarah Forgacs moved McGee to second with a single through the right side, but again the strikeout loomed large as Bagwell struck out the final two CU batters to end the Camels' last chance in the game.
Notes: Stephanie Jones ended her season with 51 RBIs, which is the fourth-most in a single season ever by a CU batter…she also hit .368 on the season…Jones knocked in multiple runs in all three games of the tournament for Campbell…freshman Ericka Nesbitt ended her first year with a .402 batting average and 72 hits…this was the last game in the careers of Campbell seniors Christina Melton and Taylor McGee…McGee ends her career as the Camels all-time leader in home runs with 42.