MOBILE, ALA. – The Coastal Carolina softball team used five runs on seven hits in the first two innings to set the tone on the opening day of the 2022 Sun Belt Softball Championship, as the Chanticleers (22-27) downed the ULM Warhawks (27-27), 5-0, on Tuesday morning at Jaguar Field.
With the win, CCU will now advance to the double-elimination round and take on the top-seed and No. 25 nationally-ranked Louisiana on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET.
Makiya Thomas extended her hitting streak to a team-leading 13 games, as the graduate student sent a leadoff double to right field before Abbey Montoya laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Thomas to third base. Riley Zana continued the Chants hitting party as the sophomore sent a shot over the shortstop to drive home Thomas and give CCU a 1-0 advantage. Iyanla De Jesus singled past second base to advance Zana followed by a Keirstin Roose single to load the bases. Maddy Jennings smacked a single through the left side to advance all runners and plate Zana, to make the score 2-0.
Madison Hudson continued to Chanticleers momentum in the top of the second, as the sophomore sent a lead-off single to left field before she was out at second on a fielder’s choice that allowed Thomas to reach base for the second time. Thomas was out on the play as Montoya singled to second base before stealing second base a batter later. Zana reached base for the second time as the sophomore drew a base on balls followed by De Jesus drawing the Chanticleers’ second walk of the day. On a passed by, Montoya raced home to make the score 3-0 before a two-run RBI double from Roose gave CCU a 5-0 advantage with her double to the left-field wall.
The third inning would see both teams go down in order for the first time.
Zana recorded her second hit of the day back to the Warhawks pitcher followed by a De Jesus single past the shortstop. However, Coastal would leave both runners stranded in the top of the fourth.
The final three innings would be a pitcher’s duel as both teams tallied just four hits.
In the circle, Kaitlin Beasley-Polko (13-9) threw her 10th complete game of the season and fourth shutout as the Leonardtown, Md. native allowed four hits, and three walks in 7.0 innings of work while striking out six.
De Jesus finished the afternoon a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate, while Zana finished 2-for-3 with two runs and one RBI. Roose went 2-for-4 and recorded 2 RBI.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Softball