Bucs Welcome Coastal to Town TuesdayApril 9, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Southern softball team returns home on Tuesday to entertain rival Coastal Carolina in a 3 p.m. first pitch which can be watched live on the Big South Network, presented by State Farm. CSU took two out of three from Liberty this past weekend, and was led by stellar contributions from seniors Megan Lombard and Kristin Kelleher.
GAME NOTES | LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS
Bucs Set to Collide with Chanticleers Again
CSU and Coastal Carolina meet for the third and final time of the regular season after hooking up in a pair of nail biters in Conway two weeks ago. As expected, Kiana Quolas and Morgan Dowdy took center stage in game one as neither side could get on the scoreboard over the first six innings. Quolas kept her line clean in the seventh as well, finishing the day with just three hits and a pair of walks allowed, while striking out three. Dowdy was excellent in her own right over 6.1 innings, but came up two outs shy of forcing the game into extra innings when Quolas did damage with the bat and lined a RBI single through the middle to end it. While the Bucs come in off a series victory over Liberty on the road, Coastal enters the contest off a two-out-of-three series loss against Radford. The Chanticleers entered that set with a shot at claiming first place, but now sit in a tie for 2nd with CSU behind 7-2 Radford. Quolas and Dowdy have been big reasons for the success of each club, as they headline pitching staffs which rank number one and two in the Big South in ERA as of last week.
Lombard Keeps Right on Hitting
Megan Lombard helped power CSU to a 2-2 week and matched Jana Matthews and Jessica Brock for a club-best seven-game hitting streak in the process. The shortstop highlighted her week with a 2-for-2 effort in the 8-5 win over Liberty on Friday, as she launched the 25th home run of her career and drew a pair of walks as CSU broke a stretch of eight consecutive games without plating more than three runs. Overall, Lombard raked at a .417 clip over the four games, while slugging the homer and a double, driving in four runs, and scoring three more.
Kelleher’s Patient Approach Generates Results
Kristin Kelleher continued to do a stellar job of setting the table for the middle of the order this past week, reaching base in 10 of her 15 plate appearances. The senior from Springfield, Va. slapped 5 singles in 10 at-bats, including a pair of 2-hit outings in the 8-5 win on Friday, and the 9-8 extra innings loss Saturday. Kelleher, who began last week tied for fourth in the Big South in walks, also drew five more free passes to up her total for the year to 24. Kelleher has been able to consistently produce regardless of her spot in the lineup, as she has penciled into every sport in the batting order except for the three and eight holes. Kelleher has made her most starts out of the number five hole, with the Bucs going 6-4 in those contests.
CSU Gets Spark from Offense versus Flames
CSU began last week 5th among Big South clubs in team batting, but saw its offense come to life in the Liberty series after being blanked, 1-0, by USC Upstate on Wednesday. Home runs from Megan Lombard and Stephanie Sbardella (now tied for the team-lead at 5 apiece) spearheaded an 8-run outburst on Friday, allowing the Bucs to register more than three tallies for the first time in eight games. CSU followed up with eight more runs in a tough 9-8 defeat on Saturday, marking just the third time this season and the first time since a doubleheader sweep of Hampton on Feb. 26, that it had racked up five or more runs in back-to-back games. The Bucs have proven difficult to beat when they have gotten the bats going, as they are 17-5 when putting up three or more tallies, compared to just 5-13 when being held to 0-2 runs.
Bucs with Flair for Dramatic of Late
Seven of CSU’s last nine games have been decided by one run. The Bucs are 3-4 in those contests during that span and 7-8 in such contests for the season.