CONWAY, S.C. - A solo home run by Kiana Quolas helped Coastal Carolina hold off and season sweep over Charleston Southern as the Buccaneers fell at the CCU Softball Field on Tuesday afternoon, 6-5.
Jana Matthews connected on her ninth home run of the season and 34th of her career in the top of the fifth inning to tie the contest in the top of the fifth inning as the senior left fielder drilled the ball over the left centerfield fence, but Quolas answered with a shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth and closed out the game on the mound in picking up the win.
Charleston Southern falls to 10-36, 3-15 in Big South Conference play, while Coastal Carolina improves to 26-18, 13-5 in conference action on the year.
Melanie Stickney added a two-run single while Matthews scored two runs for the Bucs' offense in the game.
Morgan Noad added a home run for Coastal Carolina in the contest and added two RBI, while Bri Chiusano had two hits, scored two runs and stole two bases in the win.
Jennifer Giles (6-26) suffered the loss for the Buccaneers on the season, going the distance in her 22nd complete game of the season. She allowed seven hits and five earned runs in the loss, retiring one on a strikeout.
Quolas (15-9) picked up the win, throwing 4.1 innings in relief for the Chanticleers, allowing two hits and one run, while striking out four and walking two batters in the contest. Quolas entered the game in relief for starter Ashley Bagwell who ran into trouble after going 2.2 innings, allowing one hit and four runs, giving up five walks and two hits batsmen in the contest.
The Buccaneers opened the scoring in the top of the first inning as CSU loaded the bases with one out. Marci Christian reached on a hit by pitch to open the game, while Matthews and Linzy Rother both drew walks, bringing up Hayes Holdsworth to the plate. She drove in the first run, scoring Christian on a fielder's choice to put the Bucs ahead, 1-0.
The Chants answered with one run of their own in the bottom of the first as Chiusano came around to score on a two-out single by Cacia Pierre to knot the game up at 1-1.
Coastal Carolina added two more runs in the bottom of the second inning as Noad connected on a one-out solo home run to right field, putting the Chants ahead, 2-1. Jessie Winans reached on a two-out two-base error and Chiusano took advantage of the CSU defensive lapse with a base hit to right field, bringing Winans across the plate to put Coastal Carolina ahead two runs.
Charleston Southern took advantage of several Coastal Carolina pitching miscues to retake the lead in the top of the third inning.
Stephanie Sbardella reached on a one-out hit by pitch to put the Bucs on the base paths and Matthews and Rother both reached on back-to-back walks, loading the bases. With two outs, Hannah Wagner drew a full count walk, scoring Matthews for the first run, before Stickney connected on a single to left centerfield, scoring Holdsworth and Rother to put the Bucs back in the lead, 4-3.
Noad evened the score again in the bottom of the third, singling in Nicole Saggiomo with two outs in the inning to even the score at 4-4.
Kory Hayden put Coastal Carolina back in the lead in the bottom of the fourth, driving in Chiusano with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Just as quickly, Matthews responded with a solo home run to lead off the top of the fifth inning, connecting on the 0-1 pitch from Quolas and driving it over the left centerfield fence to tie the game.
Giles pitched around trouble in the fifth inning, but was unable to keep the Chanticleers off the scoreboard in the sixth as Quolas hammered a 1-1 pitch over the right centerfield fence for the final score in the game as Coastal Carolina completed the season sweep over the Bucs.
Charleston Southern returns home for their final home stand of the 2013 season, hosting Gardner-Webb in a three-game series beginning on Saturday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field. First pitch in Saturday's doubleheader against the Runnin' Bulldogs is set for 2 p.m., while the Bucs and GWU will take the field in Sunday's finale with start time set for 1 p.m.