Conway, S.C. - The Gardner-Webb softball team outhit the Lady Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina on Sunday afternoon, yet the Runnin' Bulldogs left seven runners on base in a 3-1 conference road loss to Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C.
The loss drops GWU to 15-20 overall and 2-5 in the Big South, while with the win Coastal Carolina improves to 29-11 and 6-2 in conference play.
Coastal Carolina jumped out to an early lead in the first, as two of the first three batters reached base safely by way of a single and hit by pitch. With runners on second and third, Kiana Quolas singled to right field to drive in lead-off hitter Sarah Maples and put the home team up 1-0 after one inning of play.
Gardner-Webb quickly tied up the score in their very next at bat, as Morgan Baker led off the top of the second with a double down the left field line. The very next GWU batter, Savannah Burns, doubled to left to drive in Baker from second and tie the score up at 1-1.
In the top of the third the Runnin' Bulldogs looked to take their first lead of the game, as lead-off hitter Samantha Meenaghan started the third with a single to the shortstop. Third-baseman Jordyn Arrowood singled through the right side to put runners on first and second with no outs. However, a fly ball out to right field and a GWU base running error turned into a double play for the Lady Chanticleers, which cost the visitors a chance to score and take the lead.
The Runnin' Bulldogs got out of a jam in the bottom of the fourth, as two walks and a GWU throwing error loaded the bases for the Lady Chants with only one out. Redshirt-senior pitcher Cindy Boomhower entered the contest with the bases loaded and got the first batter she faced to ground into a fielder's choice with Arrowood throwing out the lead runner at home plate for the second out. The next Coastal Carolina batter flied out to center to end the inning, as GWU kept the Lady Chanticleers off the scoreboard in the inning.
GWU recorded a single in each of the fourth, the fifth and the sixth inning, yet failed to push across what would have been the go ahead run, as the score remained tied at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Coastal Carolina offense broke through, as catcher Chelsea Pineda hit a two-run home run to put the home team in front at 3-1 after six full innings of play.
The Runnin' Bulldogs went down in order 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh, as the Lady Chanticleers held on for the 3-1 conference win.
Boomhower (5-5) suffered the loss, as she gave up two runs on four hits and one base-on-balls over 2.2 innings of relief work.
GWU starting pitcher Alyssa Gutierrez allowed one run on three hits and four walks over the first 3.1 innings of play.
Coastal Carolina's Quolas (17-5) earned the win out of the bullpen, as she allowed only two hits over the final three innings of play.
Gardner-Webb, which belted nine hits for the game, were led at the plate by Burns, who was 2-3 with a double and an RBI and Arrowood, who was 2-4 on the day. Baker (1-3), Meenaghan (1-4), Amanda Gomes (1-3), McKenzie Morenus (1-3) and Lindsea Hutchinson (1-3) all had one hit apiece in the game.
For the Lady Chanticleers, Pineda was 1-2 with a home run, a walk and two RBI, while Quolas was 1-3 with an RBI.
Gardner-Webb (15-20, 2-5 Big South) will return home for a five-game home stand starting Friday afternoon, April 6th, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will host Campbell in a Big South Conference doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Varsity Field.
Coastal Carolina (29-11, 6-2 Big South) will also return to action on Friday, April 6th, as the Lady Chanticleers will take on the Radford Highlanders at 4 p.m. in Radford, Va.