Softball Seeks to Expand Win Streak
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The College of Charleston softball team will look to sweep its third consecutive doubleheader as the Cougars play host to Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, March 21 at Patriots Point at 4 p.m.
GLANCING AT THE COUGARS
The Cougars won their fifth straight game when CofC completed the SoCon series sweep of Samford on Sunday, March 18. After sweeping the Saturday doubleheader, the Cougars grinded out a nearly five-hour weather delay before finishing the Bulldogs off with a 6-2 win on Sunday.
Over the five-game win streak, the Cougars are batting .311 as a team and have five every-day players batting over .300. The Cougars have 22 RBIs in those games compared to just four for their opponents. The Cougars' opponents have batted .203 and the Cougar pitchers have combined for a 0.80 ERA to fuel the win streak.
CofC's .893 (25-for-28) stolen-base percentage is the best in the SoCon. They Cougars have been successful in their nine most recent steal attempts and haven't been caught stealing since March 10.
Sunday's win over Samford was the 400th career head coaching victory for head coach Shelly Hoerner. Hoerner compiled 205 wins at the Division II level at Barry and Valdosta State. Now in her seventh season at CofC, Hoerner has led the Cougars to 195 wins.
The Cougars' team ERA peaked after eight games against power-hitting teams such as Arizona, NC State and Chattanooga. Since then, it has steadily decreased with each game and now sits at 2.35 which is second best in the SoCon.
Junior second baseman Ashton Jarrett's (Hanahan, S.C.) batting average is still on the rise as she has seven hits in CofC's last seven games. Jarrett's .383 mark is a team high and she leads the team in runs scored (15) and stolen bases (7) as well.
Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) is CofC's big-hit threat as the sophomore has five home runs and 11 extra-base hits, both of which are team highs for the Cougars. The sophomore also leads the team in RBIs with 15 and is batting .349 on the season.
Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.) continues to find ways to get on base and now has an 11-game reaching base streak.
Mackenzie Maples (Corona, Calif.) has seven hits in the last five games she's played and joined CofC's .300 club after going 3-for-3 on Sunday. The freshman hit her first career home run on Saturday against Samford as well.
Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.) was named the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Month for February after going 5-1 in the pitching circle and posting a 0.86 ERA in 40.2 innings of work. Over the course of the month, she threw a perfect game, struck out 53 hitters and allowed just 21 hits, four walks and five earned runs.
The magic number for CofC this season has been three. The Cougars are 1-10 when scoring less than three runs and 14-1 when scoring three runs or more. On the other side, CofC is 14-2 when holding opponents under three runs and 1-9 when surrendering three or more.
Before CofC rallied from behind against Samford on Sunday, CofC's record this season would have been no different if a regulation softball game was only four innings. In every CofC game prior to Sunday, the team leading after the fourth inning has gone on to win. The Cougars are now 11-0 when leading after the fourth and 1-10 when trailing after four. The Cougars are 3-1 in games which were tied at the end of four innings.
SCOUTING THE CHANTICLEERS
Coastal Carolina holds a 22-8 record this season thanks in large part to a 12-game winning streak the Chanticleers road from Feb. 25 - March 10. Coastal hosted three tournaments this season and, as a result, have played 20 of their 30 games at home.
The doubleheader will only be Coastal's second and third true road games of the season. The Chanticleers are 0-1 on the road from when lost at Florida State in the Florida State Tournament.
Coastal just competed in the USF Under Armour Tournament in Clearwater, Fla., this past weekend. The Chanticleers won their bookend games over Long Island and Bryant but lost three to Hartford, Kent State and Boston in between.
Kory Haden is off to a great start to her young career as the freshman has started in all 30 games and leads the Chanticleers with her .415 batting average. She also has a team-high eight home runs and 27 RBIs.
Kiana Quolas, also a freshman, has proven to be a two-dimensional asset for Coastal as she has excelled in both the batters' box and pitching circle. She bats .314 on the season with nine RBIs and holds a 12-3 record and 0.51 ERA in the circle. Quolas was just named the Big South Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season after 19 innings of work with a 0.74 ERA and 2-1 record.
Coastal is aggressive on the base paths and has attempted 43 stolen bases and stretched 63 extra-base hits.
These two teams have become quite familiar with each other over the years as Wednesday's first game will be the 60th in the programs' history.
Coastal dominated the early years of the rivalry and holds a 39-20 advantage over the Cougars. However, CofC has been the better team in recent years and has taken four straight by a 27-5 aggregate score.
Last season, the Cougars went to Conway, S.C., and came away with 6-1 and 4-0 victories over Coastal. Hodgson homered in both games and Saylors pitched a complete-game shut-out two hitter.
Admission to Wednesday's doubleheader will be free to the public.
MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE FOR THE DOUBLEHEADER
Fans unable to make it to Patriots Point for live and in-person softball action will be able keep up with the plays on their computers and mobile devices. CofCSports.com will provide both a live webstream and live stats with animated play-by-play.
The webstream requires a subscription but offers a multiple-camera broadcast with play-by-play commentary and analysis. The live stats are available at no charge.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS:
Another great way of keeping up with the CofC softball team is through the team's own Twitter account (@CofCSoftball). The account provides pictures, team activities, statuses when the team is on the road and in-game thoughts and updates.
The Cougars will head back on the road and ascend on Cullowhee, N.C., for a three-game SoCon series at Western Carolina. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 24 and single-game finale on Sunday, March 25. First pitch for both days is scheduled for 1 p.m.