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Three runs in the top of the first inning of game, one in the doubleheader on Friday, April 6, was the start to Radford Softball team being handed their first home loss of the season. However, it was also the only loss Radford allowed.
The Chanticleers went on to win the first game of the series by a score of 6-2, after RU managed only two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Coastal Carolina’s senior first baseman Stacy Snellings hit a homerun to add another run, and redshirt junior Cacia Pierre added another homer to put the game away for Coastal. The win was the first loss at home for the Highs, who were able to bounce right back in game two of the doubleheader.
RU came on strong in the second game, scoring four runs in the second inning, and then another five in the third to take a 9-0 lead. Senior outfielder Hannah Ojeda contributed to this lead with a grand slam that brought junior outfielder Morgan Eye, freshman shortstop Jackie Warr and junior utility Ryndee Ruch home for four runs.
Holding a 9-0 lead with an 8-0 advantage in hits, things looked pretty good for Radford, but the Chanticleers had no intention of letting that be the end. In the fifth and seventh innings, the Highlanders were given a scare when the Chanticleers rallied with eight unanswered runs that almost ended up becoming Radford’s second home loss of the season. Freshman third baseman Kory Hayden, sophomore shortstop and second baseman Brooke Donovan and freshman pitcher and first baseman Kiana Quolas all hit home runs in the fifth to cut into the deficit.
In the seventh inning when Radford was looking to close things out, the Chanticleers made one final stand to avoid a loss with two more homers from Quolas and senior centerfielder Chelsea Pineda. The Highlanders were barely able to hold on with their pitching and took game two 9-8, splitting the doubleheader with one more game the next day on Saturday, April 7.
The Highlanders came out more prepared this time, and took game three 9-3 to take the series away from the Chanticleers. Three runs in the top of the first from Maples, Donovan and Quolas was all Coastal could manage before Radford took the third match from them. In the bottom of the first and second, the Highs tied the score and kept the Chanticleers from managing any more runs until the bottom of the fourth, where the Highs scored five straight runs to secure the game.
In the very next inning Ruch’s homer put RU at a 9-3 advantage, and the game, as well as the series was theirs. The wins this weekend allowed Radford to take first place in the Big South Conference with a record of 21-10, and a 7-2 conference record.
The next matchup for the Highlanders will be a single road game against Tennessee on April 10, followed by a double header against Virginia on April 11. Radford will return home this weekend for their next series against Presbyterian College set to begin on April 14.
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