Pair of upsets headline Sun Belt Softball Championship’s opening day
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The first day of the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship saw No. 6 Coastal Carolina win a pair of one-run games and No. 4 Texas State open with a victory on its home field to headline a wet and wild Wednesday at Bobcat Softball Stadium.
The Chanticleers used pitching and timely hitting to first edge No. 7 Georgia Southern 2-1 and then outlasted No. 3 UTA 5-4 to advance in the top half of the bracket. The host Bobcats defeated No. 8 ULM 3-0 after the Warhawks provided the championship’s first upset, a 2-0 shutout of No. 5 Appalachian State in the Mountaineers’ first-ever Sun Belt Tournament appearance.
ULM’s win came following a 3:27 rain delay that postponed the start of its Game 2 matchup with Appalachian State. Freshman pitcher Adrianna Chavarria hurled a two-hit gem for the Warhawks for her seventh win of the season. ULM pushed its two runs across in back-to-back innings. Senior outfielder Jaclyn Kresta was credited with an RBI on a fielder’s choice that plated classmate Victoria Pederson in the fourth then junior shortstop Jayden Mount stroked an RBI double to left center in the fifth.
Coastal Carolina won its first-ever Sun Belt Tournament game in the day’s opener with a one-run victory over Georgia Southern. The Chanticleers got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning using some crafty baserunning. After freshman second base Abbey Montoya walked and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior shortstop Alexis Alvino, the two pulled off a double steal with Montoya plating the run to give Coastal the early advantage.
The Chanticleers’ insurance run came in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out solo home run by senior third base Chelsea D’Avilar. Georgia Southern answered in its final at-bat as senior shortstop Macy Coleman crushed her seventh home run of the year but that solo shot would be all the scoring the Eagles could muster in their fifth-straight tournament appearance.
Texas State capped off the extended first day with junior pitcher Dalilah Barrera and sophomore pitcher Meagan King combining to face one batter over the minimum and striking out six to stymie the ULM offense. The Bobcats cracked the scoreboard early in the bottom of the first. Junior second base Bailee Carter led off with a double and scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice. Texas State tacked on two more runs on RBI singles by freshman designated player Samara Lagway in the fourth and junior third base Hailey MacKay in the fifth.
The 2019 Sun Belt Softball Championship continues Thursday with Matt Stewart and Francesca Enea calling all the action from Bobcat Softball Stadium – No. 6 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 2 Troy at 10 a.m. CT, No. 4 Texas State vs. No. 1 Louisiana at 12:30 p.m., No. 8 ULM vs. the Coastal Carolina-Troy Loser at 3 p.m. CT and No. 3 UTA vs. the Texas State-Louisiana Loser at 5:30 p.m. CT.
2019 SUN BELT SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Thursday, May 9
Game 5 – No. 6 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 2 Troy (ESPN+), 10 a.m.
Game 6 – No. 4 Texas State vs. No. 1 Louisiana (ESPN+), 12:30 p.m.
Game 7 – No. 8 ULM vs. Game 5 Loser (ESPN+), 3 p.m.
Game 8 – No. 3 UTA vs. Game 6 Loser (ESPN+), 5:30 p.m.
Friday, May 10
Game 9 – Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner (ESPN+), 11 a.m.
Game 10 – Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner (ESPN+), 2 p.m.
Game 11 – Game 9 Loser vs. Game 10 Winner (ESPN+), 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 11
Game 12 – Game 9 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner (ESPN+), 1 p.m.
About the Sun Belt Conference
Entering the second decade of the new millennium, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as an FBS member in 2001, the evidence is clear that the conference is indeed rising above competitors and peer conferences.
Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.
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