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Terence Connelly’s only hit of the night came at the right time as he singled in the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth to lift UNCW to a 5-4 win over visiting Coastal Carolina on Wednesday at Brooks Field.
The Seahawks (13-14) completed a sweep of the Chanticleers (12-18) for the first time since 2008 after topping the CCU 7-3 in mid-March.
With UNCW trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Luis Renvill doubled to start the inning and advanced to third when Josh Abshire lined a single up the middle.
Casey Golden followed with a fielder’s choice to third that CCU failed to get an out on as Connelly battled reliever Andrew Beckwith to a 2-2 count before sending the Seahawks home with a midweek walk-off victory.
William Prince (1-0) earned the win in relief for UNCW, striking out the only batter he faced after coming on in the ninth. Zach Remillard held game-high honors with four hits for CCU while Luke Dunlap, Justin Carroll and Josh Abshire had two hits apiece for the Seahawks.
UNCW moved back to within a game of .500 with the home win and improved to 10-9 at Brooks Field. It was their third walk-off win and four game the ballclub has won in the ninth inning.
The Seahawks return to conference play on Friday with a 7 p.m. start at William & Mary, the nation’s top offensive team in several categories.
Lady Seahawks earn split with Chanticleers
The UNCW softball team split a non-conference doubleheader against rival Coastal Carolina Wednesday at Boseman Field. The Chanticleers took a 2-1 win with a two-run sixth inning in the opener, while the Seahawks scored in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 victory to close out the twin bill.
Freshman Nella Chamblee had a pair of runs batted in over the course of the day with two, two-out RBI singles in bottom of the first in each game.
After Chamblee plated home the run in game one, the score remained 1-0 in favor of the Seahawks until the top of the sixth, when junior Kory Hayden hit a one-out fly ball to center field that scored two and gave CCU a 2-1 lead.
That would be all the support that junior Kiana Quolas would need as she retired the final 10 batters she faced to give the Chanticleers the one-run victory and improved to 16-4 in the circle for Coastal Carolina.
Freshman Peyton Jordan was saddled with a tough loss after allowing two runs on five hits over seven innings of work.
In game two, UNCW once again took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Chamblee recorded a two-out single to left field to bring in senior Brittany Gamby from third, but the Chanticleers tied the game at one-all in the top of the sixth, as Quolas reached base on a leadoff single and was replaced by senior pinch runner Courtney Howell, who advanced to third on a stolen base and error before scoring later in the frame on a wild pitch.
The game remained tied at one-all until the bottom of the ninth when sophomore Erin Brown ripped a single to left field that scored sophomore Taylor Matkins for the game-winning run.
UNCW (17-17) travels to Hofstra for a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series that begins with an 11 a.m. doubleheader on April 5. The Seahawks are 2-3 in conference, while the Pride enter the weekend series at 0-3.