Feb. 8, 2014
ST. GEORGE, Utah – Junior pitcher Sarah Christian hurled six innings of scoreless relief and redshirt junior Abby Wynne and senior Shelby Johnson had two hits apiece as the East Carolina softball team defeated Southern Utah, 6-3, Saturday afternoon at the Red Desert Classic.
Christian, who earned her second win of the season, took over in the circle beginning with the top of the second inning and continued to fire zeroes into the Southern Utah line-score, allowing just six hits, two walks and no runs over the final six frames.
Wynne went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a stolen base, while Johnson was 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBI and a pair of steals.
Southern Utah (0-4) scored all three of its runs in the top of the first inning, but East Carolina (2-2) sent all nine batters to the plate in the bottom half of the frame and produced four runs to take a 4-3 lead it would not surrender for the duration of the game.
The Pirates got a leadoff single from Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and walk by Shelby Johnson, before Kristi Oshiro beat out an infield single and advanced all the way to third on an overthrow at first base. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and Johnson scored on the play, to bring ECU within one of the Thunderbirds.
Abby Wynne was the next batter and delivered a two-run home run over the right centerfield wall toput East Carolina ahead, 4-3.
The Pirates made valiant efforts to give Christian run support, as she pitched with a one-run lead all the way until the bottom of the sixth inning, when ECU finally broke through.
Freshman Ali Ramirez was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, before speedy newcomer Ciara Ervin came on to pinch run and junior infielder Andie Johnson drew a five-pitch walk. A wild pitch moved Ervin and Johnson into scoring position with no outs, but the next two East Carolina hitters could not bring them in to score. That was when Shelby Johnson stepped in and hammered a 2-2 pitch into right field, scoring both insurance runs and giving the Pirates a 6-3 advantage.
The Thunderbirds did not go down quietly however, as they brought the tying run to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second. Christian was able to induce a groundball to the right side for the final out of the game to seal the victory.
Madison Resley led Southern Utah with a 4-for-4, 2 RBI day at the plate. Ariel Hart pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief – 5 1/3 scoreless – while allowing two earned runs and three walks. Starter Ashley Ostler, who was chased from the game after recording one out and surrendering four hits, four runs and two walks, took the loss.
East Carolina will conclude play at the Red Desert Classic on Sunday, Feb. 9, when it takes on Nevada at 1 p.m. (ET).