Pirates Split Extra-Inning Affairs At Classic
Feb. 23, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team opened Pirate Classic action with a split at a rain-soaked ECU Softball Field on Saturday. The Pirates took out Syracuse 4-3 in eight innings while a late rally against Purdue fell just short in a 3-2 eight-inning affair. ECU stands at 10-3 on the season as well as 2-1 in extra inning contests.
The Pirates took the early lead against the Orange with a run in the first inning. Charina Sumner led off the game with an infield single and with one out, Jessica Johnson reached on an error by the third baseman. Johnson would advance to second on a fielder's choice play before scoring on a two-out single by Cristen Aona.
Syracuse answered with a run of its own in the top of the second. With two outs, Jorden Rosen doubled to center, scoring Chanel Roehner who had singled to lead off the at bat.
East Carolina retook the lead in the bottom of the second. Three consecutive singles by Stacey Andrews, Kaui Tom and Sumner accounted for one run while the Pirates tacked on another when Jessica Johnson grounded out, scoring Tom.
The Orange were able to rally in the top of the sixth, tallying two runs to knot the score at three. With two on and one out, Rachel Tilford singled up the middle to score both runners but was thrown out on the play. Brooke Swann finished the inning for ECU starter Britt Howell.
The contest then entered extra innings, making it necessary for an international tiebreaker scenario. Hallie Gibbs was placed on second base for Syracuse but would stay there as Swann induced a groundout, flyout and pop up. The Pirates would get the winning score in the bottom half of the inning. Tom was placed on second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Then with two outs, a passed ball by the Orange's catcher allowed her to cross the plate.
Howell pitched five and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits and three earned runs while striking out one. She would not factor in the decision, keeping her record at 3-0. Swann threw the last two and one-third frames, allowing no hits to improve her record to 5-1.
Aona, Sumner and Christina Merrida combined to go 7-for-11, accounting for two of the three ECU RBI.
The Pirates would strike early again against the Boilermakers as they took a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first. After Sumner singled to lead off the at bat, three walks by Purdue starter Suzie Rzegocki allowed the run to score.
The Boilermakers would steal the lead from East Carolina in the top of the fourth when with one out and one on, Candace Curtis homered to left center field, making the score 2-1.
ECU rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Pinch hitter Jillian Gallagher singled to left field and was sacrificed to second by Andrews. She would then reach third on a passed ball and score when Sumner reached on an error by the third baseman who attempted to throw Gallagher out at home.
A wild pitch in the top of the eighth allowed Amy Butcher to advance to third. Curtis then came up with her third RBI of the day as she reached on an infield single, allowing Butcher to score the game winner.
Swann put in another sold effort in the circle, giving up seven hits and two earned runs. The junior struck out four en route to her sixth complete game of the season. Her record now sits at 5-2.
Merrida was 2-for-3 on the contest as she finished her day of work 4-for-6 with an RBI versus Syracuse.
The Pirates complete action at the Classic tomorrow as they face off against Penn State at 3 p.m. and Appalachian State at 5 p.m. All of tomorrow's games will take place at the ECU Softball Field, beginning at 9 a.m. with the Orange taking on Purdue.