Softball Splits Again To Close Classic
Feb. 24, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. - After falling to Penn State 9-3 in its first contest Sunday, the East Carolina softball team rebounded to rout Appalachian State 8-2 in the nightcap of the Pirate Classic at the ECU Softball Field. The Pirates pushed their record to 11-4 on the season with the split.
The Nittany Lions opened the scoring in the top of the first when with two outs, Holly Haines singled, scoring Ashley Esparza who had reached on a fielder's choice earlier in the inning. Penn State would tack on another run in the third as Jen Acunto singled to lead off the inning and scored when Esparza doubled two plays later.
Kaui Tom pulled ECU within a run in the bottom half of the third when she smashed a solo shot that easily cleared the left field fence. Christina Merrida would then reach on an error with two outs. After she stole second, she was stranded as Erin St. Ledger grounded out to Esparza.
The Nittany Lions made the score 3-1 in the sixth off of a Rebecca Bautista single that scored Carnie Smith. However, Jessica Johnson quickly knotted the score in the bottom half of the inning when she ripped a towering two-run long ball over the center field fence. Suzanne Riggs scored on the play as she had run for St. Ledger who led off the inning with a single.
Penn State prevented the Pirates from playing their third consecutive extra-inning affair as it used six runs on six hits and a Pirate error to provide the final margin.
Howell took the loss for East Carolina as she pitched three and two-thirds innings in relief of Brooke Swann. Her record now stands at 3-1 on the early season. Tom ended the contest a perfect 3-for-3.
The Pirates jumped on the Mountaineers in the third inning of the evening game. Beth Nolan was awarded first as she was hit by a pitch. After she was sacrificed to second by Tom, she was able to reach third on a wild pitch. Merrida then singled to left field, scoring Nolan and giving her team the 1-0 advantage.
ECU produced two more runs in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead as Nolan and Charina Sumner laced an RBI double and RBI single, respectively. Cristen Aona and Vanessa Moreno scored the runs in the inning.
The score would reach 6-0 in favor of the Pirates in the next inning as two hits and an Appalachian State error accounted for the three scores. Moreno earned two of the RBI on an infield single while Stacey Andrews legged out a triple for the third run. Andrews would again be an offensive hero in the seventh, ripping a two-run long ball that made the score 8-0. The Mountaineers would respond with a two-run shot of their own in their final at bat but Swann closed out the game by inducing a fly ball and a pop up.
Swann pitched her seventh complete game of the season while running her record to 5-2. She scattered five hits while also striking out five. Andrews finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI, a career-high.
East Carolina continues its season next weekend, hosting the Pirate Clash. The Pirates will take on the Radford Highlanders at 2 p.m. Friday at the ECU Softball Field. Delaware, Fordham, Liberty, Towson and UNC Greensboro make up the rest of the field. Contests will also take place at North Pitt High School throughout the weekend.