Pirates Move To 13-4 With Sweep
Feb. 29, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team took a pair of contests over Radford and Liberty to begin the Pirate Clash on Friday at the ECU Softball Field. The Pirates have now won three straight and nine of their last 11 contests.
Batting as the away team in its tournament opener against the Highlanders, ECU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Charina Sumner reached first to lead off the game as she was hit by a pitch. She would advance to third on a sac bunt and steal, respectively. After Erin St. Ledger struck out, Sumner then scored on a wild pitch.
The Pirates added to their lead in the top of the second. With one out, Stacey Andrews singled through the left side of the infield. After stealing second, she would score when Sumner knocked a single up the middle, making the score 2-0 in East Carolina's favor. The Highlanders nearly pulled within a run in their half of the second but Larissa Williams was thrown out at home with two outs.
After tallying two hits in the third but scoring none, the Pirates received a one-out bomb from Andrews in the fourth to extend their lead to 3-0. Radford would get one run back in their half of the fourth, using two hits, including a sac fly to narrow the margin to 3-1.
In the seventh frame, ECU provided the final 5-1 margin when with Christina Merrida on first after being hit by a pitch, Jessica Johnson took hold of a pitch and sent it sailing over the center field wall.
Junior Brooke Swann improved her record to 7-2 on the season while throwing her seventh complete game. She allowed seven hits while striking out three. St. Ledger and Andrews combined to go 4-for-7 with one RBI.
Looking for the sweep, the Pirates jumped on the Flames early in game two as Sumner led off the bottom of the first with a single. She then advanced to second on a wild pitch before Merrida and St. Ledger walked to load the bases. Vanessa Moreno would then ground out to short, scoring Sumner and giving East Carolina a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates added to that lead in the second. Andrews doubled to lead off the inning. Angel Barrella then walked and Kaui Tom singled to the Liberty shortstop, loading the bases. Sumner then walked, scoring Andrews and making the margin 2-0. With one out, Johnson grounded out to second base but Tom was able to cross the plate for a 3-0 ECU lead.
The Flames quickly knotted the score in the top of the third. With one out, Leah Cossentino walked and advanced to second when Cassie Hendrix grounded out. Cossentino then scored on an RBI double by Amber DePasquale. The very next batter, Shannon McKain, then got just enough of a pitch so that the wind carried it over the right center field wall for a two-run long ball.
The Pirates took the advantage back in the bottom of the third. Moreno doubled to center then stole third. After Cristen Aona grounded out to second, Andrews pushed a ball far enough into the outfield that Moreno was able to score on the sac fly.
With Swann in the circle in the sixth in relief of starter Britt Howell, she was able to hold the Flames at bay until ECU scored three runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach. The Pirates used four hits, including a big two-run single by Johnson to make the final score 7-3, completing the two-game sweep.
Howell was credited with win as her record now stands at 4-1. She gave up seven hits and struck out three in five and one-thirds innings of work. Swann notched her first save of the season, pitching the last one and two-thirds frames. The junior struck out two in relief while allowing just one hit. Johnson and Andrews teamed up to go 5-for-6, tallying four RBI and scoring two runs.
East Carolina returns to the ECU Softball Field tomorrow for day two of the Pirate Clash. It will face Fordham, who split its two contests today, and Delaware, the only other team to pick up two wins on Friday. The Pirates face the Rams at 12 p.m.