ECU Slips Past Nationally-Ranked UNC
March 8, 2006
Greenville, N.C.-- East Carolina senior Krista Jessup scored on a squeeze bunt by freshman Jessica Johnson in the eighth inning to lead the Pirates to a 2-1 victory over nationally-ranked North Carolina Wednesday night at the ECU Softball Field.
North Carolina (14-5) started the scoring in the top of the first when Cassie Palmer singled to lead off the game, and later scored on a wild pitch by ECU pitcher Keli Harrell.
ECU (15-5) looked to have won in the bottom of the seventh with two runners on and Jessup at the plate. The senior catcher connected on a long fly ball to left field, but UNC left fielder Ashley Oxendine made a diving catch while crashing into the wall to send the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Jessup, starting the inning on second due to softball extra inning rules, advanced to third on a Beth Nolan sacrifice bunt, before scoring the eventual game winning run on the squeeze.
Tar Heel's pitcher Crystal Cox (5-4) struck out seven batters and allowed five hits in the loosing effort, while ECU junior Keli Harrell (9-3) continued her impressive pitching, allowing only four hits while striking out one and pitching all eight innings for her sixth complete game of the season.
East Carolina will begin conference play this weekend when it travels to Houston to face the Cougars, who were selected to finish first in the C-USA preseason coaches poll.