Softball Downs Princeton, Falls To Wisconsin
March 22, 2008
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The East Carolina softball team defeated Princeton 5-1 in its first game of Saturday but allowed Wisconsin to rally for a 7-3 win at the Stanford Invitational II at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. The Pirates now stand at 23-12 overall while the Tigers fall to 3-15 and the Badgers improve to 9-20.
ECU took a 1-0 lead over Princeton in the top of the first when Cristen Aona singled with two outs, scoring Charina Sumner. Sumner reached on an error by the Tiger shortstop to begin the game. Pirate freshman hurler Suzanne Riggs notched her first collegiate strikeout in a scoreless bottom of the first when she fanned Kathryn Welch with one out.
Vanessa Moreno doubled to lead off the top of the second, leading to another two-out run for East Carolina. She would cross the plate when Kaui Tom singled to left center to make the score 2-0 in the Pirates' favor. Princeton put a runner in scoring position with one out in the bottom half of the inning, but left fielder Stacey Andrews turned a double play, putting out Beth Dalmut and throwing to second to erase Jamie Lettire and the Tigers' scoring hopes.
Princeton received a leadoff double in the bottom of the third from Erin Miller in the bottom of the third but Riggs struck out the next two batters and induced a foul out to end the threat. The Tigers would finally break through in the bottom of the fourth. With two runners on and one out via two walks, Collette Abbott doubled to left center, scoring Kelsey Quist and cutting the ECU lead to 2-1. As a result, Swann came into the game to pitch for Riggs. Princeton nearly tied the game on the next batter as Dalmut flied out but Lettire was called for leaving third base early.
The Pirates extended their advantage to 4-1 in the top of the fifth. With one out, Jessica Johnson doubled to right center. She would score a batter later as Andrews roped her team-leading third triple of the season to left center. Vanessa Moreno then poked a bunt single that scored Andrews. East Carolina made the final margin 5-1 in the sixth when Johnson singled up the middle to score Aona.
Swann picked up her 13th win of the season, in relief, pushing her record to 13-8. She threw the last three and two-thirds innings, giving up just one hit while striking out two and walking none. Johnson recorded three hits in four at bats, notching one RBI.
The Pirates jumped ahead of Wisconsin 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning, all with no outs. With the bases loaded, Aona was hit by a pitch, bringing the first run across the plate. Then, with Johnson and Tom on second and third, Andrews doubled down the right field line, scoring both runners.
The Badgers mounted a comeback in the top of the sixth, scoring six runs on six hits and two ECU errors to take a 5-3 lead. The big blow was a three-run long ball by Valyncia Raphael. The Pirates were unable to push anything across in the last two innings as Wisconsin sealed the win.
Swann recorded her second decision of the day in the loss, falling to 13-9 on the season. She threw five and one-thirds innings, giving up six runs, four of them unearned, on seven hits while striking out three and walking two. Sumner was 2-for-3 in the contest with one run scored while Andrews drove in two on 1-for-3 batting.
East Carolina will finish play at the Stanford Invitational II tomorrow afternoon as it battles host and No. 5 Stanford. The contest is scheduled for 3 p.m.