April 3, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C - The East Carolina softball team (14-22) saw its four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-3 eight-inning loss to UNC Wilmington (12-19) in the second game of the doubleheader on Wednesday at ECU Softball Stadium.
Sophomore Sarah Christian (11-10) was tagged with the relief loss and allowed two runs (one earned) in her three innings. UNCW's Casey Rowland (8-8) went all eight innings and allowed three runs (none earned) with no walks and four strikeouts to even her record on the season.
The Seahawks scored a pair of extra inning runs in the eighth inning. Olivia Poplin was placed on second to start the inning as part of the international tie-breaker rule. A sacrifice bunt moved her to third. KC Shue reached on an infield single to second to put runners on the corners. After a second out was recorded when Casey Rowland made contact with the ball on her bunt attempt out of the batter's box, Erin Brown followed with a single to second to plate Poplin and give the Seahawks the advantage. Kristen Jernigan then walked to load the bases for Jordin Phillips. Phillips drove in the final run of the frame with a single up the middle.
The ECU attempt to rally and tie the game in the bottom portion of the frame was thwarted. Junior Kristi Oshiro was placed on second to start the inning. A ground out moved her to third, but the next two batters were retired in order on a ground out to the pitcher and strikeout to end the game. The win by UNC Wilmington was only the 15th time that Seahawks have been able to beat the Pirates in 94 games in the all-time series.
The Pirates scored three unearned runs in the third inning to take the early lead. Kristi Oshiro reached on a two-out double to right and scored on a ball that was misplayed by the UNCW second baseman off the bat of Alex Fieldhouse. After a Jordan Lewis double put runners on second and third, freshman Kelsi Briggs laced a double to the gap to score Fieldhouse and Lewis with the second and third runs of the inning.
UNCW answered with a tally in the top of the fourth. Olivia Poplin was hit by a pitch and scored on Rowland's two-out double.
The Seahawks fought all the way back to tie the game in the sixth inning. Morgan McCann tripled to center to start the frame. Poplin and Lauryn Buckworth both walked to load the bases with no outs. Shue tied the game with her single. UNCW was on the verge of breaking the game open and taking the lead, but after a sacrifice bunt to move each runner up a base, Christian recorded a strike out and ground out to keep the game knotted at three.