April 12, 2014
TULSA, Okla. – Despite hitting five home runs and dropping game one, 11-9, the East Carolina softball team carried its offensive display over to the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader to defeat No. 15/17 Tulsa, 10-2, in five innings at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
ECU’s offense pounded out 21 hits and scored 19 runs on the afternoon, as Kristi Oshiro, Jordan Lewis, Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and Casey Alcorn each recorded three hits, while Oshiro led the way with four RBI and Kaluhiokalani-Glackin scored three runs and stole two bases.
East Carolina (21-16, 10-7 C-USA) struck first in the top of the second inning in game one after Abby Wynne drew a leadoff walk and Alex Fieldhouse followed up by with a two-run homer to centerfield to take a 2-0 lead. Three batters later and with two outs in the frame, Alcorn sent a 1-2 pitch over the left-centerfield fence for a solo home run that extended the advantage to three. The deep-flies Fieldhouse’s eighth and Alcorn’s sixth of the season.
Tulsa (37-5, 11-2 C-USA) got a run back after three-straight one-out singles in the bottom of the second inning, but starting pitcher Caroline Umphlett was tough in the circle and escaped a bases-loaded jam to keep the Pirates ahead by two.
The Pirates continued to show off their power strokes in the top of the fourth, as Wynne led off the inning with a solo homer to left field. Just two batters later and with one out, Lewis struck an 0-2 pitch deep to center for another solo shot and her 10th home run of the season to increase ECU’s lead to 5-1.
The Golden Hurricane responded by sending 11 hitters to the plate and scoring seven runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth to force Umphlett from the circle and take its first lead of the game, 8-5.
Despite the large momentum swing, East Carolina punched back in the top of the subsequent inning with three-straight one-out hits including singles by Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and Shelby Johnson and a two-run double to left-center by Oshiro that knocked Tulsa starting pitcher Aimee Creger (18-1) out of the game and cut the deficit to just one.
Creger, the league’s wins, ERA and strikeout leader entering the day, earned the win despite allowing seven earned runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings while issuing just one walk and striking out six.
Tulsa tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, two of which were unearned, to push its lead to four.
Oshiro hit the Pirates’ season-best fifth homer of the game in the top of the seventh inning – a solo shot to straightaway center, before Wynne walked and Lewis hit a two-out RBI single to right to cut the deficit to 11-9, but could not draw any closer.
East Carolina struck first in the top of the second inning in the second contest of the day, taking advantage of a costly two-out error by the Golden Hurricane. Alcorn got things going with a single and Jasmine Robbins reached on a three-base error that brought Alcorn around to score. The Pirates followed up with three-straight RBI singles by Kaluhiokalani-Glackin, Johnson and Oshiro to extend its advantage to 4-0, as Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and Johnson each stole second base to set up the subsequent run-scoring hits.
ECU continued to apply pressure to Tulsa and produced six runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 10-0 lead. Fieldhouse and Lewis got the offense going with back-to-back one-out singles, setting up Jill Jelnick who hit a two-run double to right-centerfield before being thrown out attempting to stretch the hit into a triple.
Alcorn was next into the batter’s box and delivered a double to right field, before Robbins brought her around to score on an RBI single. The next five batters all reached base, including two on bases-loaded walks to give the Pirates the double-digit edge.
Tulsa recorded three-straight singles to start the bottom of the fifth, but starting pitcher Sarah Christian induced a pair of RBI groundouts and a fly out to seal the five-inning, run-rule victory.
Christian (15-6) allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out two to earn her 15th win of the season.
East Carolina and Tulsa will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday, April 13 at 12 p.m. (ET).