Pirates Pick Up 30th Win In Split
April 19, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team broke a five game Conference USA losing streak in splitting a doubleheader with UTEP Saturday afternoon at the ECU Softball Field. The Pirates took game one 2-1 while the Miners edged ECU 3-1 in the second contest. East Carolina moves to 30-22 overall and 6-10 in conference play while UTEP sits at 26-19 on the season and 7-10 in C-USA action. With the game one victory, the Pirates have now recorded 30 or more wins in 11 of head coach Tracey Kee's 12 seasons at ECU.
The Miners received a one-out single in the top of the first inning of game one but the Pirates induced Stacie Townsend to hit into a double play to end the half-inning. Jennifer Davis led off the top of the third with a single up the middle and would score on a two-out RBI single by Amber Bennett to give UTEP a 1-0 lead.
ECU responded in their half of the third, scoring two runs on three hits and a Miner error. With one out, Paige Baggett singled before Angel Barrella reached on a fielder's choice play in which Baggett slid into second safely. After Sumner singled to third, loading the bases, Christina Merrida forced Townsend to make an error in the circle, allowing Baggett to score from third. Vanessa Moreno then broke the 1-1 deadlock with an RBI single on the next at bat to give the Pirates the winning 2-1 margin.
Junior Brooke Swann won her third game in as many appearances, throwing her 22nd complete game and improving her record to 18-15. She scattered four hits while giving up just one run and striking out one. Moreno led a trio of ECU hitters that tallied a hit each as Sumner and Baggett also recorded base knocks.
UTEP struck first in game two, using three consecutive singles to assume a 1-0 advantage. The Pirates turned a double play to prevent any further damage. Moreno answered in the bottom of the first, smashing a towering shot that fell behind the left field fence to knot the game at one. The long ball was her fifth on the season and second in conference play.
The Miners secured the winning runs in the top of the third, scoring two on two hits and an East Carolina error. Townsend knocked a single up the middle to account for the runs and a 3-1 UTEP lead. The Pirates put runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, but a pop up, groundout and flyout snuffed out the rally.
Swann took the loss for ECU, falling to 18-16 while giving up three runs of which two were earned. She allowed six hits and struck out two in four innings of work before giving the ball to freshman Suzanne Riggs. Riggs surrendered no runs while giving up four hits and struck out one. Moreno and Sumner combined for three of the seven Pirate hits, going a combined 3-for-7 with a RBI and a run scored.
Both teams will return to the ECU Softball Field for the rubber match of the series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.