April 20, 2013
Final Stats | PDF - Box Score - Memphis - Game 1
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Sophomore Sarah Christian allowed just one run in throwing her 15th complete game of the season to lead East Carolina's softball team (19-25, 9-7 C-USA) to a 2-1 victory over Memphis (21-30, 8-11 C-USA) in the first game of the team's doubleheader on Saturday.
Christian (14-12) tied her career-high with seven strikeouts, scattered eight hits and walked just one to outduel Ellen Roberts (12-20). Roberts was almost as good with just two runs allowed, two walks and five strikeouts.
The Tigers loaded the bases with no one out in the seventh inning with ECU clinging to a 2-1 advantage, but a pair of fielder choice groundouts to short and a line out to the pitcher kept Memphis scoreless in a thrilling final inning. Pinch hitter Sara Peterson started the rally with a walk and was followed by bunt singles from Hannah Harrell and Ijiah Hargrove to load the bases, but Christian stood strong and induced a pair of grounders to freshman Casey Alcorn at short, in which the lead runner was retired on fielder's choices, to keep the one-run advantage. Christian then needed to field her position and caught the liner back through the box to preserve the victory.
The Pirates scored first for the fourth time in the last five games with a pair of runs in the opening frame. Junior Alex Fieldhouse drew a two-out walk and moved to second on junior Jordan Lewis' single up the middle. Alcorn then punched a single past the first baseman to score Fieldhouse. Senior Kai Clark followed with a single past the third baseman to plate Lewis with the team's second run.
ECU's defense prevented a run in the third inning as Jelnick threw out, Hargrove, trying to score from second on Laura Curtis' two-out single.
East Carolina threatened with a pair of runners on base in the fourth inning. Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin was hit by a pitch and moved to second on freshman Meredith Mitchell's single off the pitcher, but a fly out to center ended the frame.
The Tigers cut the deficit in half in the fifth inning. Amber Lindahl reached on a lead-off single. Lindsie Knowles ran for her Lindahl and moved to second on Hannah Harrell's single. Hargrove followed with an infield single to load the bases. Lelani Bernadino was hit by Christian offering to drive in the first run of the game for Memphis. The inning could have been more damaging, but Fieldhouse threw out a runner at the plate on a fielder's choice and a pop out to third followed to end the frame.
ECU loaded the bases and threatened to break the game open in the sixth, but a pop out in the infield ended the potential rally. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin singled to center, Mitchell reached on a two-out throwing error from the pitcher and Jelnick was hit by a Roberts offering to load the bags to put the Pirates in the scoring situation.