April 26, 2014
RUSTON, La. – The East Carolina softball team split a Conference USA doubleheader at Louisiana Tech on Saturday afternoon, dropping game one, 6-2, before bouncing back to take the second matchup of the day, 7-0.
ECU (24-18, 11-9 C-USA) took advantage of a Bulldog error with two outs in the top of the first inning, when Abby Wynne hammered an RBI double down the left field line to put the Pirates on the board. Jordan Lewis extended the advantage to 2-0 with her 11th home run of the year in the subsequent inning to extend the advantage to 2-0.
Louisiana Tech (19-29, 7-12) capitalized on a pair of East Carolina errors in the bottom of the second by scoring five runs, but just one earned, and took a 5-2 lead.
The subsequent three and one-half innings went scoreless, as the Pirates squandered scoring opportunities by stranding two runners on base in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings and a total of nine in the game.
The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI single to center to take a 6-2 lead and round out the scoring.
Seven ECU hitters registered a hit, while Wynne led the way with a 2-for-4 day. Sarah Christian (16-8) pitched all seven innings and allowed just one earned run on eight hits and two walks while striking out four.
The Pirates used an aggressive approach in the top of the first after a leadoff single by Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and walk to Shelby Johnson set up Kristi Oshiro who hit an RBI single up the middle to give ECU a quick 1-0 lead. Three batters later and with the bases loaded, Jordan Lewis reached on a Louisiana Tech fielding error that brought another runner in to score to increase the lead to two.
After sending eight batters to the plate its first time to bat, East Carolina continued to apply pressure its second time around, as Andie Johnson walked, and Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and Shelby Johnson followed up with back-to-back singles to load the bases with no outs. Oshiro then lifted a sacrifice fly to right field and Abby Wynne converted a successful squeeze bunt to extend the advantage to 4-0.
The Pirates improved its lead to five in the third inning when it plated a run on a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Starting pitcher Caroline Umphlett (7-5) continued to pitch well with the comfortable lead and did not allow a hit over the first 3 2/3 innings in the circle.
The top of ECU’s lineup continued to wreak havoc in the top of the sixth by mirroring its first inning, as Kaluhiokalani-Glackin recorded her fourth base-hit of the game before Shelby Johnson walked and Oshiro ripped another RBI single up the middle to make the score 6-0.
East Carolina used a series of pinch hitters in the top of the seventh and pushed across one more run on an RBI groundout by Kacie Oshiro to round out the scoring and give the Pirates a 7-0 lead.
Umphlett recorded her second straight complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin batted 4-for-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base, Oshiro went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Shelby Johnson went 1-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases.
ECU and Louisiana Tech will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday, April 27 with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) at the Tech Softball Complex.