May 9, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - East Carolina's softball team (21-31) fell in its opening game of the Conference USA Tournament by a 5-4 score to Marshall (33-20) on Thursday at the Collins Family Softball Complex. The Pirates allowed three unearned runs in the fifth inning to take the team's sixth-straight loss to close the season.
Sophomore Courtney Smith (5-16) was tagged with the loss and allowed five runs (two earned) in throwing her 13th complete game of the season. Andi Williamson (30-16) allowed all four runs for Marshall (none earned) in winning the contest.
After trailing for the entire game, Marshall was able to take the late lead with the three-run rally in the fifth inning on a Bri Anna Hope double with the bases loaded. The inning began innocently enough with Jazmine Valle walking. Emileigh Cooper ran for Valle. Shaelynn Braxton then reached on a dropped ball by the ECU centerfielder. After a strike out and a walk, Hope cleared the bases with her double to deep center to give the Thundering Herd a lead it would not relinquish.
Junior Jill Jelnick had a pair of hits and runs scored in defeat for the Pirates.
ECU threatened in the seventh and moved the tying run to third base with two outs, but could not find a way to drive her in. Freshman Meredith Mitchell singled to start the frame, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then took third on a ground out, but a ground out to the pitcher ended the game and East Carolina's season.
The Pirates scored first with a run in the opening inning. Jelnick singled to center and advanced all the way to third on the fielding error from the centerfielder. Fellow junior Kristi Oshiro followed with a single to left to score Jelnick with the game's first run.
The Thundering Herd wasted little time tying the game as Valle hit a solo two-out home run in the opening inning.