Oct. 12, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina softball team picked up two exhibition wins over Coastal Carolina in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the ECU Softball Stadium. The Pirates held on for a 5-4 win in 10 innings in game one, before notching 5-3 victory in game two.
“Coming off of last night where we had a lot of hits and then beating a really good team in Coastal Carolina, I think it’s going to help propel us and understand how we have to stay focused and keep battling every inning,” said head coach Beth Keylon-Randolph. “We don’t want the other team to dictate the pace and we just want to take care of ourselves and do our jobs.”
In game one, the Pirates and Chanticleers exchanged scores through the first four and one-half innings, generating a 3-3 tie. ECU broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth when it put a pair of runners on base, before a throwing error on what appeared to be a routine ground ball to Coastal Carolina’s shortstop sailed over first base to put East Carolina ahead, 5-3.
The Chanticleers added a run in the top of the ninth inning, but freshman hurler Jenna Pate came on for the final three outs of the 10th inning to close out the Pirate victory and earn a save. Starter Sarah Christian gave up three runs in five innings of work to earn the win.
Game two saw the Pirates jump ahead of the Chanticleers early when redshirt junior catcher Abby Wynne connected on a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to put ECU up, 2-0. The homer came just one day after Wynne went 4-for-4 with three RBIs in Friday night’s 27-1 rout over Fayetteville State.
“I think it hurt us big time when we lost Abby early in the season last year,” Keylon-Randolph said. “She’s not only a good power hitter, but she’s an average hitter, too. She makes things happen and she’s a tough out.”
Coastal Carolina produced a run in the top of the fourth inning to cut East Carolina’s lead in half at 2-1, but a two-run single by senior transfer and right fielder Shelby Johnson in the bottom half of the inning put the Pirates ahead, 4-1.
The Chanticleers manufactured two more runs of their own in the top of the fifth inning to draw back within one at 4-3, but ECU added one more run on a pinch-hit RBI double by freshman Ali Ramirez in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Pirates a 5-3 lead they would not relinquish.
Christian gave up just one run in four innings of work while striking out four to earn her second victory of the day, while junior transfer Caroline Umphlett pitched the final three innings in collecting the save.
“Sarah is so coachable and she’ll do whatever I ask her to do,” said Keylon-Randolph. “I’m very, very pleased with where she’s at and she’s always going to keep us in the game.”
East Carolina will conclude the weekend with a doubleheader against Mount Olive on Sunday, Oct. 13 at the ECU Softball Stadium. First pitch of game one is schedule for 1 p.m.