Oct. 18, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. – In its final two games of the fall season, the East Carolina softball team swept a doubleheader over Pitt Community College on Friday evening at the ECU Softball Stadium. The Pirates won game one, 5-1, before holding on for a 7-4 victory in game two.
Sarah Christian and Caroline Umphlett picked up wins in the circle for the Pirates, while outfielder Shelby Johnson led the offensive attack going a combined 4-for-4 with four walks, 2 RBIs and a stolen base on the night.
“It was one of those days where I don’t think we played as well,” said head coach Beth Keylon-Randolph. “We couldn’t get things going our way, but we kept battling. Last year, when we got down, we gave up. We continued to battle, and that’s what really stood out to me.”
After the first two innings went scoreless in game one, the Bulldogs manufactured a run in the top of the third inning after leading off with a single that came around to score after a stolen base, sacrifice bunt and RBI groundout.
The Pirates responded in the bottom half of the frame when infielder Kristi Oshiro ripped a one-out triple over the right fielder’s head, and catcher Abby Wynne reached on her second of four walks in the game. First baseman Jordan Lewis reached on a Pitt fielding error that scored Oshio to tie the game, 1-1, before third baseman Alex Fieldhouse drove in Wynne on an infield single later in the inning to give ECU the lead it would not relinquish from that point forward.
East Carolina tacked on two more runs the in the bottom of the fourth inning when outfielder Meredith Mitchell led off with a double to left field and outfielder Jill Jelnick followed with a single of her own, before advancing to second on a throw home. That’s when Johnson ripped a two-run single to center field, scoring Mitchell and Jelnick and giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead.
Johnson, Jelnick and Mitchell added two hits apiece, and Wynne drew a walk in all four plate appearances.
The Pirates added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 5-1 lead and round out the team’s offensive performance in game one.
Christian pitched a complete game, scattering one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five.
Game two started off very similar to game one, except this time, the Pirates were the first to put a run on the board. With the game scoreless in the bottom of the third inning, ECU applied a ton of pressure to the Bulldogs’ defense with back-to-back bunt singles by outfielders Jelnick and Johnson to lead off the frame. After a pop out, infielder Ali Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Jelnick, to put East Carolina ahead, 1-0.
Pitt responded with a run in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to take a 2-1 lead, but it would not last long.
Johnson got the party started once again with a leadoff double in the bottom half of the fifth, before Oshiro drew a walk. Shortstop Casey Alcorn ripped a two-run single later in the inning to put ECU back on top, 3-2.
Kristi Oshiro hit one triple in each game of the doubleheader.
The Bulldogs took advantage of four walks from ECU pitching in the top of the seventh inning, pushed two more runs across and brought the tying run to the plate twice, but pitcher Maci Mills got the final two outs to close out the win.
Umphlett pitched 6 1/3 innings while surrending four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out three. Mills inherited a bases-loaded jam with the score 7-2 and recorded the final two outs to pick up a save.
“We’ve talked this whole fall season about making sure our hitters get things done,” Keylon-Randolph said. “When we looked back at last year, we could have won 10 more games if our hitters had done their jobs. We don’t want to put everything on our pitching. Our pitchers have to come through, we have to get rid of the walks and go after hitters, but our hitters continue to come through.”
East Carolina will return to action in February with the start of the 2014 spring season.