HONOLULU, Hawai’i. – The ECU softball team fell twice Saturday at the Aloha Tournament in Honolulu to No. 15 California and (RV) JMU by respective 6-4 and 9-0 scores.
How It Happened (Game One): A leadoff walk and three-base throwing error plagued the Pirates to start the top of the second, allowing the Bears to grab a 1-0 lead. More defensive trouble allowed Cal to plate four more unearned runs in the second inning to pull ahead 5-0. The Bears moved further in front in the top of the third, drawing a bases-loaded walk with two outs to extend the advantage to 6-0.
ECU broke onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the third via a RBI groundout off the bat of redshirt sophomore infielder Tate McClellan. The Pirates then drew even closer in the bottom of the sixth, putting runners on the corners with one out. Freshman catcher Anna Epling delivered with a RBI single up the middle to slice the Cal lead to 6-2. The Bears threatened to break the game open in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with no outs on the back of three walks. However, freshman RHP Erin Poepping put out the fire with a lineout, groundout and looking strikeout to keep the Pirate deficit to four runs.
ECU made one last push in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with one out. Senior infielder Meredith Burroughs drove in a run with an infield single and junior outfielder Ashley Weingartz recorded a RBI on a fielder’s choice to make it a two-run contest. With two runners on and the potential winning run at the plate, a strikeout ended the game.
Pitchers of Record:
WP – Kamalani Dung (10-0)
LP – Mary Williams (0-1)
ECU Top Performers
Meredith Burroughs: 2-for-3, RBI, 2B
Tyler King: 2-for-4, Run
Anna Epling: 2-for-4
Cal Top Performers
Mikayla Coelho: 3-for-5, RBI
Sabrina Nunez: 2-for-3, Run
Kamalani Dung: 5.0 IP, 5 Hits, 2 Runs, Walk, 5 Strikeouts
How it Happened (Game Two): JMU took advantage of a costly ECU error in the top of the second to score three runs (one earned) and take an early 3-0 lead. The Dukes scored three runs each in the fourth and sixth innings to cruise to the six-inning win.
Pitchers of Record:
WP: Payton Buresch (6-1)
LP: Mary Williams (0-2)
ECU Top Performers (Game Two)
Ashleigh Inae: 1-for-2
JMU Top Performers
Morgan Tolle: 3-for-3, 2 Runs, RBI
Kate Gordon: 1-for-3, 2 RBI
Payton Buresch: 6.0 IP, 1 Hit, 0 Runs, 4 Walks, 4 Strikeouts
Things To Note
ECU dropped to 1-3 against California and 5-5 versus JMU in the all-time series.
The Pirates allowed just one extra base hit in the two games.
ECU and Cal combined to leave 24 runners on base.
JMU put four of its six leadoff hitters on base.
Up Next: ECU wraps up the Aloha Tournament Sunday with a matchup against UTEP at 4:30 p.m. ET