LONGWOOD, Va. – On a record-setting night for the East Carolina softball program, the Pirates picked up a doubleheader sweep of Longwood by scores of 8-0 (five innings) and 7-4 at Lancer Field.
The Pirates pounded out four home runs during the twinbill to set the single-season program record of 59. That mark is also the single-season standard for the American Athletic Conference.
ECU won its sixth-straight game, marking the longest such winning streak since the 2014 squad also captured six victories in a row.
Team Records: East Carolina: (25-23) /// Longwood: (16-25)
The Rundown: Game One
Senior outfielder Kacie Oshiro went 2-for-2 with a run scored and a RBI as well as a walk to extend her reaching base safely streak to 14 games. Classmate and fellow outfielder Ciara Ervin scored a pair of runs and recorded a hit. ECU’s third outfielder, senior Ali Ramirez, drove in three runs with one swing of the bat while senior infielder Megan Quick notched two RBI via her fourth home run of the campaign. Jordan Clark tallied the only two hits of the day for the Lancers.
Senior RHP Lydia Ritchie (16-10) won her fifth-straight decision and tossed her sixth complete-game shutout of the season. She walked one batter and struck out five. Elizabeth McCarthy (6-8), the two-time reigning Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year, surrendered eight runs (six earned) on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
How They Scored
Ervin drew her 28th walk of the season to lead off the top of the third and quickly scored after Oshiro laced a double to the gap in left center. Oshiro moved to third on a groundout but was stranded there after another groundout and a pop up to shallow right field.
ECU put the game away in the top of the fifth, scoring seven runs on six hits to pull ahead 8-0. Ramirez and Quick both went yard in the frame with three and two-run home runs respectively. Ritchie gave up a walk in the bottom of the fifth but shut the door with a strikeout to end the contest.
Statistic of the Game
East Carolina increased its season home run total to 57, moving within one long ball of matching the single-season program record set back in 2007.
The Rundown: Game Two
Redshirt junior catcher Alex Mycek led the way on offense with two hits, two runs scored and three RBI – including her team and conference-leading 15th home run of the season. Redshirt freshman infielder Tate McClellan also notched two RBI. Jessica Smith paced Longwood with a hit, run scored and RBI.
Sophomore RHP Mary Williams (5-11) earned the win in the circle, throwing five innings and giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Sydney Mundell (0-2) was tagged with the loss after ECU touched her up for seven runs on nine hits. She walked three and struck out a pair.
How They Scored
ECU loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the second thanks to a pair of singles and a walk. Quick kept the line moving with a RBI infield single to put the Purple and Gold ahead 1-0. The Pirates threatened for more but two strikeouts and groundout terminated the threat with no further damage.
The Lancers jumped on top with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the third and got some help thanks to East Carolina’s third miscue of the contest.
The home team’s lead did not last for long, however, as the Pirates exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth to take a commanding 7-3 advantage. Ervin and Oshiro singled consecutively to lead off the half inning before junior infielder Meredith Burroughs drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. McClellan then pounded a double off of the wall in center to score two runs and Mycek drove a pitch high over the wall in left field to leave ECU with the four-run cushion heading to the home half of the frame. Smith capped the scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning, hitting Longwood’s lone home run of the day.
Statistic of the Game
After committing just one error between them in the first contest, the teams combined for five miscues in the nightcap.
East Carolina continues American Athletic Conference play this weekend, traveling to Houston for a three-game series at the Cougar Softball Stadium.