WILMINGTON, N.C. – A two-run walk-off double to left field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning by Caitlin Cavarra gave UNC Wilmington a 2-1 victory over East Carolina Wednesday evening. The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth as freshman Rebecca Lee drove in classmate Jasmine Robbins, but could not hold on. ECU (28-11) hurt its own cause, stranding 13 runners on base.
Junior Faith Sutton (7-6) took the loss for the Pirates. She tossed all seven innings, allowing the pair of runs, both unearned, on six hits and a walk. She fanned two during the outing. Amanda Aditays (4-9) picked up the complete-game victory for the Seahawks. She scattered six hits and walked six while striking out three.
The Pirates had a chance to score in the top of the first but did not convert. Freshman Kristi Oshiro led off with a single and stole second base. Lee followed with a walk to put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt by freshman Jordan Lewis moved the pair up a base before junior Suzanne Riggs fouled out to the shortstop. A fly out to right center ended the threat.
East Carolina loaded the bases in the top of the second, but again could not push a run across. With one out, sophomore Cicely Lopez was hit by a pitch and Robbins drew a walk. After a strikeout, Oshiro beat out an infield single to fill the bases with two down. A pop out to the shortstop closed the half inning.
UNC Wilmington registered its first base runners of the game in the bottom of the third with a two-out rally. Nicole Tuttle reached on a fielding error and Cavarra followed with a single. Sutton rebounded to strike out Laura Sykes and end the frame.
In the top of the fourth, ECU broke through and took a 1-0 lead. Robbins led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin. Oshiro walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Lee then delivered the run with a single to right center that plated Robbins and advanced Oshiro to third. Lee stole second base, but a pair of strikeouts closed the top of the inning.
The Seahawks tried to rally in the bottom of the fourth with an Ashley Shingleton two-out double off the wall in left center. Daniela Torres followed with a hard line drive, but it was right to second baseman Oshiro, who made the catch.
UNC Wilmington got its leadoff batter on in the bottom of the fifth, but did not score. Candice Faircloth started the inning with a single to right center and was replaced by pinch runner Camry Wagner. A sacrifice bunt by Brittany Pierce moved Wagner to second. Tuttle battled through an eight pitch at-bat, but was called out for making contact with the ball out of the batter’s box. After a walk to Cavarra, Sutton retired Sykes on a lineout to Velasquez at first base.
ECU mounted a two-out rally in the sixth, loading the bases, but was held off the board. After a pop out and groundout started the frame, Lee reached on a fielding error before Lewis and Riggs walked. A foul out down the left-field line closed the frame.
In the bottom of the inning, Lauryn Buckworth led off with a single to right field but was erased on a double-play grounder by Allison Lanouette.
The Seahawks cashed in with a big two-out hit in the bottom of the seventh. Torres led off with a single through the left side. Faircloth put down a bunt, but the throw from sophomore catcher Kai Clark pulled Oshiro, who was covering first, off the bag and allowed both runners to be safe. Pinch hitter Kelsey Eddinger executed a sacrifice bunt, putting runners on second and third with one down. Sutton retired Tuttle on a pop out before Cavarra’s double ended the game.
The Pirates return home this weekend for three games against UCF (12-22, 3-6 C-USA) in a rematch of the 2010 Conference USA Tournament championship contest, which ECU won 3-1. The teams have won two of the last three league tournament titles as the Knights took the 2008 crown. The series opens Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader and ends Sunday with a 12:00 p.m. game.