CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The East Carolina softball team fell victim to a five-run fifth inning and fell, 6-1, to North Carolina in a non-conference battle Wednesday evening at Anderson Stadium.
Originally scheduled as a doubleheader, the matchup was reduced to just a single game due to cold temperatures during the evening hours.
Senior Alex Fieldhouse led East Carolina’s (16-11) offense, going 2-for-3 with a double and a solo home run. Junior Sarah Christian (11-5) took the loss in the circle, pitching 4.2 innings and allowing just one earned run to go with four strikeouts.
The Tar Heels struck first with a two-out rally in the bottom of the second inning, after putting three runners on base via walk, error and a hit-by-pitch. An RBI single up the middle scored one run, but senior centerfielder Jasmine Robbins tossed a one-hopper to the plate and threw out the runner attempting to score from second base to end the inning.
Hitless through the first four innings, Fieldhouse led off the top of the fifth by hitting a 3-2 pitch and hooking it inside the left field foul pole for her team-leading sixth home run of the season to tie the game, 1-1.
The long-ball was also the 19th of Fieldhouse’s career and moved her into a tie with teammate Jordan Lewis for seventh place on the all-time list.
UNC used three-straight singles to start the bottom half of the inning and reclaimed the lead, 2-1, on a sacrifice fly to right field. Following a groundout, two ECU errors and a two-run home run produced four more runs for the Tar Heels, as they pulled ahead, 6-1.
Junior Caroline Umphlett pitched the final 1.1 innings, allowing just one hit, two walks and no runs. Lori Spingola (12-7) earned the complete-game win for North Carolina (17-12), scattering three hits, one run and a walk, while striking out seven.
ECU will return to Conference USA action when it travels to Miami, Fla., and to face FIU, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 29 at 4 p.m.