TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - In the opening game of day two at the Bama Bash in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the East Carolina softball team fell to Notre Dame 2-1. A solo homerun by Fighting Irish sophomore second baseman Katie Fleury in the bottom of the sixth proved to be the difference in the contest. The Pirates now have an overall record of 4-2 while Notre Dame improved to 1-1.
East Carolina had a chance to score early as Kaui Tom and Angel Barrella hit back-to-back infield singles in the top of the first, but a pair of strikeouts ended the threat. Notre Dame also had a scoring opportunity in the first when Sadie Pitzenberger led off with a single and advanced all the way to third base before being stranded.
Again in the second inning ECU had a chance to push a runner across the plate and did not. Charina Sumner singled and stole second base to start the frame, but was thrown out at home by the right fielder two batters later after a Sarah Bibee single, the last hit the Pirates would have in the game.
The scoreless tie was broken in the bottom of the third when Notre Dame managed to take a 1-0 lead. Erin Marrone walked and eventually scored on a single down the right field line by Fleury. It marked the third straight game for ECU in which the opponent scored first.
It was not until the top of the sixth when East Carolina scored a run and knotted the game at one run apiece. Tom led off with a 13-pitch at bat that ended up in a pop out to the second baseman, but Barrella followed with a walk. A Jessica Johnson groundout advanced Barrella to second and Cristen Aona then hit a groundball to the shortstop who made an error, allowing Barrella to score.
Notre Dame quickly answered in the bottom of the sixth, however, as Fleury hit a solo homerun over the wall in left center, giving the Fighting Irish a 2-1 lead.
In the circle for the Pirates, Toni Paisley suffered the loss despite allowing just four hits over her six innings of work. She is now 3-1 on the season.
Up next for East Carolina is a 6 p.m. game against Wisconsin later today.