TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Playing in its second game of the day, the East Carolina softball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Wisconsin on Saturday night at the Bama Bash in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Pirates are now 4-3 on the season while the Badgers move to 1-6. The story for East Carolina in the game was missed opportunities as the team left 12 runners on base. Freshman Caitlin Wainright, making the first start of her career in the circle for ECU, suffered the loss after allowing three runs on five hits in six-plus innings of work.
East Carolina had a golden opportunity to break a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the second inning but failed to push a run across. Jessica Johnson started things off with a leadoff single up the middle. Cristen Aona then laid down a bunt and the Badger pitcher tried to throw out Johnson at second, but the throw arrived late and both runners reached base safely. Charina Sumner followed with a walk to load the bases with nobody out. However, the Pirates next three batters were retired in order, ending the threat.
It was the same story for the Pirates in the third inning as they loaded the bases and did not score. Kaui Tom started things when her 11 pitch at bat, her second plate appearance of the day that lasted over 10 pitches, resulted in a walk. An error by the Wisconsin second baseman put Angel Barrella on and advanced Tom to second. Johnson was then hit by pitch to fill the bases, but the next two ECU batters recorded outs and kept the score knotted at 0-0.
Following those two big defensive stands, the Badgers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Livi Abney’s sacrifice fly to center field with the bases loaded drove in pinch runner Dana Rasmussen.
East Carolina had chances to respond in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, having two runners on in all three frames, but the opportunities ended without a runner crossing the plate.
In the top of the seventh the Badgers tacked on two more runs with three hits and a walk to put the contest just out of reach. The bottom half of the inning saw the Pirates put their only run on the board when Johnson and Aona hit back-to-back doubles.
The Pirates wrap up play at the Bama Bash tomorrow with a 1:30 p.m. game against Alabama, the No. 1 ranked team in the country.