GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina softball team held a 1-0 lead after four innings, but Fordham scored once in the fifth and four times in the sixth to record a 5-1 victory. Nicole Callahan and Elise Fortier hit back-to-back doubles in the sixth to provide the contest-deciding run for the Rams (2-1). East Carolina sophomore Rebecca Lee drove in the team's run with a first-inning single.
Pirate freshman Sarah Christian (3-1) suffered the first loss of her career, surrendering three runs, two earned, on five hits and a walk in five-plus innings. She also struck out one. Classmate Courtney Smith came in for the final two frames and allowed two runs, one earned, on a hit and two walks while setting a career high with three strikeouts. Preseason ESPN.com All-America selection Jen Mineau (2-0) registered the win for the Rams, limiting East Carolina to one run on two hits and a walk. In the complete-game effort, she fanned six batters and retired the final 17 she faced.
The Pirates (4-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with Lee's single and the help of an illegal pitch. Sophomore Kristi Oshiro led off with a four-pitch walk, advanced to second on a Mineau illegal pitch and to third on a sacrifice bunt by classmate Jill Jelnick. Lee hit a hard ground ball toward the second baseman Callahan, but the ball bounced away from Callahan for a base hit that drove in Oshiro. Mineau avoided further damage as a pair of fly outs ended the inning.
Neither team mounted another scoring threat until the top of the fifth, when the Rams tied the game at 1-1. Jessica Crowley singled to center field with one out and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Jamie LaBovick grounded one toward sophomore shortstop Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin, who had the ball go off the end of her glove and allow Crowley to score. LaBovick was caught in a rundown between first and second base and was tagged out to close the inning.
After retiring the Pirates in order in the bottom of the fifth, Fordham broke the game open in the top of the sixth with four runs to take a 5-1 advantage. Callahan led off with a double that bounced off the wall in right field. Sammi Smith entered as a pinch runner and came home on a double to right center by Fortier, who was then replaced by pinch runner Brianna Ciuffi. A wild pitch moved Ciuffi to third and Gabby Luety drew a walk before she was replaced by pinch runner Erica Wills. With the runners on the corners, Paige Ortiz struck out swinging and Wills took off for second base. She was caught in a rundown and Ciuffi broke for home and slid around the tag of ECU junior catcher Kai Clark for a 3-1 advantage. Fordham tacked on two more runs during the frame on an RBI single to center field by Michele Daubman and a fielding error by Kaluhiokalani-Glackin.
Mineau sent down the Pirates in order in the sixth and seventh innings to seal the victory.
East Carolina's Sunday game against Hofstra has been cancelled due to the forecast of inclement weather in the area, including snow and heavy rains. The Pirates will return to the field next for their 5:00 p.m. contest against Hofstra (0-2) Monday afternoon.