GREENVILLE, N.C. – Facing Boston College in the title game of the Pirate Invitational, the East Carolina softball team used timely hitting and an error-prone Eagle defense to post a 6-0 victory Sunday at the ECU Softball Field. The Pirates now stand at 9-2 while Boston College drops to 2-3. This marks the first tournament win for the team this season and third in the last two seasons. East Carolina finished the tourney 5-0.
After junior Brooke Swann struck out the side in the first, ECU nearly broke through in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Christina Merrida and Jessica Johnson put together back-to-back singles but a pop up and a groundout ended the threat.
The Pirates broke the scoreless tie in the third when with two outs, Johnson reached on an error by the Eagle second baseman. Merrida advanced to second on the play, having reached earlier on a fielder’s choice play. Erin St. Ledger then stepped up and ripped an RBI single through the right side, scoring Merrida.
East Carolina secured the game in the fourth. Stacey Andrews and Kaui Tom laced consecutive singles, putting them on first and second. Then Charina Sumner, who led the team in triples a season ago, ripped her first of this year, clearing the bases and putting the Pirates up 3-0. ECU would add two more runs in the inning on a two-RBI double by St. Ledger.
Two more errors on Boston College resulted in the final run for the Pirates as Swann induced two fly balls and a groundout to end the contest.
With the complete-game shutout, Swann improved her record to 4-1 while paring down her ERA to a team-leading 1.27. The Callao, Va. native scattered three Eagle hits while striking out three. St. Ledger provided much of the offense in the game, going 2-for-4 with three RBI and bettering her squad-best average to .438.
East Carolina will remain at home next weekend as it hosts the 2008 Pirate Classic. The field includes opponents from the Big Ten and Big East conferences in Penn State, Syracuse and Purdue. Appalachian State will also take part in the Classic. Syracuse serves as the Pirates’ first opponent as the teams will face off at 2 p.m. on Friday.