GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina softball team is going to the Conference USA Tournament with some momentum as it defeated UAB 3-2 in the regular season finale, clinching the three-game set with a 3-2 victory at the ECU Softball Field on Sunday. The Pirates improve to 35-27 on the season and finish conference play at 10-12 while the Blazers finish the regular season at 24-34 overall and 9-15 in C-USA.
UAB jumped ahead in the top of the second when Andrea Rogers scored off of a two-out single by Cameron Skates to make the score 1-0. ECU responded in the bottom of the fourth when Cristen Aona led off the half-inning by reaching third on a throwing error by Holly Krzan. She would score a batter later when Jennifer Nelson unleashed a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed her to slide into home safely.
A critical error by the Blazers in the bottom of the fifth allowed the winning runs to cross the plate. Jessica Johnson led off the half-inning with a walk and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Angel Barrella. After she was replaced by Jillian Gallagher, Stacey Andrews stepped up and ripped a double off the wall in center field that allowed Gallagher to reach third. Then, Vanessa Moreno lifted a seemingly innocent fly ball to right that was caught, but a throwing error by the right fielder allowed both runners to score, making the margin 3-1 in favor of the Pirates. UAB was able to plate a run in the top of the seventh on a two-out wild pitch by Brooke Swann, however, Swann induced a groundout to short that ended the contest.
East Carolina heads to Houston on Tuesday for the 2008 Conference USA Tournament. Play begins Thursday with a play-in contest and four quarterfinal games. The Pirates will learn their seed this evening when the full bracket is unveiled by the league.