Pirates End Season With Semifinal Loss

The East Carolina softball team's season came to an end Saturday afternoon as the Pirates fell 5-1 to No. 9 Houston in the C-USA Semifinals at the Cougar Softball Stadium. ECU finishes the 2008 campaign with a record of 36-28, the fifth straight season that the squad has finished with 35 or more wins. Additionally, The Pirates reached the C-USA Tournament semifinal round for the second consecutive year.

After starter Brooke Swann got out of two jams in the first two innings, the Cougars broke through in the top of the third, using a pair of two-run shots from Laurie Wagner and Angel Shamblin to assume a 4-0 advantage. The Pirates responded in the bottom half of the inning when Erin St. Ledger led off with a towering shot to right center that cleared the fence, making the score 4-1.

ECU threatened in the bottom of the fifth. Jessica Johnson was hit by a pitch and was then replaced by Sarah Bibee at first. St. Ledger struck out swinging for the first out before Tiffany Shaw laced a single to left field. The runners would be stranded however, as Angel Barrella struck out looking and Charina Sumner popped up to third.

Houston added to its lead in the top of the sixth, using back-to-back doubles to plate a run which left the score at 5-1. The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but would not score again as the Cougars advanced to the title game against UCF.