Allison Kime pitched another complete game gem to deal second-seeded East Carolina its first loss of the championship, 3-1, in game seven of the C-USA Softball Championship presented by Coca-Cola at the UCF Softball Complex. Kime struck out four Pirate hitters and has factored into all four decisions for the Knights to improve to 3-1 on the weekend.
East Carolina's Kelli Harrell, the all-time C-USA leader in career strikeouts, was dealt the loss and fell to 17-12, allowing three runs on seven hits in seven innings. She notched seven strikeouts and now has 945 for her career.
Lindsay Dean led all hitters going 3-for-3 with one RBI, while Breanne Javier went 1-for-2 with an RBI and Kime also tallied an RBI, going 1-for-3 in the win.
UCF got on the board first and took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Javier led off the inning with a stand up doubled to left center field and was then sacrificed to third by Hillary Barrow. Kime followed with single to score Javier, but that was all the Knights could muster as Harrell recorded two strikeouts to end the inning.
The Pirates threatened in the bottom of the second putting two runners on base with nobody out after two consecutive singles. First-team All-Conference pitcher Allison Kime was able to get out of the jam, however, recording a ground out and a strikeout to close the frame.
The Knights extended their lead to 2-0 on Lindsay Dean home run to deep left field to lead off the third inning. The blast was her first of the season and second of her career. Javier then made the score 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to left field.
East Carolina (39-19) responded in its half of the third and cut the lead to 3-1, with two hits of its own. Charina Sumner reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a Kaui Tom ground out. Jessica Johnson then singled up the middle for the Pirates' only run of the game.
Kime's ERA on the championship is now 0.32 and she has tossed 22 innings, striking out 15, while allowing 13 hits.
UCF (38-25) will live to see another day with the win and will face East Carolina again on Saturday in an elimination game at a time still to be determined. .