Christian, Umphlett Pitch Pirate Softball Past Elon In Twinbill

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Junior pitcher Sarah Christian won her 50th-career decision in game one and classmate Caroline Umphlett spun her first complete-game shutout while compling a career-high seven strikeouts in game two as the East Carolina softball team swept a non-conference doubleheader over Elon by scores of 4-2 and 6-0 on Friday evening at the ECU Softball Stadium.

The Pirates were led by senior Shelby Johnson’s combined 5-for-7 day at the plate with four runs and two stolen bases, as senior Kristi Oshiro went 3-for-5 and also scored four times, while homering and driving in four. Oshiro’s three knocks give her 188 for her career, passing Laura Crowder (1989-92) for 10th place on the school’s all-time hits list.

East Carolina (23-17) scored first in the bottom of the first inning after Johnson hit a one-out single to right field and stole second base. Two batters later and with two outs in the inning Abby Wynne hit a two-out RBI single to give the Pirates a 1-0 advantage.

Elon (21-23-1) tied the game in the top of the third on a leadoff home run, but ECU reclaimed the lead with another two-out RBI single in the bottom half of the frame, this time off the bat of Alex Fieldhouse.

The Pirates used back-to-back singles by Johnson and Oshiro followed by a successful double steal to start the bottom of the fifth inning, which set up Wynne for a sacrifice fly that scored Johnson. Two batters later and with two outs in the inning, Jordan Lewis ripped an RBI single through the right side to extend East Carolina’s lead to 4-1.

The Phoenix cut ECU’s lead to two with a solo home run to left centerfield with one out in the top of the seventh inning, but Christian (16-7) allowed nothing more as finished off the complete-game win.

Christian pitched all seven innings in her 47th-career complete game, scattering just five hits and two walks while striking out three. In recording her 50th victory, the Greenville native became one of just seven players in program history to reach the milestone.

Johnson finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases, while Oshiro went 1-for-2 with a walk, two runs and one stolen base.

East Carolina wasted little time getting the offense going in the second contest of the evening, as senior Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and Johnson led off the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back singles, before Oshiro crushed a three-run home run over the scoreboard in right centerfield to take a quick 3-0 lead.

The Pirates tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out RBI single by senior Jasmine Robbins, before Johnson and Oshiro led off the subsequent inning with back-to-back doubles to improve the advantage to five. With two outs, senior Jordan Lewis hit a high fly ball that was lost in the lights by Elon’s centerfielder as she rounded the bases for an RBI triple to round out the scoring and make it 6-0.

Umphlett (6-5) maintained her dominance in the circle for the duration of the evening, surrendering just two hits while walking five to go with her seven punch-outs.

Johnson went 3-for-4 with two runs as Oshiro was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and a season-high four RBI to power the offense.

East Carolina and Elon will close out the series on Saturday, April 19 with its annual StrikeOut Cancer Game at 1 p.m., at the ECU Softball Stadium.