GREENVILLE, N.C. – Freshman Kelsi Briggs hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the East Carolina softball team (21-25, 11-7 C-USA) a 4-3 victory over Memphis (21-32, 8-13 C-USA) on Sunday in the final game of the three-game sweep of the Tigers. Senior Kai Clark had tied the game one batter earlier with her two-run home run. ECU has now won seven straight conference games and swept its last two C-USA opponents.
Sophomore Sarah Christian (15-12) allowed three runs (none earned) with three strikeouts and one walk in throwing her 16th complete game of the season. She has now won seven games in conference play this season. Ellen Roberts (12-21) was tagged with the loss after allowed all four runs (three earned) on nine hits in her six innings from the circle
East Carolina took its late lead in the sixth inning in dramatic fashion. With the team trailing 3-1, freshman Casey Alcorn began the frame with a line drive single to left. Clark followed with a high arching ball to left field that cleared the wall to score Alcorn and tie the game at two all. The home run was her fourth of the campaign. Briggs made it back-to-back with her third home run of the season to give ECU a 4-3 advantage. She has now homered in consecutive games for ECU.
The Pirates wasted no time taking the early lead with a run in the opening inning. Junior Jill Jelnick reached on an error and moved to third on junior Alex Fieldhouse’s double. Fellow junior Jordan Lewis lined out to deep left to plate Jelnick with a sacrifice fly for the first run of the game.
ECU threatened and had the bases loaded with no one out in the third inning, but a strikeout and failed catch on an infield pop out turned into a double play for Memphis. Freshman Meredith Mitchell began the frame with a single through the right side. Jelnick then singled and Oshiro walked to put the Pirates in a situation to break the game open, if not for the fortunate bounce for the Tigers to the catcher, who tagged the plate and threw an advancing runner out at third base for an unusual double play.
The Pirates again loaded the bases in the fourth inning. Alcorn singled and moved to second on a Briggs’ single. Junior Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin pushed a pop up that drifted into the outfield for a single to load the bases. After a fielder’s choice eliminated the lead runner at the plate, Briggs was caught in a run down as she attempted to score on a pitched ball that was thrown over the head of the Memphis catcher.
An ECU two-out error opened the flood gates for three unearned Memphis runs in the fifth inning. Ijiah Hargrove reached on a two-out throwing error from the ECU pitcher. Lelani Bernadino was hit by a pitch and was followed by Hannah Harrell infield single to load the bases for Morgan Mosby. Mosby cleared the bags with her double to the wall in right center to give Memphis a 3-1 lead.
Next, the Pirates head to Hattiesburg, Miss. for the final road trip of the regular season with a three-game set against Southern Miss scheduled for April 27-28.