ECU Softball Drops Doubleheader At NC State

MGN Online

RALEIGH, N.C. – The East Carolina softball team suffered a pair of defeats in a mid-week non-conference doubleheader at North Carolina State on Wednesday evening, falling 7-2 in game one and 5-4 in 11 innings in the second contest at the Dail Softball Stadium.

Jordan Lewis finished the day 3-for-7 with two stolen bases, as Kristi Oshiro, Alex Fieldhouse and Jill Jelnick had two hits apiece. Shelby Johnson scored two runs and also swiped two bases to lead the East Carolina (20-15) offense.

Wolfpack pitcher Emily Weiman (22-8) earned two wins on the day: one as the starter in the first game and the second as a reliever in game two.

NC State (25-10) took an early 2-0 lead in game one on a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. The Wolfpack tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third, both unearned, before adding another score on a solo homer in the fourth frame to increase its lead to five.

After the Pack pushed one more tally across in the fifth, ECU used a leadoff walk and stolen base by Johnson, followed by an RBI double to right-centerfield by Oshiro for its first run of the day. Following a wild pitch that advanced Oshiro to third base, Fieldhouse hit an RBI single to left and cut the deficit to just four.

NC State scored another unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to extend its lead to 7-2, as East Carolina could not fight back and suffered its first loss in its last five ballgames.

Johnson drew two walks and stole a base, while Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin, Lewis, Oshiro and Fieldhouse recorded one hit apiece.

The Pirates got off to a fast start in game two, as Jelnick belted the fourth pitch of the game, a 1-2 offer, over the centerfield fence for her first home run of the season and second in her career. The leadoff homer was the first by an ECU player since Marina Gusman-Brown pulled off the trick on April 7, 2010 against Hampton.

The Pack scratched and clawed its way to four runs on four hits in the bottom of the third inning, including three-straight hits to start the inning and a two-run home run to cap the scoring spree to take a 4-1 advantage.

NC State made a pitching change to start the fifth inning, bringing Weiman on in relief of starter Courtney Mirabella who pitched four quality innings, but the change ultimately benefitted the Pirates, who went on to tie the game with a three-run inning.

Jelnick led off the frame with a walk, before Johnson delivered her second home run of the season, a two-run shot to right-centerfield, to cut the deficit to one. Three batters later and with two outs in the inning, Fieldhouse cranked the first pitch she saw well over the left field fence to tie the game, 4-4. The homer was her seventh of the season, tying her total from a season ago.

The game moved to extra innings where ECU put Lewis, its leadoff batter in the eighth inning, on base with a walk, before she stole her second base of the game and moved into scoring position with no outs. The Pirates could not seize the opportunity and were unable to bring Lewis around to score in what may have been the team’s best scoring chance as the game progressed.

In the bottom of the 11th inning with one out, NC State hit a solo home run to walk off with the win and complete the doubleheader sweep.

Caroline Umphlett (5-4) pitched a career-high 10.1 innings and allowed 10 hits and three walks while striking out six. Jelnick led ECU with two hits and two runs scored, Lewis went 2-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases and Johnson had a hit and two RBI.

East Carolina will stay on the road and returns to Conference USA action when it travels to Tulsa, Okla., to take on the No. 15/17 Golden Hurricane in a three-game series. Play will begin with a doubleheader Saturday, April 12 at 2 p.m., before the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.