GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina’s softball team (6-5) lost a 9-1 run-shortened game to Notre Dame (5-5) on the second day of the Pirate Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 23, at ECU Softball Field. The Irish were able to score six runs in the first and three more in the second to take the early advantage that they would never relinquish.
Sophomore Sarah Christian (5-3) allowed four runs on three hits in the opening inning to take the loss. Freshman Mary Beth Smith threw three shutout innings out of the bullpen for the Pirates in defeat. Notre Dame’s Laura Winter (2-4) pitched all five innings with only one walk and hit allowed. She also struck out eight of the 18 batters she faced.
The Fighting Irish scored first with six in the opening frame. Jenna Simon punched a single through the right side, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and was plated on Emilee Koerner’s double to right field. Koerner then moved to third on a wild pitch. Winter followed with a walk and both her and Koerner scored on Katey Haus’ double to the gap in left center. After an ECU pitching change, Amy Buntin walked and scored - as did Haus - on Lauren Stuhr’s double to left. Stuhr moved to third on the play at the plate and then scored the sixth run of the inning as the ball was thrown away by the ECU catcher.
Notre Dame plated three more runs in the second inning. Kelsey Thornton singled, stole second and came in to score on Koerner’s double to left. Winter then unloaded with the first home run of her career to left field to increase the early deficit to 9-0.
ECU picked up its first hit of the game in the second inning on junior Jordan Lewis’ single up the middle.
East Carolina broke through for the team’s run in the third inning. Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin reached on a throwing error, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch as junior Jill Jelnick drew a walk to put runners at the corners. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin would race home on junior Kristi Oshiro’s sacrifice fly to centerfield to make the final margin 9-1. The Pirates are now on a two-game losing streak.
ECU continues play on the third day of the Pirate Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 24, with an 11 a.m. rematch against Notre Dame at ECU Softball Stadium.