ECU Softball Falls To No. 25 North Carolina, 8-0

GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina’s softball team (18-25) saw its four-game winning streak snapped in an 8-0 defeat to No. 25 North Carolina (34-15) in five innings on Wednesday. The Pirates were limited to one hit and three base runners in the contest.

Sophomore Sarah Christian (13-12) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) in 3.1 innings thrown. She gave up five hits and also walked a pair in the defeat. Fellow sophomore Courtney Smith came in relief and allowed three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings in the circle. UNC’s Lori Spingola (24-11) surrender just one hit, one walk and hit one batter, while striking out seven in her four innings. Ashley Bone finished off the shutout with a clean inning in the fifth.

Junior Alex Fieldhouse picked up the ECU hit with her single in the fourth inning. Fellow juniors Jill Jelnick and Jordan Lewis were the team’s other base runners. Jelnick was struck by a pitch and Lewis drew a two-out walk. The walked extended Lewis’ on-base streak to 19 games. She has now safely reached base in 35 of her last 38 games.

The Tar Heels struck first with a run in the opening inning. Aquilla Mateen reached on a single and moved all the way to third on a throwing error from the Pirates on the play. A sacrifice fly to right field from Hailey Dickey drove in Mateen with the game’s first run. Dickey would have a big game with five RBI and a pair of hits in the contest.

The Pirates best chance to score came in the opening inning as Jelnick was hit by a pitch and moved to second as Lewis was walked with two outs to put a pair of runners on base, but the next ECU batter struck out to end the threat.

North Carolina added a pair of runs to the lead in the third. Kristen Brown singled and scored on Dickey’s two-run home run to left field. The home run was her 10th of the season.

The Tar Heels’ offense exploded for five runs in the fourth inning on five hits with all the damaged coming after the lead-off batter had been retired. Amy Nece singled to right and moved to second on Kati Causey’s walk. Stephanie Krider was inserted to run for Causey and both her and Nece scored after a pitching change on Erin Satterfield’s three-run home run to center field. Kristen Brown started the next UNC rally with a single. Mateen made it back-to-back singles with her bunt and both scored on Dickey’s single off the wall in center.

ECU picked up the team’s first hit of the game in the fourth inning on Fieldhouse’s single up the middle to start the frame. The next three were retired in order though to keep the margin at 8-0 after four innings in what would be the final score.

The Pirates return to league play and host Memphis (20-29, 8-10 C-USA) for three-games this weekend. ECU kicks off the series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday and finishes the home stand with a single game against the Tigers at noon on Sunday.