GREENVILLE, N.C. – Sarah Christian pitched a complete-game, one-hit shutout and struck out a career-high 10 Tennessee Tech batters to complete the series sweep and pace East Carolina to a 4-0 victory Sunday afternoon at the ECU Softball Stadium.
The win was East Carolina’s (11-4) fifth in a row and ninth in its last 10 games. Tennessee Tech fell to 5-11 on the year.
Christian (8-1) allowed a hit to the first batter of the game and retired the final 21 batters in order, en route to collecting a win in her sixth straight start and seventh consecutive decision. The seven-inning shutout was Christian’s fourth of her career and first since she accomplished the feat as a freshman against Marshall on April 29, 2012. Her last complete-game, one-hit shutout came on March 6, 2012 in a 10-0 victory at Cal State Fullerton.
Senior outfielders Shelby Johnson and Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and sophomore centerfielder Meredith Mitchell was 1-for-2 with two runs and two stolen bases.
Johnson has now recorded multiple hits nine times this season and in six-straight games, while improving her batting average to .457. The Jefferson, Ga., native has reached base in 13-consecutive ballgames.
After stranding runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, the Pirates broke through in the bottom of the third when Johnson hammered an opposite-field RBI double into the left centerfield gap to score Mitchell. A walk and infield single loaded the bases for Jordan Lewis, who was hit by the first pitch she saw and increase ECU’s lead to 2-0.
While Christian kept firing zeroes in the circle, East Carolina added another run in the bottom of the fifth when senior infielder Kristi Oshiro lofted her second home run of the season – a solo shot with one out – to extend the Pirates’ advantage to 3-0.
ECU added an insurance run in the sixth inning on an RBI double to right-center by Kaluhiokalani-Glackin to round out the scoring and seal the win.
East Carolina will open its conference slate next weekend, March 8-9, when it hosts UAB in a three-game series at the ECU Softball Stadium.