Pirate Softball Sweeps Southern Miss

GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina softball team pounded out 16 hits and starting pitcher Sarah Christian allowed just one hit, as the Pirates completed a three-game sweep of its Conference USA series against Southern Miss with a 12-1 victory in five innings on Sunday afternoon at the ECU Softball Stadium.

Shelby Johnson and Jill Jelnick both went 3-for-3 and combined to score three runs and drive in three, as Alex Fieldhouse and Kristi Oshiro each went 2-for-2 with a walk and run scored, while amassing five RBI. Jasmine Robbins also had two hits, including a two-run home run, and finished the day with a trio of RBI, as Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin recorded two hits and scored once.

Christian improved to 14-5 on the season with her second one-hitter of the weekend, allowing just one run and a walk while striking out six. The Greenville native made her 105th-career start and moved into a tie with Lisa Paganini (1998-01) for the seventh most in program history, while also tying Paganini for the ninth-most complete games all-time with 45.

Similar to both games in yesterday’s doubleheader sweep, East Carolina (20-13, 9-6 C-USA) wasted little time getting the offense going, as Fieldhouse ripped a two-out, two-run single up the middle in the bottom of the first inning to put ECU ahead, 2-0.

The Pirates recorded four more hits in the subsequent inning, two of which were two-out RBI singles off the bats of Johnson and Kristi Oshiro that scored Jelnick and Casey Alcorn to increase the advantage to 4-0.

The Pirates put the game out of reach in the bottom of the third frame when they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs on six hits. Fieldhouse tripled to start the inning, before Jordan Lewis walked and stole second base, and Jelnick ripped a two-run single up the middle to score both runners. Two batters later, Robbins hit an RBI double to left center to score Jelnick, before Oshiro added a two-run single of her own and increase ECU’s lead to 9-0. Abby Wynne capped the big inning with a sacrifice fly to deep left that scored Johnson and extended the advantage to double digits.

Christian continued to roll in the circle, retiring the first 11 Golden Eagles to step up to the plate. With two outs in the top of the fourth, Southern Miss (19-21, 7-8 C-USA) broke up her perfect game after a solo home run by Mackenzie Sher. Prior to the hit, East Carolina pitching had retired 24-straight batters after Caroline Umphlett sat down the final 13 batters in the second game of yesterday’s doubleheader.

ECU rounded out its scoring on Robbins’ two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning to bring the score to 12-1. The blast was her first of the season and seventh of her career.

The Pirates batted .437 overall in the three-game sweep, while out-hitting the Golden Eagles, 31-5. Ten of the team’s hits went for extra bases, which led to 25 total runs and nine stolen bases in 10 attempts.

East Carolina will make the short trip to Raleigh on Wednesday, April 9 for a mid-week doubleheader at NC State. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.