HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Junior Jill Jelnick led a balanced offensive attack for the East Carolina softball team (17-24, 7-7 C-USA) with four RBI in a 17-6 victory over Marshall (27-16, 11-6 C-USA) in the second game of the team’s doubleheader on Saturday at Dot Hicks Field. With the doubleheader sweep, the Pirates have now taken their second conference series of the season.
Besides Jelnick’s four RBI, fellow junior Alex Fieldhouse drove in three. Freshman Meredith Mitchell had three hits, three runs scored and three RBI. Fellow freshman Casey Alcorn picked up a career-high four hits and also knocked in a pair of runs. Junior Jordan Lewis walked three times and also scored a pair of runs. Fellow junior Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin scored a career-high four runs and had a pair of hits in the victory.
Sophomore Courtney Smith (4-10) started and went the first five innings for the Pirates. She allowed six runs (five earned) while striking out two. Fellow sophomore Sarah Christian was called upon to throw the final two scoreless innings. Brittanie Fowler (1-1) took the loss after allowing 11 runs (five earned) in four innings.
The 17 runs scored are a season-high for the program and the most runs that have been scored by ECU since the team scored 17 against North Carolina Central during the 2010 season. The Pirates also rapped out a season-high 16 hits in the victory.
The Pirates scored three in the opening frame. Oshiro and Lewis both walked. Alcorn recorded an infield single to load the bases. Senior Kai Clark dribbled a single to first to drive in Oshiro. On the play the ball was thrown away to also allow Lewis to score the team’s second run. Fellow senior Cicely Lopez then roped the ball through the left side to score Alcorn with the inning’s third run.
ECU added a single tally in the second inning. Mitchell singled into left field, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error from the catcher on the stolen base. Jelnick followed with a sacrifice fly into foul territory in left to plate Mitchell from third with the game’s fourth run.
The Thundering Herd cut the deficit in half with two runs in the second inning and it potentially could have been more if not for Mitchell’s throwing out a runner trying to score at the plate. The outfield assist was her sixth of the season. Jazmine Vale started the frame with a walk. Kristina Braxton was inserted to run for Vale and moved to second as Alexandra Bayne walked. Savannah Webster singled to load the bases. Kaitlin Lucas drove in the first run with her fielder’s choice ground out and moved to second on a throwing error from ECU that allowed the second run, Braxton, to score. Escareno followed with a single into center field. Lucas attempted to score on the play and was thrown out by Mitchell at home.
The Pirates put up a five-spot in the third inning. Lopez reached on a fielder’s choice. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin reached on an error by the first baseman after a collision at bag between the two players. Lopez was able to move to third on the play and scored the team’s fifth run on a Mitchell sacrifice fly to right field. Jelnick reached on a fielding error from the Marshall shortstop to score Kaluhiokalani-Glackin. Oshiro was able to get on base via a catcher’s interference. Fieldhouse then unloaded with her seventh home run of the season to score Jelnick and Oshiro.
Two more ECU runs were scored in the Pirates’ fourth on a Jelnick two-out single through the left side to score Lopez and Kaluhiokalani-Glackin with the team’s 10th and 11th runs of the contest.
The bottom of the inning was highlighted by a running diving catch from converted infielder Kaluhiokalani-Glackin in short right field to end the fourth.
Marshall avoided the run-rule in the fifth inning on Lucas’ two-run home run with pinch runner Bri Anna Hope on base.
The Pirates got those two runs back in the sixth inning. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on Mitchell’s single to right. Mitchell stole second and then scored on Jelnick’s single up the middle to make the score 13-4.
The Herd again avoided the run-rule in the sixth inning on Shaelynn Broxton’s two-run home run with Alysia Hively, who had reached on an error, on second base.
ECU finished off the scoring with four more runs in seventh. Lewis walked to start the frame and scored ahead of Alcorn’s fourth home run of the season. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin started the next two-out rally with her double. Mitchell followed with a triple over the centerfielder’s head. Mitchell would scamper home a batter later on a wild pitch.
The Pirates wrap up the series against the Thundering Herd with a noon contest on Sunday.