TAMPA, Fla. (ECU) – ECU built a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning Sunday afternoon in the finale of an American Athletic Conference softball series, but USF rallied with three unanswered runs to claim a 3-2 win in eight innings. East Carolina drops to 19-20 overall and 1-8 in AAC play while the Bulls improve to 29-14 and 7-2.
Erin Poepping (12-13) took the tough-luck loss, tossing 7.2 innings and allowing just two earned runs on seven hits. Georgina Corrick (16-2) threw an eight-inning complete game, surrendering two runs on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts.
Logan Wood notched a hit and drove in both of the Pirates’ runs while Tyler King and Rachel McCollum also produced a base hit. Lindsey Devitt was 2-for-4 with two RBI for the home squad.
King was hit by a pitch to lead off the game but she was caught too far off first base on an infield pop up, resulting in a double play. Tate McClellan then struck out to end the half inning.
Lindsey Devitt posted the first hit of the game to lead off the bottom of the second, but Poepping retired the next three batters to keep the contest scoreless.
McCollum recorded the first hit of the game for East Carolina in the top of the fourth. After Faith Jarvis pinch ran, she stole second but was stranded in scoring position after consecutive strikeouts.
The Bulls put up the first real threat of the game in the bottom of the fifth with two-straight singles to lead off the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position, but two plays at the plate on the same sequence resulted in the second and third outs allowing ECU to escape damage.
The Pirates capitalized on the momentum as King put down a bunt single and reached second on a throwing error with one out. McCollum was then intentionally walked. After a strikeout, Wood unloaded on an offering a doubled to the wall in right center to drive in both runners and give East Carolina its first lead of the series at 2-0. USF responded in the home half of the sixth, plating a pair of two-out runs to knot the score heading into the seventh.
After both teams wasted a scoring chance in the seventh, the Bulls won the game in the bottom of the eighth when a dropped ball on the infield allowed a runner from third to score.
The Pirates return to the diamond Wednesday (April 10) at 5 p.m. for a non-conference contest at NC State.