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ECU Softball knocks off JMU 4-2 to complete tournament sweep

(WITN)
Published: Mar. 18, 2018 at 5:26 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. – Facing a 2017 NCAA regional team in front of a packed house Sunday, ECU proved up to the task and emerged with a 4-2 victory over JMU inside Veterans Memorial Park. The Pirates completed a clean sweep of the JMU Invitational, defeating Ohio, Stony Brook and the host Dukes on three consecutive days.

Team Records

ECU: 13-16

JMU: 19-7

How It Happened: Redshirt senior catcher Alex Mycek gave the Pirates a lead it would not relinquish in the top of the first. Freshman infielder Ashleigh Inae singled with one out and stole second base before a foul out put two outs on the board. Redshirt sophomore infielder Tate McClellan then drew a walk and Mycek belted a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left center field to give ECU a 3-0 advantage. The Dukes answered with a two-out run in the home half of the inning to leave the Pirates with a 3-1 lead after one complete.

JMU loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with one out, but ECU turned a 5-2-3 double play to escape the inning unscathed. The Dukes used a trio of walks to threaten again in the bottom of the fourth. However, reliever Ashley Cruise induced a flyout to left field to keep the Pirates in the lead by two.

ECU added an insurance run in the top of the fifth. Pinch hitter Morgan Halo drew a walk before sophomore outfielder Olivia Narron re-entered the game to run. Freshman outfielder Tyler King then put down a textbook bunt that the JMU defense couldn’t handle. A pair of errors later, Narron crossed home easily to extend the Pirate lead to 4-1. For the third-straight inning, the Dukes loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but freshman RHP Whitney Sanford entered the contest and recorded a looking strikeout as well as a fly ball to right that terminated the rally. Kierstin Roadcap did hit a RBI single in the frame to make the score 4-2 in favor of ECU.

Sanford settled in from there and allowed the Dukes just four more base runners in the final two innings to preserve the victory.

Pitchers of Record

WP – Whitney Sanford (5-7)

LP – Jessica McCabe (0-1)

ECU Top Performers

Alex Mycek: 1-for-3, Run, 3 RBI, HR

Ashleigh Inae: 1-for-4, Run

Whitney Sanford: 2.2 IP, 1 Hit, 0 Runs, 3 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

JMU Top Performers

Kate Gordon: 2-for-3, Run

Cambry Arnold: 2-for-4, BB

Payton Buresch: 3.0 IP, 2 Hits, 0 Runs, 0 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Things to Note

ECU won the unconventional season series against JMU two games to one (with two of the matchups in Hawai'i) and improved to 7-5 versus the Dukes all-time.

The Pirates out-scored their opponents 29-7 and hit .329 with five doubles and seven home runs in the tournament.

Freshman infielder Ashleigh Inae owns a six-game hitting streak while redshirt sophomore infielder Tate McClellan has reached base safely in eight-straight contests.

JMU left 15 runners on base and was just 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

Up Next: ECU returns home Wednesday, March 21, for its first-ever meeting with Duke. First pitch from the ECU Softball Stadium is slated for 5 p.m.