GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – East Carolina defeated Tulsa for the first time since 2014 Sunday, downing the Golden Hurricane 1-0 in eight innings at the ECU Softball Stadium. The Pirates, who had lost 14-straight games to Tulsa, improve to 20-23 overall and 2-10 in American Athletic Conference play while the Golden Hurricane dips to 28-14 and 9-3.
Erin Poepping provided a huge lift in the circle, tossing her first career extra-inning complete-game shutout. She struck out four batters and walked just one in going the eight-inning distance. Kassidy Scott (7-4) was the losing pitcher in relief, surrendering the winning run while allowing four hits in 2.1 innings of work.
Tate McClellan, the eventual heroine, went 2-for-4 and recorded the game’s only RBI. Rachel McCollum also rapped out a hit and scored a run. Julia Hollingsworth, Josie Muffley and Haley Meinen each posted two hits for the visitors.
The Pirates had a golden chance to score in the bottom of the first, loading the bases after a King leadoff double and consecutive walks, but a strikeout and grounder to short terminated the threat.
Tulsa rallied in the top of the fifth with two outs. With Stafford at first after a one-out single, Muffley doubled down the left field line to put a pair in scoring position, but a grounder to first kept the visitors off the board. The bottom of the sixth saw ECU load the bases with two outs, but a strikeout preserved the deadlock moving to the seventh. Neither squad was able to push across a run in the final frame as the contest moved to extra innings.
After Poepping stranded a runner in the top of the eighth, McCollum and Wood singled consecutively with one out. McClellan looked to have struck out, but the umpire called her back to the dish and she did not waste the second chance. A single through the right side scored McCollum from second to give the Pirates the well-earned victory.
East Carolina returns to action Thursday when it begins an AAC series at Wichita State.