ECU evens series with 3-2 victory over AAC leader USF

Published: Apr. 21, 2018 at 4:42 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – American Athletic Conference leader USF managed to rally past ECU late in Friday’s series opener but there would be no such answer Saturday as the Pirates handed the Bulls just their fourth loss in league play in a 3-2 decision at the ECU Softball Stadium.

Team Records

ECU: 20-26 (6-8 AAC)

USF: 32-17 (10-4 AAC)

How it Happened

Both teams stranded a pair of runners in the second inning before ECU broke onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the third. An infield single off the bat of freshman Ashleigh Inae and a fielding error at second base set the table for redshirt sophomore Tate McClellan who lined a 2-2 offering into the right center gap to score both runners and put the Pirates on top 2-0. Mycek followed with a RBI single to leave ECU with a 3-0 lead after three complete.

A two-out, two-run single by Lauren Evans tightened up the score at 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning, but the pitchers on both sides settled in from there. The Pirates went down in order in each of the last four innings and freshman RHP Erin Poepping squelched a USF rally in the top of the sixth, stranding two Bulls on base via a fly ball to right field. The rookie then sent the visitors down quietly in the top of the seventh to seal the complete-game win.

Pitchers of Record

WP – Erin Poepping (10-12)

LP – Cheyenne Eggens (8-2)

Top ECU Performers

Tate McClellan: 1-for-3, 2 RBI, 2B

Alex Mycek: 1-for-3, RBI

Erin Poepping: 7.0 IP, 2 Runs, 10 Hits, 0 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Top USF Performers

Lauren Evans: 2-for-4, 2 RBI

Lindsey Devitt: 2-for-3, Run, 6 Assists

Hannah Parker: 3.2 IP, 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 2 Strikeouts

Things to Note

The Pirates improved to 10-21 against the Bulls and snapped an eight-game losing streak in the all-time series.

ECU defeated USF for the first time since April 19, 2015.

The Pirates secured their most league victories in a single season since winning seven in 2015 – their first year in the American Conference.

ECU allowed just two of USF’s seven leadoff hitters to reach base and did not allow the Bulls any extra base hits.

Neither pitching staff issued a walk in the contest.

Up Next: The Pirates will attempt to hand USF its first American Conference series loss of the season Sunday when the teams meet in the rubber game at Noon.