ECU softball opens Pirate Invitational with 7-3 win over UMass

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – East Carolina out-hit Massachusetts 11-1 on its way to a 7-3 victory over the Minutewomen on day one of the Pirate Invitational Saturday afternoon at the ECU Softball Stadium.

The Pirates (6-5) avenged a 5-0 setback to Massachusetts (3-3) in last year’s Purple-Gold Invitational in Greenville.

Redshirt utility Rachel McCollum was 1-for-3 with a run scored, two RBI and a triple to pace the ECU offense while redshirt senior infielder Tate McClellan and sophomore infielder Bailey Ledvina rapped out a pair of base hits apiece. Additionally, junior infielder Chandley Garner recorded a hit, run scored and RBI. Samantha Torres produced the only hit of the contest for the visitors.

Junior RHP Kama Woodall (2-2) was exceptional in relief, picking up her second win of the season after tossing 3.2 perfect frames with two strikeouts. The Pirates also received a solid starting effort out of junior RHP Whitney Sanford who went 3.1 innings and allowed just one earned run (three total) on one hit with three walks and a strikeout. Quinn Breidenbach (1-1) suffered the loss, throwing just one inning and surrendering three runs on four hits with a strikeout.

After Sanford stranded a pair of Massachusetts batters with an inning-ending looking strikeout in the top of the first, the East Carolina offense took Breidenbach to task right away. Senior outfielder Olivia Narron extended her career-best hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff double that snuck inside the left field line before McCollum laced a triple to the wall in right that scored Narron and gave the home team a 1-0 advantage. Garner kept it going with sacrifice fly that put the Pirates on top 2-0 before McClellan singled to center field and junior infielder Ashleigh Inae doubled to left. Freshman outfielder Logyn Estes made it a 3-0 contest with a sacrifice fly before the frame came to an end.

In the bottom of the third, Garner kickstarted things with a leadoff single and McClellan laced a single to left center that allowed Garner to advance to third. McClellan would take second on the play. An error on an overthrow to first resulted in the Pirates’ fourth run and Ledvina pushed the score to 5-0 with a one-out RBI single to center.

UMass responded with three runs in the top of the fourth on just one hit, resulting in the change in the circle for ECU. Woodall entered with the bases loaded and one out with the Minutewomen having drawn within three, but gave up just one additional run on a groundout before retiring the final two batters to preserve the advantage.

East Carolina capped the scoring in the bottom of the fifth via a Keira Womack pinch-hit RBI single and a bases-loaded walk by McCollum.

The Pirates close out the weekend Sunday with a pair of games against Pittsburgh and Towson. ECU and Pitt will face off at 10 a.m. before East Carolina battles the Tigers at 12:30 p.m.

Pirate Invitational Day One Scores
Massachusetts 2, Pittsburgh 1
East Carolina 7, Massachusetts 3
Pittsburgh 4, Towson 2