ECU splits twinbill with No. 13 James Madison and Pittsburgh
GREENVILLE, N.C. – After failing to muster a hit in a 12-1 six-inning loss to No. 13 JMU, East Carolina rebounded in a big way to post an 8-3 victory over Pittsburgh Friday afternoon at the ECU Softball Stadium.
Team Records: East Carolina: (14-10) | JMU: (19-3) | Pittsburgh: (14-7)
In the first game of the day, the Dukes won a 2-0 pitchers’ duel over the Panthers.
The victory avenged a 5-2 Thursday setback to Pitt, who is receiving votes in the top 25 this week and was nationally ranked earlier in the season.
The Rundown: Game One
Junior infielder Meredith Burroughs plated the Pirates’ lone run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning that afforded ECU an early 1-0 advantage. Senior outfielder Ciara Ervin also drew a walk to up her team-leading total to 18. Megan Good rapped out three hits, scored two runs and drove in five to lead
the JMU offensive efforts.
Sophomore RHP Mary Williams (3-5) was tagged with the loss after allowing 12 runs (10 earned) on 14 hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Jessica McCabe (1-0) earned the win in her first decision of the year, tossing six scoreless innings while walking a batter and fanning a pair.
The Decisive Inning
With the score still a manageable 3-1 in favor of the Dukes, JMU broke the game open with four runs on four hits in the top of the fourth. The big blow was a two-run single by Good that made it 6-1 before Taylor Newton capped the scoring with a RBI single of her own.
Statistic of the Game
JMU out-hit East Carolina 14-0 and was 11-for-22 overall with runners on base.
The Rundown: Game Two
The Pirates pounded out three home runs and led from start to finish to pick up another win over a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Senior outfielder Kacie Oshiro finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI while Burroughs collected two hits, three runs scored and two RBI. Senior outfielder Ali Ramirez also drove in a pair of runs in the first inning. McKayla Taylor and Olivia Gray posted two-hit efforts to aid the Panther cause and Gray tacked on a pair of RBI.
Senior RHP Lydia Ritchie (8-5) snagged the victory, hurling two scoreless frames, scattering a pair of hits and striking out four batters. Kayla Harris (6-4) was lifted after just 0.2 innings pitched as she surrendered three runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Decisive Innings
ECU scored three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning, thanks in large part to a two-run single to center by Ramirez. Sophomore utility player Morgan Halo also recorded a RBI single on a hard hit ball over the center fielder’s head.
The Pirates then put the exclamation point on the victory in the fourth inning as Oshiro smashed a three-run home run more than half way up the net behind the right field fence and Burroughs made it back to back with a solo shot to put East Carolina ahead 8-1.
Statistics of the Game
The Pirates left just three runners on base as compared to nine for Pitt. ECU also tallied seven two-out RBI and was 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
East Carolina will take on JMU Saturday afternoon at 12:30 to wrap up the weekend. The Panthers and Dukes will kick off the day at 10 a.m. with a rematch of today’s close affair.