Early deficit dooms ECU softball in setback to Butler

By  | 

LYNCHBURG, Va. (ECU) – Butler scored four runs in the first inning and added three late in the contest, defeating East Carolina 7-2 Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Mountain Field on day two of the Liberty Spring Classic.

The Pirates, who had a six-game winning streak come to an end, fall to 10-6 overall while the Bulldogs improve to 10-5.

Tate McClellan and Logyn Estes each recorded a pair of hits to pace the ECU offense while Rachel McCollum hit her second home run of the weekend and team-best sixth of the season. A trio of Butler hitters posted two base hits apiece, including Maddie Moore who drove in two runs and crossed home plate twice.

Whitney Sanford (0-1) was saddled with the loss, surrendering four runs (three earned) on four hits with no walks or strikeouts in one inning of work. Alyssa Graves (5-1) struck out 11 Pirate batters in a complete game performance, allowing two runs on nine hits with two walks.

The Bulldogs raced out of the gates. With one out, Moore deposited a 2-2 offering over the wall in center to give Butler a 1-0 advantage. Karli Ricketts followed with a double before Mackenzie Griman was hit by a pitch. Elyse Babb kept the line moving with a single and Madi Christiansen hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-0. Christina Candotti pushed the Bulldog advantage to three with a RBI double while an error allowed another run to score before the inning came to a close.

Tate McClellan sliced the East Carolina deficit to three in the bottom of the first, ripping a run-scoring double to center that plated McCollum who had walked with one out.

With Pirate reliever Kama Woodall keeping the Butler offense quiet through the middle frames, ECU received a solo home run off the bat of McCollum to make it a two-run contest.

East Carolina had its chances as the game wore on, but the Bulldogs put things out of reach with three runs in the top of the seventh on five hits. Courtney Layton and Olivia Narron both singled in the home half with one out, but a strikeout and pop up on the infield allowed Butler to seal the victory.

The Pirates close out the weekend Sunday when they face off against Hofstra and host Liberty at noon and 2 p.m.