Tulsa sweeps doubleheader from ECU Softball
American Athletic Conference co-leader Tulsa swept both ends of a doubleheader at the ECU Softball Stadium Friday, downing East Carolina 8-1 and 5-1 to win its fourth-straight league series in 2019. The Golden Hurricane improve to 28-13 overall and 9-2 in AAC play while the Pirates drop to 19-23 and 1-10.
The teams will take Saturday off before concluding the set Sunday at Noon
Julia Hollingsworth was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI in the opener while Chenise Delce and Rylie Spell drove in three runs each. Kendra Ziemba paced ECU with a hit and a run scored.
Erin Poepping (12-14) gave up seven runs on eight hits with four walks and five strikeouts in four innings in the loss while Kassidy Scott (7-3) went the distance, allowing just one run on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Tulsa was the first team to threaten the scoreboard when Hollingsworth singled, Josie Muffley walked and Morgan Neal singled on the infield to lead off the third inning. Delce then took a 1-2 pitch into left center field to score a pair and stake her team to a 2-0 lead. Another run came across on a fielder’s choice play before Spell unloaded on a 3-1 offering and drove it over the wall for a three-run home run that pushed the Golden Hurricane advantage to 6-0.
ECU responded with a run in the home half of the inning when Ziemba led off with a single, moved to third and scored after a throw to second on a steal attempt. Tulsa then answered right back with a Delce RBI single to make it a 7-1 contest and plated one more run in the fifth to complete the scoring.
Mikayla Whitten, Sarah Briers and Spell all posted two hits in the nightcap for Tulsa. Tate McClellan and Ashley Weingartz rapped out base knocks with McClellan hitting a home run in the fourth to break up Delce’s shutout bid.
Delce (12-4) went six innings and held East Carolina to one run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Poepping (12-15) threw the first five innings, surrendering five runs on 11 hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Golden Hurricane struck first for the second-straight game, this time in the top of the second. Tulsa loaded the bases then Whitten scored from third on a ball put in play to short. Briers added to the Golden Hurricane lead in the top of the third with a two-run single to leave Tulsa with a 3-0 edge.
McClellan put East Carolina on the board in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run – her team-leading ninth of the season – to slice the Golden Hurricane lead to 3-1. Tulsa grabbed two runs back in the top of the fifth on the strength of RBI singles off the bats of Spell and Stafford. That would conclude the scoring as the teams went down quietly in the final two innings.