UCF takes series opener over ECU Softball, 6-2

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – UCF remained unbeaten in American Athletic Conference play with a 6-2 win over East Carolina Friday night at the ECU Softball Stadium.

Cassady Brewer went 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Knights (24-9, 4-0 AAC) while Denali Schappacher drove in three runs. Tate McClellan and Courtney Layton notched both of the Pirates’ (19-15, 1-3 AAC) hits.

Erin Poepping (12-10) took the loss in the circle, allowing five runs on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. Alea White (16-6) surrendered just two hits and one earned run with three strikeouts in a complete-game effort.

UCF used a pair of hits to grab a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Schappacher led off with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt before scoring on an Aubrey Johnson RBI single.

The Knights moved ahead 2-0 in the top of the fifth when Tamesha Glover singled up the middle to plate Erin Emanuel who was hit by a pitch with one out. UCF extended its lead further in the frame, using a wild pitch to score another run before Schappacher hit a two-run single to leave the visitors with a 5-0 advantage.

ECU grabbed a run back in the bottom of the fifth when Layton tattooed a 0-1 pitch over the wall in left field for her first career home run, cutting the Knights’ lead to 5-1.

A trio of errors allowed the Pirates to draw closer in the bottom of the sixth when Tate McClellan laced a RBI single up the middle to score Faith Jarvis who pinch ran for Rachel McCollum who reached on a fielder’s choice earlier in the inning.

UCF put the cap on the scoring in the top of the seventh with a RBI bunt single off the bat of Schappacher.

The teams will reconvene Saturday at 2 p.m. for game two of the series.