USF Holds Off East Carolina 9-7 To Complete Series Sweep
TAMPA, Fla. – For the second-straight day, East Carolina scored first only to have USF rally as the Bulls outlasted the Pirates 9-7 to sweep the American Athletic Conference series Sunday at the USF Softball Stadium.
Team Records: East Carolina: (19-23, 2-7 AAC) | USF: (24-19, 4-4 AAC)
Redshirt junior catcher Alex Mycek paced the offense with two hits (a pair of home runs), two runs scored and three RBI while redshirt freshman infielder Tate McClellan drove in a pair of runs herself. Bethaney Keen went 2-for-4 with a run scored a three RBI for the victorious Bulls.
Senior RHP Lydia Ritchie (11-10) went the distance in the setback, allowing nine runs (five earned) on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Hannah Parker was credited with the win after tossing 1.2 innings in relief. She gave up one hit and struck out two Pirate batters.
Mycek’s pair of home runs upped the team’s season total to 50 – just eight away from tying the program single-season record. ECU did set the American Athletic Conference single-season record Sunday, however, eclipsing USF’s 49 homers last year.
How They Scored
After Ritchie wriggled out of a pair of jams in the first two frames, the Pirates broke through in the top of the third when senior outfielder Kacie Oshiro and junior infielder Meredith Burroughs drew consecutive walks. McClellan then drilled the first pitch she saw to the wall in left field to score both runners and give ECU a 2-0 edge heading to the home half of the frame.
The Bulls answered back with a three-run home run off the bat of Bethany Keen to take a 3-2 lead after three innings, but East Carolina had a response of its own in the top of the fourth. Freshman utility player Logan Wood sparked the frame with a single through the left side before junior infielder Karlie Smith worked a walk with one out. Senior infielder Megan Quick laced a single to left field after that to load the bases and senior outfielder Ciara Ervin drew a walk to tie the score at three. Oshiro then beat out a throw to first base, allowing Smith to score from third on the fielder’s choice.
The scoring continued in the bottom of the fourth as USF plated five runs off of three hits and a Pirate error to recapture the lead at 8-4. Mycek then sliced the ECU deficit in half in the top of the fifth as she banged a two-run home run off of the foul pole down the left field line to make it a two-run game. The long ball, her 12th of the campaign, tied her for the squad lead with Burroughs.
Kassandra Moeller added some insurance for the Bulls in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a solo home run to right field to stretch the USF lead to 9-6. Mycek provided the game’s final margin in the top of the seventh as she blasted a solo home run off of the hitting facility in left center.
Statistic of the Game
The teams combined for 10 two-out RBI while four of the Bulls’ six leadoff batters reached base.
East Carolina returns home Tuesday for a single non-conference contest against N.C. Central.