USF Rallies Past East Carolina In Sixth Inning To Claim Series
REENVILLE, N.C. – USF hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase a 6-4 deficit and squeeze past East Carolina 7-6 to claim the American Athletic Conference series Saturday afternoon at the USF Softball Stadium.
The Pirates racked up 10 hits in a spirited, valiant effort and recorded their 48th home run of the season, a solo shot off the bat of junior infielder Meredith Burroughs, to pull within 10 long balls of tying the program single-season record.
Team Records: East Carolina: (19-21, 2-5 AAC) | USF: (22-19, 2-4 AAC)
Senior outfielders Ciara Ervin and Kacie Oshiro both notched two-hit efforts while Ervin scored two runs and sent a run home via a bases-loaded walk in the second frame. Burroughs and redshirt freshman infielder Tate McClellan tallied two RBI apiece.
Astin Donovan went 3-for-4 with a run scored while Kassandra Moeller and Morgan Gross combined for five
RBI to lead the Bulls.
Senior RHP Lydia Ritchie (11-9) was tagged with the tough-luck loss, throwing three innings and surrendering three runs on six hits with no walks or strikeouts. Freshman RHP Mary Williams did not allow a hit through three innings before exiting the contest in the fourth after USF loaded the bases. Kalen McGill (9-5) was credited with the win, allowing three runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out two.
How They Scored
The Pirates busted out of the gates blazing in the top of the first as Ervin and Oshiro singled consecutively before Burroughs drew an intentional walk to load the bases. McClellan followed with a sacrifice fly to give ECU a 1-0 lead before a strikeout and fielder’s choice left the bases full of Pirates.
A walk drawn by senior outfielder Ali Ramirez sparked a nice inning in the top of the third for East Carolina as freshman utility player Logan Wood and redshirt junior catcher Alex Mycek singled back to back to load the bases. A pop up accounted for the second out, but pinch hitter Morgan Halo deposited a pitch into left field, plating Ramirez and making it a 2-0 contest. The Pirates tacked on one more run after Ervin drew a walk to leave ECU with a 3-0 advantage going to the home half of the frame.
Burroughs quickly extended the East Carolina lead to 4-0 with a solo blast to center field to lead off the fourth inning. The Bulls would tie the contest in the home half, however, scoring four runs on four hits and a Pirate error to make it a brand new game.
The Purple and Gold answered back in the top of the fifth as junior infielder Karlie Smith roped a one-out
double to left center. Senior infielder Megan Quick then reached on an error in the infield and Ervin walked
the load the bases. Burroughs followed with a four-pitch walk, sending Quick across the plate and giving ECU a 5-4 edge. McClellan singled to left field and scored Ervin to make it 6-4 before Oshiro was thrown out at home to end the inning.
With the game still sitting at 6-4 in favor of the Pirates in the bottom of the sixth, Hannah Parker singled to center field and Lindsey Devitt reached on an infield single to put runners at first and second. Morgan Gross then hit her first career home run over the left field fence to afford her team the 7-6 advantage. East Carolina went down in order in the top of the seventh to end the contest.
Statistic of the Game
The Pirates left 10 runners on base, including five in the first two innings.
The series finale is set for Sunday at 11:30 a.m. EDT