ECU softball splits double-header

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – ECU split a pair of non-conference softball decisions on the final day of Pirate Clash Sunday, defeating Towson 4-3 before falling to UMBC 6-5 in the tournament finale.Team Records after Final Day of Pirate Clash:

ECU (6-4)

Towson (6-3)

Saint Joseph’s (2-3)

UMBC (1-4)

How It Happened (Game One): A RBI groundout by senior infielder Karlie Smith afforded the Pirates an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and junior infielder Ashley Weingartz added to the advantage in the bottom of the second with a two-run single. With freshman RHP Whitney Sanford twirling a gem, allowing just one hit through her first five innings of work, redshirt sophomore infielder Tate McClellan made it a 4-0 contest in the bottom of the fifth with a RBI infield single. The Tigers rallied back in the top of the sixth with a two-run home run  by Brook Miko to slice their deficit to one. A couple of ECU errors in the top of the seventh plated a run with redshirt junior Ashley Cruise in the circle but, with runners at second and third and one out, Sanford re-entered the contest and induced a flyout and groundout to preserve the one-run victory.Pitchers of Record (Game One):

WP – Whitney Sanford (3-2)

LP – Julia Smith-Harrington (2-2)ECU Top Performers (Game One)

Ashley Weingartz: 2-for-3, 2 RBI

Ashleigh Inae: 1-for-4, Run

Tyler King: 1-for-3, Run

Whitney Sanford: 6.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeoutsTowson Top Performers

Brook Miko: 1-for-3, Run, 2 RBI

Daria Edwards: 1-for-2, Run

How it Happened (Game Two): Looking to completed the weekend sweep, the Pirates scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second thanks to a solo home run by senior infielder Meredith Burroughs and a Retriever miscue in the outfield that allowed sophomore infielder Kendra Ziemba to score from second. UMBC snatched the lead in the top of the fourth, using a three-run double by Carly Lesko to assume a 3-2 advantage. In the bottom of the fourth, the Pirates answered right back when Weingartz walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a groundout before scoring on a RBI single by freshman infielder Ashleigh Inae. The Retrievers took advantage of a pair of ECU errors in the top of the fifth to move in front 5-3, but the Purple and Gold pulled a run back in the home half when redshirt senior catcher Alex Mycek plated senior infielder Karlie Smith on a sacrifice fly. After ECU held UMBC scoreless in the top of the sixth, pinch hitter and sophomore Logan Wood drilled the first pitch she saw well over the wall in left center to knot the score at five. The Retrievers took the lead for good in the top of the seventh, scratching an unearned run across on a passed ball. The Pirates rallied once more in the bottom of the inning when McClellan doubled to lead off and Mycek followed with a walk. ECU could not push the tying run across, however, as a lineout to second would end the contest.Pitchers of Record (Game Two)

WP: Kim Puccio (1-3)

LP: Whitney Sanford (3-3)ECU Top Performers (Game Two)

Tate McClellan: 3-for-4

Kendra Ziemba: 2-for-2, Run

Meredith Burroughs: 1-for-3, Run, RBIUMBC Top Performers

Maddie Daigneau: 2-for-4, 3 Runs

Carly Lesko: 1-for-3, 3 RBIThings To Note

  • ECU won twice against Towson this weekend to improve to 16-1 in the all-time series.
  • The Pirates dropped to 19-9 versus UMBC in the teams’ first meeting since 2011.
  • ECU improved its batting average from .153 entering the weekend to .224 exiting the weekend.
  • The Pirates out-scored their opponents 19-13 in winning four of the five games in the tournament.
  • ECU’s 6-4 start to the season is the best 10-game start in head coach Courtney Oliver’s three-year tenure in Greenville and the best overall since the 2015 campaign.

Up Next: ECU continues its homestand next weekend, welcoming Ball State, Canisius and Saint Francis (Pa.) to Greenville for the Pirate Invitational.

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