ECU had American Athletic Conference leader USF down to its last strike, but the Bulls managed to rally for five runs with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to walk away with a 7-3 victory over the Pirates in the teams’ series opener Friday evening at the ECU Softball Stadium.

Team Records

ECU: 19-26 (5-8 AAC)

USF: 32-16 (10-3 AAC)

How it Happened

After three scoreless innings to begin the contest, the Bulls put up the game’s first run in the top of the fourth inning when Pirate starter Whitney Sanford walked the bases loaded and Brooke Hartman singled to put USF up 1-0. A Cassidy Boyle RBI double in the top of the fifth inning extended the Bulls’ lead to 2-0 before senior Karlie Smith responded with a RBI single in the home half to slice the deficit to one.

A one-out single off the bat of freshman Ashleigh Inae in the bottom of the sixth was followed by senior Meredith Burroughs’ AAC-leading 13th home run of the season that put ECU into the lead at 3-2 heading into the top of the seventh. With two outs, USF runners at first and second and a 1-2 count on Amber Atkinson, the batter hit a single into shallow left field which Pirate left fielder Olivia Narron threw home in order to get the final out of the plate but her throw was offline and the Bulls tied the score. USF would score four more runs in the frame to put the game out of reach.

Pitchers of Record

WP – Cheyenne Eggens (8-1)

LP – Whitney Sanford (8-11)

Top ECU Performers

Ashleigh Inae: 2-for-3, Run

Meredith Burroughs: 1-for-3, Run, 2 RBI, HR

Karlie Smith: 1-for-3, RBI

Top USF Performers

Samantha Worrell: 2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2B

Lauren Evans: 2-for-4, 2 Runs

Amber Atkinson: 2-for-3, Run, RBI

Things to Note

  • The Pirates dropped to 9-21 all-time against USF as the Bulls won their eighth straight over ECU.
  • Burroughs upped her home run total to 29 in a Pirate uniform.
  • USF was 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-4 with the bases loaded.
  • ECU threw just 76 strikes in 144 total pitches, walking six batters in the game.

Up Next: The Pirates and Bulls continue their series Saturday at 2 p.m.