ECU softball team picks up doubleheader sweep at home

ECU Pirates

(ECU Sports Information photo)

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina pounded out 15 runs on 20 hits Saturday afternoon, sweeping a doubleheader from Ohio by scores of 5-1 and 10-4.

The Pirates improve to 7-2 overall – the second-best start in head coach Courtney Oliver’s five-plus seasons – while the Bobcats (0-4) are still in search of their first victory of the young 2021 season.

Game One: East Carolina 5, Ohio 1
Redshirt senior infielder Rachel McCollum and freshman outfielder Logyn Estes led the way at the plate in the opener with a pair of hits apiece while sophomore utility Keira Womack drove in a team-best two runs. Mikenzie Vaughn tallied a hit and an RBI for the visitors.

Junior RHP Kama Woodall (4-0) went the distance for the third time this season, surrendering just one earned run on six hits with two walks and a career-best eight strikeouts. Madi McCrady (0-2) was tagged with the loss after lasting just two third of an inning and allowing two runs (both earned) on two hits with two walks and no strikeouts.

The Pirates jumped on top with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Senior outfielder Olivia Narron drew a leadoff walk before junior infielder Ashleigh Inae was hit by a pitch. With one out, sophomore infielder Bailey Ledvina also walked to load the bases. An RBI single off the bat of McCollum and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Womack left ECU with a 2-0 cushion after one complete.

The Bobcats answered in the top of the third via a Vaughn RBI single, but Woodall stranded runners at the corners by fanning the final two batters of the half frame.

East Carolina began to build its advantage in the middle innings. A groundout by freshman catcher Sophie Wools brought home the Pirates’ third run in the bottom of the fourth before a RBI single by junior infielder Chandley Garner pushed the lead to 4-1 through five complete. McCollum then doubled and scored in the bottom of the sixth on the strength of a Womack RBI single to make it 5-1. Woodall retired Ohio in order in the top of the seventh to seal the win.

Game Two: Ohio 3, East Carolina 0
Estes put on a show at the dish in the nightcap, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and one driven in. Wools also shined offensively with three hits and a run scored. Allie Eglant paced the Bobcats with three hits while Annalia Paoli recorded her first career home run and finished the contest with two runs scored and three RBI.
Junior RHP Erin Poepping (2-1) turned in a solid relief appearance, tossing the final six innings to earn her second win of the season. She limited the visitors to just one earned run on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Makenzie Kohl (0-2) struggled, completing just 2.1 frames while getting touched up for seven runs (all earned) on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

After Paoli put Ohio on top 3-0 with her first career home run in the top of the first, ECU responded with a vengeance in the bottom of the second.

Estes led off with a single up the middle. Then, with one away, Wools singled to right and advanced to second base on the throw while Estes scooted over to third. Sophomore outfielder Faith Jarvis then plated Estes with a sacrifice fly and Narron drove in pinch runner Gianna Edwards with an RBI single to left center. Garner left no doubt in the next at bat, lining a 0-0 offering well over the wall in left center to give the Purple and Gold a 5-3 cushion.

The Pirates continued to pile on in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs off a Jarvis RBI single and a bases-loaded hit by pitch with Inae at the plate.

East Carolina didn’t let up in the fourth. With two outs and McCollum on first base after a walk, Womack unloaded on a 1-1 pitch and drilled it over the fence in left to put the Pirates ahead 9-3. The teams traded single runs in the final two and a half innings to complete the scoring. Estes recorded her first home run of the campaign with a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth.

Up Next: East Carolina and Ohio wrap up the non-conference series with a single game Sunday beginning at Noon.

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