No. 24 UCF softball blanks ECU, 4-0

ECU Pirates

(ECU Sports Information photo)

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – No. 24 UCF scored three runs in the top of the seventh to break open a close contest on the way to a 4-0 American Athletic Conference victory over East Carolina Saturday afternoon inside Max R. Joyner Family Stadium.

The Pirates (10-20, 1-6 AAC) and Knights (28-9, 8-3) conclude their series Sunday at noon.

Karissa Ornelas paced the visitors with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate while Kaitlyn Jensen drove in a pair of runs. Ashleigh Inae and Rachel McCollum rapped out two hits apiece for ECU.

Alea White (14-3) tossed a complete-game shutout, scattering five hits and striking out three batters against one walk. Kama Woodall (4-10) went the distance for the second-straight day, allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven innings of work.

The teams didn’t get much going offensively in the first two innings, but UCF broke through in the top of the third. Jazmine Esparza and Kyra Klarkowski drew consecutive one-out walks before Katie Burge reached on a fielder’s choice and Esparza moved over to third. With two away, Burge and Esparza pulled off a double steal of second and home to put the Knights on top, 1-0.

East Carolina’s best offensive chance occurred in the bottom of the sixth. Inae and McCollum singled with one out to bring up Chandley Garner who just missed a home run by flying out to the wall in right field. A looking strikeout allowed White to escape the inning unscathed.

UCF put the game away in the top of the seventh. Justene Molina drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sac but and scored via an infield single by Burge. Jensen then followed with a home run to left center that accounted for the final score.

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