Wichita State scored three runs in the first inning and held ECU at bay down the stretch, winning the teams’ American Athletic Conference series rubber game 5-1 Sunday at the ECU Softball Stadium. The Shockers entered Greenville receiving votes in the national top 25 polls and in sole possession of second place in the league standings.
Wichita State: 29-18, 11-7 AAC
ECU: 23-28, 8-10 AAC
How it Happened
After a looking strikeout opened the contest, the Shockers scored three runs on four hits – including a pair of RBI singles off the bats of Ryleigh Buck and Bailee Nickerson – to snag the early upper hand.
The Pirates responded in the bottom of the second when redshirt sophomore Tate McClellan doubled to left field and moved to third on a throwing error by the Wichita State shortstop. With runners on the corners and one out, senior Karlie Smith singled through the right side to plate McClellan and cut the Shocker lead to 3-1. A Kendra Ziemba single then loaded the bases, but ECU could not push another run across as a fielder’s choice force out at home and a liner to third ended the frame.
Freshman RHP Erin Poepping settled down after the tough first inning and held the Wichita State bats quietly for much of the middle part of the game. The Shockers were able to put the game out of reach, however, when Madison Perrigan hit a two-run home run to left center with two outs in the top of the sixth. The Pirates put two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh, but a groundout to first proved the final out of the contest.
Pitchers of Record
WP – Bailey Lange (17-10)
LP – Erin Poepping (13-13)
Top ECU Performers
Kendra Ziemba: 2-for-3
Meredith Burroughs: 2-for-4, 2B
Karlie Smith: 1-for-3, RBI
Top Wichita State Performers
Ryleigh Buck: 2-for-3, Run, RBI
Madison Perrigan: 1-for-2, Run, 3 RBI, HR
Bailey Lange: 7.0 IP, 1 Run, 7 Hits, Walk, 0 Strikeouts
Things To Note
- ECU fell to 1-3 against Wichita State in the all-time series.
- The Pirates did not walk a Shocker batter for the second-straight game after issuing six free passes in the series opener Friday.
- ECU limited Wichita State to just two home runs during weekend. The Shockers arrived in Greenville with an American Athletic Conference-best 53 long balls.
- Lange entered the contest with the third-most strikeouts among AAC pitchers, but did not record a strikeout in Sunday’s game.
- The Pirates wrapped up their 2018 home schedule with a 12-13 record in games played at the ECU Softball Stadium.
Up Next: The Pirates wrap up the regular season with a three-game series at UCF next weekend.