GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina’s 2021 campaign came to an end Thursday afternoon with a 4-3 loss to No. 3 seed UCF in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Softball Championship.

The Pirates end the campaign with a 16-33 record while the Knights improve to 38-16-1. The setback marked ECU’s 12th by one run this season.

Alea White (20-6) was the winning pitcher as she allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings of work with three walks and four strikeouts. Gianna Mancha picked up her fourth save by striking out the final two batters of the game. Kama Woodall (9-19) took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits. She walked two and did not tally a strikeout.

Rachel McCollum, who was named to the All-AAC Second Team just yesterday, turned in a two-hit performance – an effort that included her 59th career home run. Logyn Estes and Bailey Ledvina also hit solo home runs to account for the other two Pirate scores. Allyse Volpe and Denali Schappacher notched a pair of hits each for UCF while Schappacher drove in two.

The Knights took advantage of a two-out error to plate an unearned run and grab a 1-0 advantage through one complete frame. That lead did not last long, however, as Estes and Ledvina took White deep over the outfield fence in back-to-back fashion to put East Carolina on top by a 2-1 count.

UCF put runners into scoring position in the second and third innings, but ECU was able to shut both rallies down to stay in front. The Knights finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs to jump ahead 4-2. Schappacher provided the big blow with a two-run double off the wall in left field while Jada Cody plated a run via a sacrifice fly.

McCollum made it a one-run contest in the top of the sixth when she led off the stanza with a solo home run. After Woodall held UCF at bay in the bottom of the sixth, East Carolina put together one last rally in the top of the seventh.

Taylor Woodring drew a leadoff walk on a full count to lead things off before Keira Womack lined a one-out single through the left side and Ashleigh Inae followed with a single up the middle to load the bases. Mancha relieved White at that point and came up with a pair of strikeouts to complete the save.