The Pirates gave up all nine runs in the third and fourth inning
HONOLULU, O’ahu March 9, 2013 – Coming off a late-emotionally charged exhibition game victory over Tokyo Women’s College of Physical Education earlier in the afternoon, East Carolina’s softball team (8-12) was shutout,9-0, against Portland State (6-15) in its second game on Friday, March 8, at the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament.
Sarah Christian (6-5) was touched up for seven runs (five earned) in her three innings. Sophomore Courtney Smith came in to throw the final inning and allowed two runs (none earned) on two hits. Portland State’s Anna Bertrand (3-9) picked up the complete-game shutout and surrendered just two hits and walked a pair of batters.
The Pirates missed a golden opportunity to seize early momentum and the lead in the second inning. Freshman Casey Alcorn reached on a lead-off throwing error from the PSU second baseman and took second on junior Jordan Lewis’ sacrifice bunt. Freshman Kelsi Briggs then walked to put a pair of runners on base. Both runners advanced into scoring position on a pass ball with only one out, but the next two ECU batters were retired on a strikeout and ground out to keep the game scoreless.
Portland State promptly jumped on the Pirates with a four runs in the bottom of the frame. Lauran Bliss and Crysta Conn both singled back-to-back to start things off. After a pass ball to move each runner up a base, Carly McEachran drove in Lauran Bliss with a sacrifice fly. Becca Bliss then walked and a wild pitch on the play moved Conn to third. Conn came in to score on Alicia Fine’s double. A single by Brit Hendrickson followed to score Becca Bliss and Alicia Fine with the last two runs of the frame.
The Vikings kept the offensive fireworks going, aided by a few ECU physical and mental miscues, and scored five runs in the fourth inning. Candice Orozco singled and was lifted for pinch runner Aubrey Nitschelm. Lauran Bliss reached on a fielder’s choice that also allowed Nitschelm to stay on base after an ECU throwing error on the potential force play. Conn drove in the first run with a single. Sadie Peterson walked after the ECU defense dropped a ball in foul territory to extend her at bat. After a foul out for the first out of the inning, Becca Bliss singled to drive in a run. A fielder’s choice was then recorded at home for the second out before Hendrickson cleared the bases with a three-run double to increase the final margin to 9-0.
The Pirates continue play in the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament with a contest against No. 21/24 Hawai’i at 11 p.m. (ET) on March 9.