ECU softball team falls to Southern Miss

Published 12:46 pm Monday, March 17, 2008

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — The East Carolina softball team nearly rallied from a six-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Southern Miss escaped the ECU Softball Field with a 7-6 win on Sunday.
Despite the loss, East Carolina (21-10, 4-2 C-USA) took the series via a sweep over the Golden Eagles (14-14, 2-4) on Saturday.
ECU capitalized in its half of the first when Christina Merrida scored on a one-out RBI single by Erin St. Ledger.
Southern Miss broke the game open with four runs in the top of the fourth. Four singles, one ECU error and a walk contributed to the Golden Eagles' scoring. Southern Miss added three more runs in the top of the seventh. Kristin Pilgrim led off the inning with a walk. Jennifer Fox then singled through the left side. After a sacrifice bunt left the runners at second and third, a single, double and sac fly led to the scores and made the margin 7-1 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
The Pirates staged a two-out rally, scoring five runs on five hits and one error. With Angel Barrella on first, Charina Sumner doubled to center, moving Barrella to third. Paige Baggett then pinch hit for Merrida and drew a walk, loading the bases. The next batter, Jessica Johnson, singled through the right side, scoring Barrella to make the score 7-2. With the bases still loaded, St. Ledger took a pitch and lined it over the center field wall for East Carolina's first grand slam of the season. With the score now 7-6, Stacey Andrews singled and Cristen Aona reached on an error by the first baseman. With a chance to tie or win the contest, Vanessa Moreno hit into a fielder's choice play that allowed Fox to tag Andrews to end the game.
Junior Brooke Swann notched her third appearance of the weekend, taking the loss that dropped her record to 12-8. She gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits while striking out one.
St. Ledger provided the offensive spark for the Pirates, going 3-for-4 with one run scored and a career-high five RBI.
East Carolina makes the longest trek in program history next weekend as it travels to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational II. The Pirates face off against BYU and Princeton on Friday at 3 and 5 p.m., respectively, to open tournament play.