Pirates fall to Cougars|ECU softball wins

Published 6:25 pm Saturday, May 22, 2010

By Staff
Staff/Wire/ECU Reports
GREENVILLE — The East Carolina Pirates may have only one game left to play this season.
Desperately needing a win to help assure themselves a spot in the Conference USA tournament, the Pirates couldn’t get the job done Friday night, falling 7-6 to the Houston Cougars. Houston (24-19, 11-12) took their second straight conference win over the Pirates (30-25, 10-13) thanks in part to a three-run seventh inning.
The teams close out the regular season today at 1 p.m. at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
ECU, which has lost four straight, got off to a hot start, staking starter Seth Maness (4 runs, 14 hits, 4 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings) to a 4-1 lead after two innings of play.
John Wooten (2-4, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs) (2-5, HR, RBI) clobbered a two-run home run in the first inning for an early lead.
After Houston scored in the top of the second, the Pirates answered with two more in the bottom half. Trent Whitehead (2-4, 2 RBIs), a former star at Washington High School, slapped a two-out, two-run single for a 4-1 advantage.
Caleb Ramsey’s (3-4, HR, RBI) solo shot in the third pulled the Cougars within 4-2.
Joel Ansley (2-5, HR, RBI) hit a home run in the fourth that knotted the game.
Wooten’s second home run of the game, coming in the fifth, gave ECU a 5-4 lead.
However, Matt Creel (2-2, HR, 3 RBIs) launched a three-run blast for Houston in the seventh, giving the Cougars a 7-5 lead. That made a loser out of reliever Seth Simmons, who gave up three runs on three hits in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three.
Corey Thompson’s solo shot to start the bottom of the seventh made it a one-run game, but ECU couldn’t score again.
Creel, who pitched 2 2/3 innings of one-hit ball to earn his eighth save, struck out Kyle Roller, the potential winning run, to end the game.
William Kankel, who allowed 6 runs on 7 hits in 6 1/3 innings, got the win.