Pirate Softball: UNCW Edges East Carolina, 4-3

GREENVILLE, N.C. – UNCW scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning Wednesday and held on for a 4-3 non-conference softball victory over East Carolina at the ECU Softball Stadium.

The Seahawks (25-18) racked up 11 hits as compared to the Pirates’ (20-27) six and the teams combined for a total of four errors. ECU also stranded eight runners on base.

Senior shortstop Casey Alcorn tallied a team-high two hits to go along with a run scored while sophomore infielder Rebecca Perrell drove in a pair of runs on the strength of her first career home run. Hannah Adamczyk paced the visitors with four hits and a RBI.

Freshman RHP Mary Williams (5-13) tossed her  fifth complete game of the season, surrendering four runs on 11 hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Laurel Koontz (1-1) picked up the win in relief as she allowed a run on three hits in two innings of work. She did not record a walk or a strikeout.

How it Happened: East Carolina turned in the first real threat of the game in the bottom of the second when freshman catcher Ashley Weingartz was hit by a pitch. However, a fly out to left field terminated the inning. The Seahawks put runners on the corners with one out in both the third and fourth innings but could not scratch across a run thanks to some heads up defense in the third and a pair of groundouts in the fourth. A pair of consecutive one-out doubles by Alcorn and sophomore third baseman Karlie Smith allowed ECU to take a 1-0 lead through three complete innings. UNCW struck back in the top of the fifth with a three spot on four hits and extended its advantage to 4-1 in the sixth thanks to a Sarah Davis RBI double. Senior outfielder Nicole Cheek sparked the Pirates in the bottom of the sixth by reaching on an error at second base before Perrell connected on the first pitch she saw and belted it just inside the left foul pole to cut the Seahawk cushion to a slim 4-3. After Williams held UNCW in check in the top of the seventh, Alcorn moved into scoring position with two outs in the home half before a groundout ended the contest.

Bits and Pieces: The Seahawks won their fourth-straight meeting with East Carolina and cut the Pirates’ series lead to 79-18 … UNCW improved to 4-4 in true road contests while ECU dropped to 5-10 at home … Weingartz and Perrell made their first starts of the 2016 campaign while Weingartz recorded her first career start … The Seahawks recorded the only two-out RBI of the game … East Carolina fell to 16-8 when scoring first this season … ECU was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position … Head Coach Courtney Oliver suspended six players for the contest due to a violation of team rules.

Up Next: East Carolina wraps up its home schedule this weekend when it welcomes American Athletic Conference foe Houston to the ECU Softball Stadium for a three-game series. The teams will kick off the set Friday evening at 6 p.m.

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