GREENVILLE, N.C. – In a matchup of in-state foes, North Carolina scored a pair of first-inning runs on the way to a 4-0 non-conference victory over East Carolina Wednesday evening at the ECU Softball Stadium.
It was the first trip for the Tar Heels to Greenville since the 2015 season when the Pirates notched four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to walk away with a 4-3 win.
Team Records: East Carolina (8-7) | North Carolina: (12-4)
North Carolina took the upper hand early with a three-hit first inning that provided all the runs the Tar Heels would need to leave Greenville triumphant.
Senior catcher Alex Mycek and redshirt freshman infielder Tate McClellan tallied a pair of hits apiece for the Purple and Gold while junior infielder Meredith Burroughs drew a walk. Katie Baliff provided a good chunk of the offense for the visitors, recording three hits in four at bats and driving in two runs.
Senior RHP Lydia Ritchie (6-4) was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs on eight hits with a pair of walks and two strikeouts in six innings of work. Brittany Pickett (5-0) kept her undefeated record intact, throwing six scoreless innings that included four strikeouts and a walk.
The Decisive Innings
With one out in the bottom of the first, Taylor Wike drew a walk and scored on a double by Berlynne Delamora. Baliff added a RBI single to give the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead heading to the home half of the frame.
ECU had a great chance to crack the scoreboard in the bottom of the second as McClellan led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a fielder’s choice and North Carolina error at second base. Senior outfielder Ali Ramirez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs, before a double play and line out terminated the threat with no runs across the plate.
East Carolina had another chance to put some runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth as Mycek and McClellan singled consecutively, but both runners would be stranded on the base paths.
Statistic of the Game
The Tar Heels went 7-for-19 with runners on base while the Pirates were just 1-for-14 in the situation. ECU was also 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
East Carolina heads to the other coast this weekend, taking part in the Louisville Slugger Invitational hosted by the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. The Pirates will face Seton Hall, Portland State and the host Tigers during the three day stretch from March 3-5.