GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina had American Athletic Conference first-place Tulsa on the ropes Saturday afternoon, but the Hurricane found a way to score twice in the top of the 12th inning to record a 3-1 win over the Pirates at the ECU Softball Stadium.
Team Records: East Carolina: 25-28, 5-12 AAC \\\ Tulsa: 35-13, 13-1 AAC
Junior infielder Meredith Burroughs and redshirt junior catcher Alex Mycek recorded a hit each while Burroughs drove in ECU’s lone run of the game on a no-doubt bomb of a home run off of Hurricane ace Emily Watson in the bottom of the fourth that gave the Purple and Gold a 1-0 lead. Morgan Neal and Tori Stafford collected three hits apiece for the visitors.
Senior RHP Lydia Ritchie (16-14) stood toe to toe with Watson, tossing a career-high 12 innings and allowing just one earned run (three total) on 12 hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Watson (25-3) fanned 14 batters in 12 innings pitched with five walks. The two pitchers combined to throw 343 pitches in the game.
How They Scored
Leading off the bottom of the fourth inning, Burroughs left little room for debate as she connected on a 1-2 pitch and cranked it off the Pirate logo on top of the scoreboard to make it a 1-0 contest.
The Hurricane just managed to scratch across an unearned run with two outs in the top of the sixth on a RBI single by Stafford to knot the score.
The two pitchers battled back and forth, keeping the opposing offense quiet until the top of the 12th. Maggie Withee reached on a fielding error at short and Neal produced an infield single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Maddie Withee then flew out to center field and the lead runner attempted to score from third. Senior outfielder Ciara Ervin made a great throw home but Withee was deemed safe and Tulsa grabbed a 2-1 lead. Stafford capped the scoring with a RBI single. ECU went down in order in the bottom of the 12th.
Statistic of the Game
The 12-inning affair was the longest game the Pirates have played since ECU fell 5-4 at Memphis in 12 innings back on March 28, 2015.
East Carolina wraps up the series and the regular season Sunday, facing off against the Hurricane at noon. The Pirates’ five seniors will be recognized before the game.