East Carolina softball had a good showing in front of its own crowd as it hosted the Pirates Clash, winning four of the five games played over the weekend.
In the last game of the Clash, the Pirates (5-5) topped Cleveland State (1-7) to finish off with a 7-0 win.
In the top of the second inning ECU head coach Courtney Oliver replaced sophomore right handed pitcher Mary Williams with senior right hand pitcher Lydia Ritchie, after Williams started allowing the Vikings to get on base.
“Mary was just off,” said Oliver. “She’s working through something right now. I didn’t want to put the team in a hole and Lydia was ready to go.”
Junior transfer Meredith Burroughs led ECU’s offense, hitting two home runs. The first home run was in the bottom of the third inning, which brought in three runs. The second home run was in the bottom of the fifth to bring in two more runs. Burroughs had been out of form lately having a batting average of .182, the second lowest average on the team.
“I was going through a slump this weekend and I had to build my confidence back up,” said Burroughs. “I just had to swing my way out of the slump and I did that.”
ECU started the Clash against the Bryant Bulldogs (1-4) where the Pirates started in a strong fashion, grabbing a 9-4 win.
The next game was the Pirates’ only loss of the tournament against Saint Francis (8-2). The Red Flash beat the Pirates 1-0. SFU’s redshirt senior right hand pitcher Ketarah DeVries threw a no hitter to hold the Pirates scoreless.
The Pirates won both the games they played Saturday. The first game of the day was against Bryant for the second time. ECU won 4-2, closer than the previous go around with the Bulldogs.
The second Saturday game was against Fordham (7-3). The Pirates topped the Rams by a narrow 3-2 margin.
Ritchie pitched three of the five games for ECU and has proven that after 10 games she is the go-to player. In the final game of the Clash she closed out the game to hold Cleveland State scoreless.
“We’ve been playing good defense,” said Ritchie. “My team helps me out a lot. Knowing they have my back really helps me out a lot and I give back to them as well.
Winning four games this weekend is a great change of pace from last weekend. ECU played in the Red and Black Showcase winning one of five game played. Now sitting at .500, the Pirates have more confidence as young season continues.
“I think we played very well,” said Oliver. “We had outstanding pitching. Our hitters did great getting into scoring positions. Overall I think we did a really good job playing defense, overall everyone played pretty well.”