Junior Jill Jelnick’s infield single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored junior pinch runner Chelsea Kaluhoiokalani-Glackin from third base to give East Carolina (7-8) a thrilling 3-2 victory over Binghamton (1-4) on Friday at Mesa Community College in the team’s first game of the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational. The win also snapped the Pirates’ five-game losing streak.
Sophomore Sarah Christian (6-3) went the distance to earn the victory for the Pirates. She scattered nine hits, walked two and struck out three in the win. Kate Price (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing the unearned run in extra innings. Demi Laney started for the Bearcats and limited the Pirates to just two runs in her six innings in the circle.
The ECU ninth began with senior Cicely Lopez being placed on second due to the international tie-breaker rule. Kalhuiokalani-Glackin was inserted to run for Lopez and moved to third on freshman Meredith Mitchell’s sacrifice bunt. Jelnick followed with a single to the shortstop to score Kalhiokalani with the game-winner and snap the losing streak.
Besides Jelnick’s four hits, junior Alex Fieldhouse picked up a pair of hits and an RBI for ECU.
Christian needed to pitch out of an immediate jam in the first inning. Jessica Bump lined a single to left to lead-off the game and moved up a base on Sydney Harbaugh’s infield single. After a fly out to right for the first out that advanced Bump to third, Harbaugh stole second to move into scoring position. The Greenville, N.C. native stood strong for the Pirates though and induced a pop out to second and ground out to herself to get out of the sticky situation.
Laney worked herself out of a jam in the bottom half of the frame. Kristi Oshiro walked and moved all the way to third as Fieldhouse reach on an error. Freshman Casey Alcorn then walked to load the bases with only one out, but the next two were retired on a fielder’s choice ground out to third to eliminate Fieldhouse at the plate and a strikeout to keep the game scoreless.
Binghamton took the lead with two two-out runs in the third inning. Harbaugh walked and scored all the way from first on Jessica Phillips triple to the gap in right. Lisa Cadogan then pushed a single up the middle to score Phillips. The ECU defense prevented a key run from scoring to end the inning on nice relay from left fielder Jelnick to shortstop Alcorn to Clark at the plate to stop Cadogan, who was attempting to score all the way from first, on Tiffany McIntosh’s double.
ECU tied the game in the bottom of the third on three hits and a throwing error. Jelnick recorded her second double of the game to begin the frame. Fieldhouse ripped a single up the middle to plate Jelnick. The Garden Grove, Calif. moved to second on a wild pitch and third on Jordan Lewis’ single. Lewis then stole second and took third as Fieldhouse scored on the throwing error from the Binghamton catcher on the play.
The Pirates escaped a no-out bases-load situation in the fourth inning with Christian recording a fielder’s choice ground out, a strikeout and a ground out to second to keep the game knotted at two.
ECU had a runner reach second in the fourth inning. Mitchell recorded a two-out double to center, but Jelnick was called out on a close play at first to end the inning.
East Carolina put a near rally together in the seventh inning. Jelnick start it with a single and moved to second on Oshiro’s bunt single. Fieldhouse singled to short, but Jelnick with hit with the batted ball and called out on the play. Alcorn then singled off the Binghamton pitcher’s body, Oshiro attempted to score on the play in the confusion and was thrown out at home. The next batter was retired on pop out to send the game into extra innings.