(Greenville, N.C.) – Battling extraneous weather conditions, which derailed its original season opening tournament in Glendale, Ariz., along with the start times of both games Saturday in the opening day of the Pirate Snow Classic, the Delaware State softball team (1-1) settled for a split with a 4-3 victory over Drexel (0-1) and a 6-4 loss to tournament host, East Carolina (3-3).
Down 1-0 after Drexel’s Leticia Matsuoka RBI-doubled in the first, DSU answered in the third with four runs, scoring twice on two errors and outfielder Jessica Madrid (1) hitting a two-run blast to left to give her squad a 4-1 lead.
The Dragons got back in the game during the fifth when infielder Maggy Fermo drove in a run before being thrown out at first, followed by Matsuoka recording a sac-fly RBI in the seventh with the game-tying run at second and two outs.
However, Delaware State held off the Dragons as pitcher Rachel Meagley (1) forced catcher/infielder Kim Chan to ground out to short to secure the save, while Tara Tursellino (1-0) picked up the win a relief appearance.
In the night cap, East Carolina jumped out a 4-0 lead in the first, headlined by a Jordan Lewis (1) three-run homer to right off Vanessa Ciocatto (0-1).
Nevertheless, the Hornets chipped away at ECU’s lead in the second when catcher/infielder Rochelle Sablay drove in catcher/infielder Sandy Hawthorne with sac-fly RBI, followed by Madrid RBI-singling up the middle to bring in outfielder Nicole Gazzola from third during the third.
Yet, the Pirates pushed their lead back to three later in the frame with a Sarah Christian (1) leadoff home run. Two innings later, same score, ECU made it a 6-2 ball game when infielder Ali Ramirez singled down the left field line.
Delaware State, however, battled back in the sixth with a Jordan Stamps RBI-single up the middle to cut ECU’s lead to three.
After holding the Pirates scoreless later in the frame, Hawthorne doubled down the left field line with one out in the seventh, preceded by Madrid singling up the middle as Hawthorne advanced to third. Next up, Sablay flew out to left, but Hawthorne came into score.
Down to its last out and with the game-tying run at the plate, Tursellino grounded out to third to end the game as pitcher Caroline Umphlett (1-1) picked up the win.
Despite the loss, the Hornets tallied nine hits with four players finishing with multi-hit games in Hawthorne (2-for-3), Madrid (2-for-4), Sablay (2-for-2) and Stamps (2-for-3). Hawthorne also managed to score twice and draw a walk.
ECU, meanwhile, totaled 10 hits, led by outfielder Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin’s 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Infielder Kristi Oshiro also went 2-for-2, scored three runs and drove in an RBI.
Tomorrow, the Hornets will close out the Pirate Snow Classic against Seton Hall (10 a.m.) and Drexel (12 p.m.).