Greenville, N.C. - Hofstra scored two runs in the top of the seventh and put the potential tying run in scoring position, but the Pride couldn't complete the rally in falling, 4-3, to East Carolina on the last day of the Pirate Clash on Monday at ECU Softball Stadium.
Junior Becca Bigler launched her second home run of the season to give Hofstra a chance in their last at-bat. Senior catcher Courtney Crews also went 3-for-4 with a run scored as the Pride fell to 0-3. East Carolina scored twice in the second, once in the third and added a key insurance run in the sixth which proved to be the game-winner as the Pirates improved to 5-3.
East Carolina took the early lead in the contest in the second inning. Junior pitcher Olivia Galati retired the next two hitters after a leadoff walk and appeared to get out of the inning before a fielding error allowed Alex Fieldhouse to score from second. Following a stolen base, the Pirates extended the rally on Jordan Lewis' single to center to advance Suzanne Riggs to third. East Carolina then executed a double steal to plate the second unearned run.
Fieldhouse's RBI single in the third made it 3-0 and marked the first earned run scored against Galati (0-2). Overall, Galati allowed just six hits and four runs (two earned) in six innings. She struck out five in a complete-game effort.
Hofstra also took advantage of an error to score their first run in the top of the sixth. Crews' one-out single gave the Pride a much-needed baserunner, and the backstop moved to second on a ground out. Crews then scored on a fielding error by the shortstop to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The Pirates tacked on another run in the bottom of the inning on Lewis' run-scoring double to left.
Hofstra mounted one last comeback. East Carolina's Sarah Christian threw five scoreless innings to improve to 4-1, though the Pride was able to score all three runs (two earned) in Courtney Smith's two innings of relief for the Pirates.
Down three runs to start the last inning, the Pride mounted struck fast on a Michelle Lavagnino leadoff single. Bigler, who homered in the season opener versus No. 21 Louisville, then gave Hofstra jolt with a two-run blast to left-center.
Following a groundout, Jess Hirschbuhl reached on a single as the potential tying run. Smith induced a pop out but gave up a two-out to Crews to put runners on first-and-second. Smith then got Erin Trippi to hit into a force out to end the game.
The Pride left 11 players on base in out-hitting the Pirates, 10-6.
Hofstra will next be in action in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla. starting on Friday against Louisiana-Lafayette at 3:30 p.m.