ADA – Freshman right-hander Brianna Nunley fired a no-hitter as East Central University’s softball team completed a non-conference doubleheader sweep with a 9-1 victory in over the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma on the run-rule in six innings Wednesday at Lady Tiger Field.
That win came after the Lady Tigers rallied from an 8-2 deficit in thrilling fashion with seven unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to edge the Lady Drovers, 9-8, in the doubleheader opener.
ECU improved to 7-6 overall on the season with the two victories.
“I liked the way we still maintained our composure and made plays on defense,” said ECU head coach Destini Anderson about the opener. “Our bats were cold, but then again hitting is contagious. Even though that error was made (which led to the unearned scores in the seventh), we still had to hit the ball after that. I thought our seniors, in the middle of the lineup, stayed focused and got us going.”
ECU 9, USAO 1 (Game 2)
Nunley worked all six innings and allowed just four walks and struck out six in raising her record to 4-2. She also took the win in relief in the first game.
The only run she surrendered in the second game was unearned.
“We were looking for someone to step up and get the job done when others are struggling,” Anderson said. “Brianna has been working hard on her pitches. Randi Crockett (graduate assistant coach) has really been working with her and has done a good job with her.”
The Lady Tigers jumped out the Lady Drovers with four runs in the opening inning, three of which were unearned. Ali Manship’s sacrifice fly scored Emily Kennemer, who got on after being hit by a pitch.
A dropped fly ball, hit by Peyton Watson to left, as Cami Correa and Desiree’ Nordie scored. Lauren Bancroft’s double to right, plated Watson for the fourth run of the frame.
ECU increased the advantage to 6-0 in the fifth off a Correa sacrifice fly and a Nordie RBI single up the middle which was batted down by the second baseman for an infield hit.
USAO pushed its only run across off an error to pull within 6-1.
But a three-run bottom of the sixth concluded the contest as Correa delivered a walk-off three-run double off a line drive over the center fielder’s head.
Correa and Shelby Simmons each had two hits in the Lady Tigers’ eight-hit attack. Correa was 2-for-3 with four runs batted in and scored once while Simmons went 2-for-4 and scored twice.
Elizabeth Agpalo took the loss for USAO as she gave up just five earned runs off eight hits with three walks and one strikeout.
ECU 9, USAO 8 (Game 1)
Nordie’s walk-off double to right-center in the bottom of the seventh, capped the seven-run scoring barrage.
The Lady Drovers out-hit the Lady Tigers by a 14-8 margin.
Kennemer and Nordie were the only multi-hitters for ECU in the contest as Kennemer went 2-for-4 with a homer, double, one run scored and four RBIs while Nordie was 2-for-3 with an RBI double to win it and scored once.
Nunley pitched the final 4.1 innings and allowed three earned runs off seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts in relief of the starter Manship.
The Lady Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second off Watson’s sacrifice fly to right field, which scored Manship.
After the Lady Drovers scored five unearned runs in the third to take a 5-1 lead, Kennemer launched a solo-homer to left, pulling ECU within 5-2.
USAO went on to get a single score in the fifth and a two-run homer by Kristin Moyers in the sixth to make it 8-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Tigers did all of their damage with two outs. Pinch-runner Laura Loughmiller raced home on an fielding error for the first run. The speedy Simmons beat out a slow roller to the pitcher to bring home Nordie for the second score of the inning.
Kennemer laced a three-run double to left-center, pulling ECU within 8-7. Correa’s clutch single to right-center tied the game at 8-all, before Nordie came through with her heroic walk-off run scoring double, scoring pinch-runner Lauren Hayes, to end the contest.
ECU hosts Southwestern Oklahoma State for a four-game series on Saturday and Sunday. The doubleheaders will begin at 1 p.m. each day.