Pack Softball Turns Away ECU in Game One of Doubleheader, 7-2
April 10, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State softball team scored the first run of the game for the 21st time this season and never trailed in a 7-2 win against the East Carolina Pirates Wednesday afternoon at Dail Stadium. State is now 19-3 on the year when scoring the first run of the game.
“I thought it was great for our team to come out and score some runs early like we did today,” said head coach Shawn Rychcik. “We faced the same starting pitcher for ECU last year and she beat us, so I was really proud of how we came out and swung the bats.”
The Wolfpack (24-10) extended its win streak to six games with two runs in the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead on the Pirates. Freshman Molly Hutchison walked on a full count pitch and sophomore Hanna Sommer followed with a two-run homer over the center field fence. It was her fourth of the season.
State tacked on two additional runs in the bottom of the third after an RBI single from senior Kirsty Grant and a sacrifice fly from Sommer. Sophomore Lana Van Dyken reached on an error by the pitcher to start the inning and advanced to second after the ball skipped away from the first baseman. Grant’s single up the middle plated Van Dyken from third as the Pack took a 3-0 lead.
“We strung a couple hits together and worked as a team in order to get runs across the plate,” said Van Dyken.
Hutchison singled up the middle moving Grant over to third base prior to Sommer’s at-bat. The sophomore from Tustin, Calif., lifted a fly ball to deep right field scoring Grant from third.
In the fourth inning, senior Scout Albertson smacked her first home run of the 2014 season as the Wolfpack stretched its lead to 5-0. Sommer drove in her fourth run of the game in the fifth when she lined a single to right field scoring Grant from second.
East Carolina countered with two runs in the top of the sixth, but NC State’s starting pitcher Emily Weiman (21-8) kept them from getting any closer. Weiman threw her 22nd complete game of the season to earn the win after allowing just four hits and collecting seven strikeouts.
“I felt good out there today,” said Weiman. “Midweek games are sometimes tough because they usually aren’t conference games, but I just kept my focus and tried to hit my spots and execute pitches. Every game matters and we can’t take any team lightly.”
Sommer led the team at the plate in the contest with a 2-for-4 outing, highlighted by four RBI and a run scored. Grant was also 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Albertson, Renada Davis, Hutchison, Tyler Ross and Van Dyken all had one hit.