All-Time C-USA Strikeout Leader
Keli Harrell enters her third season as a graduate assistant coach after concluding her career as one of the best pitchers to come through the Pirate program as well as Conference USA.
She has proven to be just as successful of a coach as she was a player, guiding Toni Paisley to the C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Year award in 2009. Under Harrell's instruction, the Pirate pitching staff finished at the top of the league in nearly every statistical category, including earned run average (1.51), opposing batting average (.197), batters struck out looking (112), fewest hits allowed (276), fewest runs allowed (100), fewest earned runs allowed (83) and fewest walks allowed (100). Prior to being named the pitcher-of-the-year, Paisley tied the league record for pitcher-of-the-week selections in a single season by earning the nod seven times in 2009.
During her playing days, Harrell became the C-USA all-time leader in strikeouts as she fanned 948 batters over her four seasons. The Greenville, N.C., native also ranks in the top five in virtually every ECU pitching category, including holding the top spot in strikeouts, saves and appearances.
As a sophomore, Harrell compiled a record of 29-13 while garnering second team all-conference honors. That season, she led C-USA in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, saves and opposing batting average. At the conclusion of the year, she was named a Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Southeast Region selection as well as earning a spot on the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) All-State Team.
Her junior season, Harrell turned in an ERA of 1.72 while leading the conference in strikeouts. As a result, she earned first team All-C-USA accolades. Harrell was later named to the NCCSIA All-State Team for the second consecutive year.
Harrell's pitching prowess was duly noted on March 11, 2007, when her 859th strikeout at the end of the third inning in a 3-1 win over UCF gave her the all-time career record in Conference USA. She also sits first all-time in the league in appearances, second in saves and innings pitched and third in wins.
Over her four years in the circle for the Pirates, Harrell tallied 88 wins against 48 losses for a .652 winning percentage, good for the eighth-highest mark in program history. Additionally, Harrell tossed three no-hitters while earning an impressive eight C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Week honors.
Harrell graduated from East Carolina in December of 2007, earning a bachelor's degree in family and community services and is working on her master's degree in sports administration.