Pirates Split On Day Two Of ECU Invitational
Feb. 8, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team split a pair of games on the second day of the ECU Invitational. In the first game against Middle Tennessee, the Pirates were pushed to eight innings before earning the 3-2 victory. ECU was then defeated by Virginia, 12-1, in the second game.
In the opener, Blue Raider pitcher Lindsey Vander Lugt kept the Pirate offense in check through the first two innings, not allowing a base runner. East Carolina was able to break through in the top of the third when senior Sarah Bibee recorded a bunt single with two outs and scored a batter later when junior Christina Merrida forced the Middle Tennessee third baseman into a throwing error. The ECU lead did not last long, however, as the Blue Raiders responded in the bottom half of the third and took a 2-1 lead on a Martha Davis two-run home run to left center.
The top of the fourth had the Pirates putting together another late inning scoring rally to knot the game at two runs each. Senior Angel Barralla hit a two-out triple, the first of her career, down the right field line and was driven in by junior Kaui Tom's single to left.
After the fourth it turned into a defensive show, as neither team scored again through the seven scheduled innings. With the tie breaker rule in effect to start the eighth inning, sophomore pinch runner Jillian Gallagher was placed on second base. Junior Tiffany Shaw then laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Gallagher over to third and allowing Bibee to come up clutch again for the Pirates. Her sacrifice fly to center field plated Gallagher, providing the winning run.
Paisley recorded the win in the game and now stands at 2-0 on the season. After allowing the home run to Davis in the third inning, Paisley sent down the final 16 Blue Raider batters she faced, seven via strikeouts.
The late game against Virginia had the Cavaliers jumping on the Pirates early, scoring six runs in the top of the second inning and adding six more in the top of the seventh. Giannina Cipolloni had the big hit for Virginia in the second inning with a bases-clearing triple.
Virginia pitcher Karla Wilburn shut down the Pirate offense during the game, allowing just three hits. ECU's best scoring chance actually came in the first inning, when Merrida led off with a single and with two outs junior Marina Gusman-Brown was hit by a pitch. However, a groundout to the first baseman ended the inning. East Carolina's lone run came in the bottom of the seventh when a Virginia error allowed Gusman-Brown to score.
A bright spot for the Pirates in the second game was the pitching of freshman Caitlin Wainright. She entered the contest in relief of senior Brooke Swann in the second inning and did not allow a runner through her three and one-third innings of work. She also struck out three during her time in the circle.
East Carolina returns to the field on Friday, Feb. 13, at the BAMA! Bash in Tuscaloosa, Ala., when it faces Wisconsin at 3 p.m.