Paisley Sets Career Strikeout Records As ECU Splits
Feb. 18, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team opened the Pirate Classic Friday afternoon defeating Virginia 3-0 before falling to St. John's 6-5 in nine innings after fighting back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the score at 5-5 in the seventh. Senior Toni Paisley threw a shutout in game one and broke the ECU and Conference USA career strikeout records in game two. Paisley's 949 career strikeouts pushed her past 2007 teammate and former coach Keli Harrell's 948 for the all-time records.
Junior Suzanne Riggs drove in her third game-winning run of the season in the opener. In the second game, the Red Storm's Kristi Cady powered the offense with a pair of home runs and three RBI while Fachon Jones delivered the deciding run in the bottom of the ninth with a single. ECU freshman Kristi Oshiro went 2-4 with two runs batted in and a run scored during the contest.
Paisley (4-2) earned the 90th victory and 44th shutout of her career in the opener going all seven innings. She allowed singles and hit a batter while not issuing a walk. Paisley struck out eight in the contest. Erica Cipolloni (0-1) suffered the loss for Virginia in her first career start. She threw three innings and gave up a trio of hits and a run while walking five. Melanie Mitchell threw the final three for the Cavaliers, surrendering two runs on three hits.
In the second contest, junior Faith Sutton started and allowed five runs on five hits in five innings. She walked four and also fanned four. Paisley entered for the final three-and-two-thirds innings, allowing just the game-winning single and a pair of hit batters while striking out four. Linzee Sumrall threw the first five-and-a-third innings for St. John's, allowing four runs on five hits. Sumrall surrendered seven walks and struck out a pair. Ashley Beza entered for the next two-thirds of an inning, allowing two hits, a run and a walk. St. John's brought in Kat Lawrence (3-0) to throw the remaining three innings. She limited the Pirates to just one hit.
In the day's opener, East Carolina put together a two-out scoring chance in the bottom of the second inning. Freshman Alex Fieldhouse doubled to left field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Classmate Jasmine Robbins followed with a walk to put runners on the corners with two down. With freshman Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin batting, Robbins took off for second but was caught stealing, ending the threat.
Virginia had a chance of its own in the top of the third but could not push a run across. Erica Cipolloni led off with a single, advanced to second on a groundout and to third on a passed ball. With two outs, Paisley got Giannina Cipolloni to foul out to Kaluhiokalani-Glackin behind third base to end the half inning.
The Pirates cashed in on their opportunity in the bottom of the third, taking a 1-0 lead. With one out, freshmen Oshiro and Rebecca Lee drew back-to-back walks. Riggs followed with a single to left field that drove in Oshiro. The Cavaliers escaped further damage by turning a double play to end the inning. Junior Priscilla Velasquez flew out to center fielder Giannina Cipolloni, who threw home and catcher Alison Pittman applied the tag in time to a sliding Lee.
In the bottom of the fourth, ECU had a chance to tack on more runs but could not convert. Freshman Jordan Lewis led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Cicely Lopez. A fielding error by the third baseman allowed Fieldhouse to reach, putting runners on first and second with one out. A strikeout and pop out closed the inning.
East Carolina tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth for the final score of 3-0. Oshiro started the frame with a walk and Lee singled through the right side. Oshiro motored to third on the hit and Lee advanced to second when the right fielder threw to third. Riggs then reached on an error by the first baseman, as she fielded Riggs' slow roller, but failed to apply a tag. Consecutive singles by Velasquez and Lewis drove in Oshiro and Lee. Virginia got out of the jam by turning a double play on Lopez and retiring Fieldhouse on a groundout.
Virginia mounted its biggest threat in the top of the sixth but could not push a run across. Pittman reached on a fielding error by Paisley with one out. A groundout moved Pittman to second and a passed ball advanced her to third. Paisley then hit Taylor Williams with a pitch to put runners on the corners. A groundout to Oshiro at second kept the shutout intact.
Paisley retired the Cavaliers in order to end the contest and earn the victory.
East Carolina played as the visiting team in the second game and jumped on St. John's for a run in the top of the first. Lee walked with one out, stole second base with two down and scored on a Velasquez single to left field.
St. John's responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. With two outs, Cady hit a home run down the left-field line that plated Chelsea Durning, who walked to lead off the inning.
The Pirates had a chance to respond in the top of the second, getting a leadoff triple from freshman Abby Wynne. It was Wynne's second-straight at-bat with a triple as she hit one off the base of the wall in her final trip to the plate Wednesday. Lewis followed with a walk and steal of second base, putting runners on second and third with no outs. A pop out, strikeout looking and fly out to left center left the runners stranded and kept the Red Storm up by a run.
After holding off the Pirates, St. John's added two more runs in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Durning doubled to left center, plating pinch runner Kelsey Moyer and Julia Sanchez for a 4-1 advantage.
The Red Storm continued to add runs in the bottom of the third, taking a 5-1 lead on Cady's second long ball of the game, a solo shot to left. Cady became the first player to hit a pair of homers against the Pirates since UTEP's Chelsea Troupe during the first round of the 2009 Conference USA Tournament.
In the top of the fourth, the Pirates cut the deficit in half and made the score 5-3. Lewis led off with a walk, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on a two-out Oshiro single to left center. Lee followed with an infield hit to the second baseman, who threw the ball away, allowing Oshiro to score and Lee to move to second. Riggs sent a hard grounder to the shortstop, who made the play and retired Riggs at first to end the inning.
East Carolina continued to cut into the lead in the top of the sixth with a run to make it a 5-4 St. John's lead. Freshman Mahrisch Medina led off with a walk. Classmate Jill Jelnick advanced Medina to second with a sacrifice bunt. Oshiro continued her strong day, driving in Medina with a single to left center. Cady made a strong throw to the plate, but Medina slid under the tag. St. John's then made a pitching change, bringing in Beza. Lee walked to bring Riggs to the plate, but she grounded into a fielder's choice and Velasquez flew out to right center to close the half inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Pirates scored a two-out run to knot the game at 5-5. Fieldhouse led off with a check-swing single in front of home plate. Lopez entered as a pinch hitter and laid down a bunt that she beat out for a base hit. Wynne then re-entered for Lopez to run. St. John's made another pitching change, bringing in Lawrence. She struck out the next two batters before Jelnick blooped a single into center field just behind second base. The Red Storm second baseman and shortstop collided trying to make the catch. Both stayed in the game. Lawrence retired Oshiro on a groundout to the first baseman to end the threat.
With the scored tied after seven innings, the game utilized the international tie breaker rules, placing the last batter out from the previous inning on second base to start the next frame. For ECU in the top of the eighth, Oshiro was on second and Lee sacrificed her over to third. Riggs fouled out to the left fielder and Velasquez flew out to right, ending the frame.
The Red Storm's Chrissy Montez was placed on second in the bottom of the eighth and advanced to third on a passed ball. Paisley struck out pinch hitter Meghan Gwynn, Dominique Marcelino and Michelle Tilson. The whiff of Tilson set the ECU and C-USA records.
St. John's ended the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out single from Fachon Jones, who sent a hard liner off the glove of Oshiro at shortstop. Tilson scored the game-winning run for the Red Storm.
East Carolina continues action at the Pirate Classic tomorrow afternoon with games at approximately 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. against Hofstra and Kent State, respectively.