Riggs Leads Pirates To 5-4 Win
Feb. 21, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Junior Suzanne Riggs drove in four runs and hit her first career home run as East Carolina held on for a 5-4 win over Hofstra Monday afternoon. The Pirates established a 5-0 lead before the Pride rallied to score four runs in the top of the seventh. The victory extended the Pirates' (8-4) winning streak to four games and improved the squad to 6-1 during the homestand.
Senior Toni Paisley (7-2) went the distance for ECU, allowing six hits, all singles, two walks and a hit batter while fanning six. Paisley has not allowed an extra-base hit during the homestand. Olivia Galati (4-3) took the loss for the Pride, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks in four-and-a-third innings. She also fanned four. Erin Wade came in for the last inning-and-two-thirds, allowing one run on two hits and a walk.
The Pirates had the first scoring opportunity of the game, mounting a two-out threat in the bottom of the first but did not score. Riggs drew a walk and junior Priscilla Velasquez was hit by the first pitch of her at-bat. Galati escaped by striking out freshman Alex Fieldhouse.
Hofstra (6-4) had its best chance to score prior to the seventh inning in the top of the second. The Pride got its leadoff batter on when catcher Laura Valentino reached on a walk. The free pass was only the fifth allowed by Paisley this season. Galati followed with a single just inside the left-field line, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Paisley retired Becca Bigler on a strikeout looking before Krista Thorn fought through a 10 pitch at-bat that ended with a fielder's choice as Fieldhouse grabbed her grounder and stepped on third for the force play. Paisley recorded the final out of the inning by striking out Trisha Dreslinski.
ECU cashed in on a two-out chance in the third to take a 1-0 lead. Freshman Kristi Oshiro recorded the team's first hit with a one-out single to left center. Oshiro stole second base but classmate Rebecca Lee grounded out to the pitcher. Riggs came through with two outs, waiting on a change-up and sending it into left field for a single that drove in Oshiro. Since returning home after the opening weekend of the season, Oshiro has scored 10 of ECU's 37 runs (27.0 percent).
Neither team managed to advance a runner past second base until Riggs' three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. Oshiro and Lee drew back-to-back walks with one out before Riggs' long ball over the wall in left field.
The Pirates added their final run in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 5-0 lead. With one out, freshman Jordan Lewis singled to left field and senior pinch hitter Sissy Jimenez followed with another single to left. Sophomore pinch hitter Cicely Lopez grounded out to the pitcher, moving both runners up a base. A wild pitch by Wade with Oshiro batting brought in Lewis before a pop out ended the threat.
Hofstra refused to go quietly in the seventh, scoring all four of its runs to make the 5-4 final. The Pride started the inning with four-straight singles from Valentino, Galati, Bigler and Thorn, with Thorn's driving in Valentino. Paisley struck out pinch hitter D.J. Slugh but Jess Hirschbuhl was hit by a pitch to force in Galati to trim the lead to 5-2. Rachael Senatore then drew a walk to force in Bigler. Tessa Ziemba grounded out to Oshiro at second, but Thorn came home on the play. With runners on second and third and two outs, Paisley retired Sara Michalowski on a grounder to Oshiro to end the game and preserve the victory.
East Carolina takes three days off before returning to action Friday with the Pirate Clash. ECU opens tournament action against Towson at 4:00 p.m.