Pirates Take Two Saturday
March 5, 2011
TEMPE, Ariz. - Another shutout by senior Toni Paisley and a three-hit performance by junior Faith Sutton led East Carolina to wins Saturday over Creighton and Northern Iowa Saturday at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational. The Pirates (15-5) downed the Bluejays 2-0 in the opener before topping the Panthers 4-1. ECU has won 11 of its last 12 games after starting the year 2-3.
In the first game, Paisley (11-3) earned the victory and 49th shutout of her career, throwing all seven innings and scattering three hits. She walked a batter and hit another, but struck out 10 in the contest. It was the 42nd game of her career with 10 or more strikeouts. Becca Changstrom (4-3) suffered the loss for Creighton, despite allowing just three hits. She struck out seven and issued a trio of walks.
ECU's Sutton (4-2) went the distance in the second game, giving up three hits and a pair of walks. She fanned six and gave up the Panthers' only run of the game on a home run by Hannah Borschel to open the contest. Jaye Hutcheson (2-3) allowed eight hits and four runs, two earned, during four-and-two-thirds innings of work. Jamie Fischer came in for the last inning-and-a-third, allowing one hit and a walk while fanning three.
In the opener, Creighton (7-6) had a chance to score in the top of the first but could not convert. Christa Ruf led off the game with a bouncer up the middle that she beat out for an infield single. A sacrifice bunt moved Ruf to second before Paisley struck out Amy Baker. With the two outs, McKenna Setlik drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Paisley rebounded to strike out Sammy Snygg looking, ending the threat.
After making the defensive hold, ECU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Freshman Kristi Oshiro and classmate Rebecca Lee started the inning with back-to-back walks. Junior Suzanne Riggs struck out looking, but classmate Priscilla Velasquez was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Freshman Alex Fieldhouse sent a hard grounder to the second baseman, who made the stop and threw home to try and force out Oshiro. Oshiro beat the throw to put the Pirates up 1-0. A fielder's choice and strikeout looking prevented East Carolina from adding to the lead.
The Bluejays tried to answer in the top of the second with the help of an ECU error. With one out, Ellen Homan sent a grounder to Fieldhouse at third. Fieldhouse made the throw to first, but it went wide, allowing Homan to end up on second. Pinch hitter Brittnie Kreiser grounded out to Oshiro and a lineout to Oshiro by Danai Martin ended the threat.
Creighton had its leadoff batter on again in the top of the third and fourth but failed to score. After sacrifice bunts in both innings moved the runner to second, a fly out and strikeout closed the third while a fly out and pop out ended the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Pirates got a one-out double from freshman Jordan Lewis, but could do no damage as a pair of strikeouts ended the inning.
ECU mounted a two-out threat in the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back singles by Lee and Riggs, but a groundout to second followed for the third out.
East Carolina broke through to add its insurance run in the bottom of the sixth and make it the 2-0 final. Fieldhouse led off reaching on an error by the shortstop as the throw sailed over the head of the first baseman and allowed Fieldhouse to end up on second. Freshman Mahrisch Medina entered to run for Fieldhouse and advanced to third on a groundout by Lewis. Freshman Abby Wynne was then hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with one out. Senior pinch hitter Sissy Jimenez drew a walk to load the bases for sophomore pinch hitter Kai Clark, who delivered a sacrifice fly to right center that brought in Medina. A groundout to the pitcher ended the threat.
Paisley struck out the first batter in the seventh before Homan singled just inside the third-base line. Pinch hitter Brittanee Grove struck out looking and Martin went down looking to seal the win for the Pirates.
In the second contest, the Panthers jumped on ECU for a run in the top of the first when Borschel converted a 10-pitch at bat into a home run to right center to open the game. Northern Iowa had a chance to tack on more runs as a pair of walks put runners on first and second with two outs. Sutton retired Eranne Daugharthy on a groundout to freshman Jill Jelnick at second base to close the inning.
The Pirates had a chance to answer in the bottom of the frame as Oshiro led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lee. After a pop out, Oshiro moved to third on a wild pitch, but a strikeout ended the threat.
In the bottom of the third, ECU knotted the game at 1-1. Oshiro singled up the middle with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Lee followed with a grounder to the shortstop, who looked Oshiro back toward second but made no throw to first base. With Oshiro on second and Lee on first, Riggs sent a single through the right side that plated Oshiro and tied the game. Lee ended up on third and Riggs on second on the play, but both would stay there as a strikeout and groundout closed the inning.
After retiring the Panthers in order in the top of the fourth, the Pirates took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the frame with a pair of Northern Iowa errors. Fieldhouse reached on an error to open the half inning as the ball rolled through the legs of the third baseman. A sacrifice bunt by Clark moved Fieldhouse to second and a groundout to second by Jelnick advanced Fieldhouse to third. With two outs, freshman Jasmine Robbins sent a grounder up the middle that the shortstop had roll under her glove. Fieldhouse scored for a 2-1 lead. Robbins then stole second and went to third on an infield single by Oshiro. Lee made it a 3-1 advantage on a single to the third baseman that brought home Robbins. A fly out to right field by Riggs ended the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth, East Carolina tacked on another run for a 4-1 lead. Lewis led off with a four-pitch walk, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jimenez, advanced to third on a groundout to second by Fieldhouse and came home on a single up the middle by Clark. Jelnick followed with a walk to put runners on first and second, but Robbins struck out looking for the third out.
The Panthers registered their final base runner in the top of the sixth with a two-out single by Rachel Gerking. Sutton struck out Courtney Dunker to close the inning.
Oshiro singled up the middle to open the bottom of the inning for her fourth hit of the contest. She became the first Pirate to record for hits in a game since Angel Barella had four at Marshall April 25, 2009. A Lee sacrifice bunt moved Oshiro to second, but she was left there following a pair of strikeouts.
Sutton retired the Panthers in order in the seventh on a foul out, strikeout and lineout to earn her third-straight victory.
East Carolina completes play at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational Sunday with an 11:00 a.m. game against Northern Colorado.