Softball Splits At Pirate Clash

UABSPORTS.COM Sophomore Jillian Gallagher collected five hits on the day
Sophomore Jillian Gallagher collected five hits on the day

March 11, 2009

Toledo Box Score

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -- The East Carolina softball team defeated Toledo 9-0 before falling to Georgetown 3-1 on the final day of the Pirate Clash. ECU had seven different players drive in runs on the day. The Pirates (14-7, 2-1 C-USA) scored five runs in the second inning and four in the fifth to defeat Toledo (1-10) in the morning game. In the second game, Georgetown (4-13) scored two in the top of the first, one in the top of the third and held off a late Pirate rally to earn the win.

Jillian Gallagher went 5-7 on the day with a run scored to lead the offense. Jessica Johnson continued her hot streak, going 3-3 against Toledo and driving in a run. Angel Barrella also chipped in with two hits, two runs scored and one RBI.

In the pitching circle for the Pirates, Toni Paisley picked up the win in the game against Toledo and moved to 10-2 on the year. She struck out five Rockets and three Georgetown players to move into fifth on the East Carolina strikeouts in a career list with 331. Caitlin Wainright suffered the loss in the Georgetown game and fell to 2-4.

In game one against Toledo, East Carolina scored five runs in the top of the second inning to take a 5-0 lead. Barrella led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cristen Aona. Paisley then helped herself and picked up the first RBI of her career with a single to left field that plated Barrella. Gallagher followed with a single and stole second base. On the steal, the UT second baseman had the ball go off her glove and into left field, allowing Paisley to cross home for a 2-0 lead.

Gallagher then stole third base and scored when Christina Merrida's hit back to the pitcher was misplayed. ECU got the fourth run on Charina Sumner's single up the middle which drove in Merrida. The final run of the inning was scored by Sumner, who Johnson doubled home.

The Pirates added the last four runs of the game in the top of the fifth as Johnson and Marina Gusman-Brown hit back-to-back doubles to start the inning. Barrella then singled to right to drive in Gusman-Brown and put ECU ahead 7-0. Aona next laid down a bunt that the Toledo catcher fielded and threw high to first, allowing Aona to reach safely. A sacrifice fly to right field by Sissy Jimenez, her first RBI of the year, drove in Barrella. Paisley's groundout to the second baseman drove in Aona for the final Pirate run and the 9-0 lead. Paisley finished the contest as the only player with more than one RBI.

In the bottom of the fifth the Rockets had their best scoring chance, as they loaded the bases with two outs on two ECU errors and a hit. Paisley then struck out her fifth Toledo batter to end the game.

The second game against Georgetown had the Hoyas get two runs with two outs in the top of the first as Samantha Peters walked, stole second and scored on a single up the middle by Cara Savarese. Mackensey Carter then doubled to right center and plated Peters for the 2-0 lead. A Kristi Preuss home run to begin the third inning gave the Hoyas a 3-0 advantage.

East Carolina got on the board with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to trail just 3-1. Aona tripled to right center to lead off and Kaui Tom turned a nine-pitch at bat into a single to left field that drove in Aona. The Pirates then loaded the bases with one out but could not push another run across.

Paisley entered to pitch in the top of the sixth and sent the Hoyas down in order. In the bottom of the frame, Gusman-Brown legged out an infield single and Barrella followed with a walk after falling behind in the count 0-2. A double steal put the runners on second and third with nobody out. Aona then lined out to the pitcher and Gusman-Brown was doubled off on the play, ending the ECU threat.

In the bottom of the seventh, East Carolina went down in order to end the game. Carter pitched four-and-a-third innings before Jennifer Connell got the final seven outs for the save. The duo gave up just six hits and struck out three.

Next on the slate for the Pirates is a return to Conference USA play with a trip to Southern Miss this weekend. East Carolina is scheduled to play a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, and one game starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.