Softball Splits At Fresno State
March 11, 2010
FRESNO, Calif. - The East Carolina softball team split a pair of games against Fresno State Wednesday night at Bulldog Diamond. Fresno State took the first game 1-0 but the Pirates (9-11) responded in the second contest to claim a 3-2 victory in eight innings.
In the opener, a third-inning home run by Nicole Angene was the difference. A single to right center in the top of the eighth by freshman Cicely Lopez provided ECU with the victory in the nightcap. The triumph handed the Bulldogs (11-8) their first home loss of the season.
Sophomore Faith Sutton (3-4) was the tough-luck loser in game one as she limited Fresno State to only three hits. In her past three starts, she has allowed just seven hits. Second Team All-American Morgan Melloh (7-4) picked up the victory, shutting out the Pirates on three hits. She also fanned nine batters and walked one.
The second game had junior Toni Paisley (6-7) earning the win, going all eight innings while scattering seven hits and giving up one earned run. She struck out nine Bulldogs during the game to bring her career total to 642, good for seventh on the Conference USA all-time list. Mackenzie Oakes went the first three innings for Fresno State, giving up two runs on three hits. Melloh came in for the final five frames and took the loss to drop to 7-5. She surrendered three hits and one run while striking out 11 as the first nine outs she recorded were whiffs.
In the bottom of the third inning of game one, Fresno State scored the contest's only run on Angene's homer that snuck just inside the left-field foul pole. It was the Bulldogs' first hit of the game.
Senior Marina Gusman-Brown started the top of the fourth with a single to left field for her second hit of the game. After a foul-out and strikeout, she stole second and advanced to third when the catcher's throw went into center field. Another strikeout, however, ended the threat.
The Bulldogs also stranded a runner at third base in their half of the fourth. Courtney Moore led off with a single up the middle and Brooke Phipps came in to run. A sacrifice bunt and groundout pushed Phipps to third before Sutton struck out Andrea Ortega.
Again in the top of the fifth, the Pirates got their leadoff batter on base. Sophomore Priscilla Velasquez singled to right field and advanced to second when the fielder misplayed the ball. Melloh struck out the next two batters before a groundout ended the inning.
That was the final threat East Carolina would have as Melloh retired the final six batters in order.
In the second game, neither team was able to mount a scoring threat until the top of the fourth when ECU took a 2-0 lead. Senior Charina Sumner started the frame with a triple to left center that hit just below the top of the wall. It was the Pirates' first hit of the contest. The triple for Sumner was the 15th of her career, giving her sole possession of fifth on the East Carolina and C-USA all-time lists.
Freshman Kai Clark drove in Sumner with a single that bounced over the head of the third baseman. The base hit snapped a 2-23 skid for Clark. After falling behind 0-2 in the count, Velasquez came through with her first career triple that plated Clark. Fresno State then made a pitching change and brought in Melloh, who struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
The Bulldogs had a chance to score in the bottom of the fifth but could not convert. Ortega led off with a single to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lisamarie Coronado. Paisley struck out Angene looking for the second time in the game and retired pinch hitter Hannah Williams on a foul-out to left.
In the bottom of the sixth, Fresno State cut the lead down to one run at 2-1. Haley Gilleland singled to center field to start the frame. Jody Badorine followed with a bunt that senior Cristen Aona fielded and threw to second in time to force out Gilleland. Moore followed with a single to left that advanced Badorine to second. A wild pitch by Paisley moved both runners up a base. The pitch bounced off the backstop and to Clark, who was catching. She tried to throw down to third to catch Badorine, but the throw went wide and into left field, allowing Badorine to score and move pinch runner Kaylan Pollard to third. Paisley recovered to strike out the final two batters of the inning and end the threat.
Aona led off the top of the seventh with a single to left field. A sacrifice bunt by senior Christina Merrida advanced Aona to second and snapped Melloh's string of consecutive outs recorded with a strikeout at nine. A strikeout and groundout left Aona on second.
Ortega tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff solo home run over the wall in left field. Two outs later, Phipps doubled to left field but Gilleland fouled out to Clark behind home plate.
Sumner led off the ECU eighth with a sharp single to right field. Following a pop-out on a bunt, Velasquez drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. A whiff was the second out of the inning, but Lopez came through with a single to right center to drive in Sumner for the 3-2 lead. It was Lopez' third two-out run batted in of the season.
Paisley sent down Fresno State in order in the seventh to seal ECU's first extra-inning triumph of the year.
The Pirates complete their spring break journey this weekend with the Cal Round Robin, playing the host Bears, Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis. Action begins Friday with a 6:00 p.m. EST game against No. 13 Cal.