Pirates Pass 20-Win Mark In Sweep Of UNC Wilmington
March 25, 2009
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The East Carolina softball team used four home runs to power a sweep of UNC Wilmington at Boseman Field on Wednesday night. The pair of victories moved the Pirates to 21-9 on the season, giving the team the most wins in Conference USA.
ECU used home runs from Jessica Johnson and Cristen Aona to win game one 6-1. In the nightcap, Aona and Sarah Bibee hit back-to-back homers to lead the Pirates to a 4-0 victory over the Seahawks (3-20). Heading into the day's action, East Carolina had hit just six home runs during the season.
Johnson finished her day with four hits and Angel Barrella picked up three. Johnson's home run in game one was the 29th of her career and moved her into a tie with Kate Manuse for second on the East Carolina all-time home runs chart. The long ball also tied Johnson for eighth in Conference USA history. With her three runs batted in over the two games, Johnson moved into 10th in C-USA.
In game one, Johnson's opening-inning home run to right field drove in Charina Sumner, who had reached on an error, for a 2-0 ECU lead.
Both teams scored runs in the third with the Pirates' Kaui Tom crossing the plate after she led off with a single, moved to third on a Johnson double and scored on Barrella's groundout. UNCW answered in the bottom half of the frame on Kelsey Eddinger's lead-off home run to center field, making the score 3-1.
East Carolina tacked on another two runs in the top of the fifth for a 5-1 lead on Aona's home run to center field that drove in Barrella.
In the top of the seventh, the Pirates added the final run of the contest when Marina Gusman-Brown drove in Barrella with a two-out single up the middle.
Pitcher Toni Paisley sent down 12 of the final 13 Seahawks in game one to earn the win and improved to 15-4 on the season. Paisley limited UNCW to just four hits while striking out nine. It was her fourth-straight outing allowing one run or fewer.
The second game also showed ECU's home run power. After each team managed just one hit through the first three innings, the Pirates converted two hits into three runs in the top of the fourth. Aona's second homer of the day was a two-run shot to right that drove in Barrella. Bibee then followed with a round tripper of her own to give East Carolina a 3-0 lead.
The Pirates added their final run of the contest in the top of the sixth as Johnson drove in Gusman-Brown with a double to left field.
In the circle, Brooke Swann shut down UNC Wilmington in the second game and moved to 4-1. She allowed just three hits and one walk. The Seahawks never had a runner reach third and only had one get to second base off Swann. The win moved Swann into sole possession of ninth on the school's career victory chart while the shutout put her in a tie for ninth. She has 37 wins in her career and 13 shutouts.
After ending their nine-game string of road contests with tonight's action, the Pirates return home and to Conference USA play this weekend with C-USA Tournament champion, UCF. The teams play a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m., and a single contest on Sunday starting at noon.