Pirates Earn Saturday Split
March 26, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - A bases-loaded walk by sophomore Kai Clark in the bottom of the 10th inning and a career-high 16 strikeouts by senior Toni Paisley pushed East Carolina to a 1-0 victory over Tulsa in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. The Golden Hurricane (24-8, 7-1 C-USA) came back to capture a 5-3 victory in the second contest as Aimee Creger limited the Pirates (24-10, 4-4 C-USA) to two hits. ECU's win in the opener snapped Tulsa's nine-game winning streak and handed the Golden Hurricane its first Conference USA loss of the season.
Paisley (18-5) scattered five hits over the 10 innings and issued a trio of walks. The 16 strikeouts were one more than her previous best, done three times. It was also the 45th game of her career fanning 10 or more. Jordan Kinard started for Tulsa and went the first nine innings. She allowed eight hits and three walks while striking out nine. Lacey Middlebrooks (7-3) took the loss after entering for the start of the 10th. She recorded one out and four walks during the frame.
In the second game, junior Faith Sutton (6-5) was saddled with the loss for ECU as she allowed five runs, three earned, on nine hits and one walk. Sutton struck out a season-high-tying eight in the contest. She allowed four runs on three hits in the first inning, but settled down to surrender six hits and one run the rest of the way. Creger (12-1) gave up nine walks in the contest, but just a pair of first-inning singles. She also struck out eight.
In the opener, neither team had a runner on base with fewer than two outs until the top of the third. Tulsa's Cassidy Bowen led off with a walk. She was left stranded after strikeouts by Kelly Chapman and Caitlin Everett and a foul out by Jill Barrett.
The Pirates answered in the bottom of the frame with their own scoring threat. Freshman Mahrisch Medina stroked a single to center on the first pitch of the inning. After a fly out to left, classmate Kristi Oshiro singled to right, putting runners on first and second with one down. Kinard rebounded, retiring the next two batters on a strikeout and fly out to end the third.
East Carolina had a one-out runner in the bottom of the fourth as freshman Alex Fieldhouse drew a walk. A sacrifice bunt by junior Priscilla Velasquez moved Fieldhouse to second, but a pop out ended the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth the Pirates had another chance to score but could not convert. Freshman Jill Jelnick reached on an infield single with one down and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Oshiro. Senior Sissy Jimenez entered to pinch hit, but grounded out to the second baseman for the third out.
ECU loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but failed to push one across. Freshman Jordan Lewis singled off the glove of Barrett at third with one out and Fieldhouse followed with a double down the left-field line that put runners on first and second. Freshman pinch hitter Abby Wynne followed with a walk to load the bases. A foul out and strikeout closed the threat.
Paisley retired the Golden Hurricane in order in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the frame, Oshiro doubled to center field with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch by Kinard. A groundout and foul out left Oshiro on third.
With two outs in the top of the eighth, Everett singled through the left side and stole second base. Paisley retired Barrett on a foul out to end the threat.
Lewis led off the Pirate half of the eighth with a single to left center and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Fieldhouse. Lewis was left stranded after a pair of strikeouts.
Tulsa had a chance to go ahead in the top of the ninth, but did not score. Cobb started the inning with a four-pitch walk. After a foul out, Middlebrooks singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. Paisley rebounded to retire the next two batters on a shallow fly out and strikeout.
The Golden Hurricane had another leadoff walk in the 10th inning by Bowen. Keri Leach entered to pinch run, but a pair of strikeouts and a groundout followed.
East Carolina broke through with the game's only run in the bottom of the frame. Junior Suzanne Riggs led off with a walk and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore pinch hitter Cicely Lopez. Fieldhouse and Wynne followed with two more walks to load the bases with one down. Clark fell behind in the count 1-2, but came back to draw a walk that forced in Riggs with the winning run.
In the second contest, Tulsa jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. Everett reached on an infield single, advanced to second on a passed ball and moved to third on a stolen base. She came home when catcher Clark's throw to second to try and catch Samantha Cobb, who had walked, sailed into center field. Cobb came home on a fielding error by second baseman Jelnick, who could not handle a hard grounder by Skylar Swanson. A single by Middlebrooks put runners on first and second with one down. Both runners came home on a two-out triple to left center by Shelby Blanton. Sutton escaped further damage with a pop out.
The Pirates responded with three runs in the bottom of the first to make it a 4-3 deficit. Oshiro, Riggs and Lewis drew consecutive walks to start the frame. After a strikeout, Jimenez singled to left field, plating Oshiro and refilling the bases. Clark followed with another single, driving in Riggs and making it a 4-2 deficit. Medina lined out to Cobb at shortstop, but Jelnick drew a walk to force in Lewis. Creger ended the threat with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the second, Riggs drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. A strikeout and pop out left her on second.
Tulsa's Bowen singled to center field with one out in the top of the fourth, but a fly out and lineout ended the threat.
The Golden Hurricane added an insurance run in the top of the fifth as Barrett led off with a double off the base of the wall in right center, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a groundout to the shortstop by Swanson.
ECU had a runner on in both the fifth and sixth innings, but she was erased with a pair of double plays, one on a lineout and another on a ground ball.
In the top of the seventh, Swanson hit a two-out double to right field, but was left stranded as Middlebrooks grounded out to Sutton to end the inning.
The Pirates got the leadoff batter on in the seventh as Jelnick drew a walk. After a strikeout and fly out, Riggs drew a walk to put runners on first and second with two down. A strikeout by Lewis sealed the victory for the Golden Hurricane.
East Carolina and Tulsa complete the series with a single game Sunday at 11:00 a.m. The game was moved up an hour due to the threat of rain in the area.