Pirates Take Series From Tulsa With 10-1 Win
March 27, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina won its second-straight Conference USA series Sunday as it topped Tulsa 10-1 in five innings. The Pirates (25-10, 5-4 C-USA) used a career-high-tying three runs batted in from senior Sissy Jimenez, a two-run home run by sophomore Kai Clark and a nine-strikeout performance from senior Toni Paisley to cruise to the victory.
Paisley (19-5) recorded the win after allowing six hits, a walk and a run in five innings. She struck out nine Sunday and 16 Saturday, giving her 25 strikeouts in 15 innings against C-USA's top offense heading into the weekend. Tulsa's Lacey Middlebrooks (7-4) took the loss after starting the game and recording just one out. She walked a pair and allowed three runs. Jordan Kinard came in for three innings and allowed seven runs, five earned, on five walks and five hits. Aimee Creger registered the last two outs for the Golden Hurricane (24-9, 7-2 C-USA) and surrendered two hits.
East Carolina wasted little time getting on the board, taking a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Junior Suzanne Riggs was hit by a pitch with one out and freshmen Jordan Lewis and Alex Fieldhouse followed with walks. Tulsa made its first pitching change of the day, bringing in Kinard for Middlebrooks. Jimenez greeted Kinard with a single to left center that plated Riggs and Lewis for a 2-0 advantage. A walk to Clark refilled the bases. After a pop out, freshman Jill Jelnick hit a slow roller between the pitcher and first baseman that she beat out for a single, allowing Fieldhouse to score. Junior pinch hitter Priscilla Velasquez drew another walk, forcing in Jimenez for a 4-0 advantage. Another pop out ended the inning.
Tulsa tried to rally with two outs in the top of the second as Haley Henshaw drew a walk and Cassidy Bowen singled to center field, putting runners on first and second. Paisley avoided damage by striking out Kelly Chapman.
In the bottom of the inning, the Pirates added three more runs to make it a 7-0 lead. Riggs started the frame doubling to left on an 0-2 pitch. A groundout moved Riggs to third, but a pop out followed. Jimenez again came through, singling to center field with two down to plate Riggs. Clark followed with a two-run home run to left center for the seven-run advantage. It was Clark's first long ball of the season and fourth of her career. A pop out got Kinard out of the inning.
Tulsa got a run back in the top of the fourth to make it a 7-1 game. Creger led off with a single to left. After a strikeout, Henshaw fouled out to catcher Clark behind home plate, but Creger tagged up and advanced to second. She came home on a Bowen single up the middle. Bowen moved to second on a passed ball, but Paisley ended the threat with another strikeout of Chapman.
ECU put the game away in the bottom of the fourth with three runs for a 10-1 lead. Lewis reached on a fielding error by the shortstop with one out before Fieldhouse and Jimenez followed with walks. Tulsa then brought in Creger, who immediately threw a wild pitch, bringing in Lewis for an 8-1 advantage. Clark drove home her career-high third run of the game with a double to left that scored Fieldhouse. After a fly out to right, Jimenez scored on a passed ball to make the 10-1 final score. Creger allowed a single to Jelnick, but ended the inning with a pop out.
Everett led off the Tulsa fifth with an infield single, but Paisley retired the next three batters on a strikeout, fielder's choice and groundout to secure the series win.
Next up for East Carolina is a visit from rival N.C. State (15-13) for a 4:00 p.m. Wednesday doubleheader. The Pirates have claimed 16-straight victories against teams from North Carolina and five consecutive wins versus the Wolfpack.