Pirates Top Southern Miss Twice
April 2, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - East Carolina used solid pitching and two-out hitting to roll to 6-0 and 5-1 victories over Southern Miss Saturday afternoon. In the opener, senior Toni Paisley threw the sixth no-hitter of her career and was one out away from a perfect game before a fielding error. During the second contest, junior Faith Sutton scattered seven hits in the complete-game victory. The run was the first Southern Miss (10-23, 0-8 C-USA) had scored against the Pirates since March 15, 2009.
For the ECU offense, a two-run double by freshman Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin with two outs in the top of the second was all the offense the Pirates (27-10, 7-4 C-USA) needed during the first game. In the second contest, a double by freshman Rebecca Lee drove in the game-winning run and classmate Jordan Lewis added a two-run home run. For the doubleheader, East Carolina scored nine of its 11 runs with two outs.
Paisley (20-5) moved into a tie for second with Louisville's Aja Sherman (2002-05) for the most no-hitters in Conference USA history. Paisley trails DePaul's Lindsay Chouinard (2000-03) by one for the all-time league record. Paisley fanned 12 and threw her second no-hitter in her last three starts in Hattiesburg. Gabby Luciani (2-4) took the loss for Southern Miss after throwing the first two-and-two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on three hits and four walks. She also hit a batter and fanned three. Courtney Ramos entered for the final four-and-a-third frames. She surrendered a trio of runs on four hits and a walk and struck out six.
Sutton (7-5) allowed the one run and struck out five during game two. She did not walk a batter, but hit one. Beth Dietrich (5-11) was handed the loss for the Golden Eagles, going all seven innings and surrendering five runs, three earned, on seven hits and three walks. She added one strikeout.
In the opener, the Pirates mounted a two-out rally in the top of the second and took a 2-0 lead. After a pop out and strikeout, freshman Alex Fieldhouse tallied the first hit of the game with a single up the middle and classmate Jasmine Robbins followed with a walk. A double over the head of the left fielder by Kaluhiokalani-Glackin on the first pitch she saw drove in Fieldhouse and Robbins for the two-run lead. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin has four hits in her career, three for extra bases with two doubles and a triple. Luciani got out of trouble with an inning-ending strikeout.
East Carolina added another run in the top of the third to make it a 3-0 edge. With one out, Lewis singled to right field and junior Suzanne Riggs walked. After a strikeout, senior Sissy Jimenez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Fieldhouse followed with the team's ninth bases-loaded walk of the season, forcing in Lewis. It was Fieldhouse's fourth career game in which she scored at least once and drove in one or more runs. Ramos then entered to pitch for the Golden Eagles and closed the frame with a strikeout.
In the top of the fourth, ECU continued to score, adding two more runs to take a 5-0 advantage. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin started the frame with a walk. Freshman Kristi Oshiro sent a grounder to the second baseman, who tried to force Kaluhiokalani-Glackin out second. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin beat the throw and Oshiro was safe at first. A wild pitch moved Kaluhiokalani-Glackin to third and Oshiro to second. After a lineout and strikeout, Riggs came through with a single to left field that drove in both runners. A groundout to third base allowed Ramos to escape without further damage.
The Pirates scored the final run of the game in the top of the seventh. A fly out opened the frame, but sophomore Kai Clark singled up the middle and Jimenez doubled to right field to put runners on second and third. Following a strikeout, Robbins sent a check-swing grounder back to Ramos, who could not field it cleanly and threw late to first base. Robbins was safe on the play and Clark came home for a 6-0 lead. Another strikeout closed the frame.
Paisley struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh before Leslie LeJune sent a high fly ball to center field. Robbins lost the ball in the sun and LeJune ended up on second with the error. Paisley struck out Jill Mathis looking to end the game and complete the no-hit performance.
In the second game, the Pirates had a chance to score in the first, but could not convert. Oshiro led off with a single to right field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lee, but was left stranded after a pair of groundouts.
Both teams went quietly until the top of the third, when East Carolina took a 3-0 lead. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin drew a walk with one out and stole second base. Oshiro grounded out, but Lee doubled to left field to drive in Kaluhiokalani-Glackin for a 1-0 advantage. Lewis followed with a two-run home run to left center on a 2-0 pitch to put the Pirates ahead by three. The long ball was the third for Lewis this season, moving her into a tie for the team lead. Riggs picked up the second free pass of the frame, but Dietrich got out of the inning with a lineout.
In the bottom of the fourth, Southern Miss recorded its first hit of the day when Courtney Hill led off with a single through the right side. Stephanie Shiflet followed with a single off the glove of a leaping Oshiro at second base and into right field. A fielder's choice forced Hill out at third and left runners on first and second with one down. Sutton kept the Golden Eagles off the scoreboard with a foul out and fly out.
The Pirates added runs in the top of the fifth, scoring twice to make it a 5-0 lead. Oshiro singled down the right-field line to start the frame and Lee hit a deep fly to left that Shiflet dropped. Oshiro moved to third on the play and Lee went to second. Lewis lined out to the shortstop, but Riggs delivered both runners with a double to left field. A groundout and deep fly out to center allowed Dietrich to escape.
Southern Miss threatened again in the bottom of the fifth but could not push a run across. With one out, Chanell Thurman was hit by a pitch. Pinch hitter Danielle LaPointe followed with a single to right center, moving Thurman to third. Sutton struck out Brittany Lilly and retired Hill on a fly out to center field to end the threat.
The Golden Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 5-1 game. With one out, Mathis singled to left field and LeJune followed with a single just over first base and down the right-field line. After a foul out, Britney Dinelt lined a single to right center that plated Mathis and snapped USM's 38-inning scoreless streak against the Pirates. Another foul out closed the threat.
Lewis drew a two-out walk for ECU in the top of the seventh and Riggs followed with a single up the middle, but a pop out left the pair stranded.
In the bottom of the seventh, Mackenzie Sher led off with an infield single and moved to second on a groundout before Sutton sealed the win with a foul out and groundout.
East Carolina goes for its first Conference USA sweep of the season Sunday with a 12:00 p.m. contest.