Knights Shut Out By Pirates In 6-0 Win
April 3, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. - The East Carolina softball team used an unearned run in the first inning and home runs by seniors Charina Sumner and Nicole Jordan to record a 6-0 victory over UCF Saturday afternoon to complete the three-game series sweep. With the three wins, the Pirates (20-12, 5-1 C-USA) end the weekend alone in first place in Conference USA.
For the second time in as many seasons, ECU swept UCF (22-16, 7-4 C-USA) without allowing a run to the Knights. Last season, the Pirates picked up a pair of 3-0 wins Saturday before closing the series with a 5-0 triumph. Yesterday, East Carolina won both games by 2-0 scores.
Junior Toni Paisley (15-7) picked up her fifth win of the week as she allowed five hits and two walks in the complete game. It was the 30th shutout and 69th victory of her career. Paisley has allowed just five earned runs over her past 10 decisions, all victories. Ashleigh Cole (14-9) suffered the loss for UCF, giving up five runs and five hits. Kristina DeMello came in for the seventh and allowed two hits and a run.
East Carolina jumped on Cole for an unearned run in the top of the first. Senior Christina Merrida slapped a single into left field and Sumner followed with a single through the left side. An infield pop-out put senior Vanessa Moreno at the plate with two down. She hit a grounder toward the right side that Marissa Menendez at first base misplayed, allowing Merrida to come all the way around from second and score. A groundout ended the two-out rally.
The Pirates used a Sumner three-run home run to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the third. Senior Marina Gusman-Brown led off with a four-pitch walk and Merrida beat out an infield single before Sumner's long ball cleared the bases. It was Sumner's second homer of the week after not hitting one since her sophomore season.
UCF recorded its first two hits of the game in the bottom of the fourth as Natalie Land led off with a bunt single. After a pop-out, Tiffany Lane singled to left center, putting runners on the corners with one out. Lane then stole second. Menendez put down a bunt that catcher Kai Clark fielded and threw to first to retire Menendez and hold the other two runners. Paisley escaped the jam by getting Cole to ground out to Sumner at second.
The Knights tried to rally again the next inning but could not push across a run. Vanessa Perez hit a one-out single and Abby McClain had another single one out later. Land then worked a walk to fill the bases with two down. A strikeout by Hillary Barrow left the bases loaded and ended the threat.
In the top of the sixth inning with two outs, Jordan entered as a pinch hitter and sent the 2-2 offering over the wall in dead center field for a 5-0 Pirate lead. It was Jordan's first career home run and third career run batted in.
East Carolina added its final run in the top of the seventh as junior Sissy Jimenez led off with a single through the right side, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Cristen Aona, advanced to third on a Gusman-Brown fly-out to the warning track in left center and scored on a single up the middle by Merrida.
Paisley retired the Knights in order in the seventh to seal the win.
Next up for East Carolina is a nonconference doubleheader at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at Hampton (13-21).