Pirates Complete Sweep, 8-1

UABSPORTS.COM Senior Toni Paisley threw a complete game Sunday and struck out eight Golden Eagle batters.
Senior Toni Paisley threw a complete game Sunday and struck out eight Golden Eagle batters.

April 3, 2011

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Freshman Jasmine Robbins collected two hits and three runs batted in to propel East Carolina to an 8-1 victory over Southern Miss Sunday afternoon. Junior Suzanne Riggs and sophomore Kai Clark helped the Pirate offense, driving in two runs each. The win gave ECU (28-10, 8-4 C-USA) its first Conference USA series sweep of the season. The game was called after six complete innings due to East Carolina's travel schedule.

Senior Toni Paisley (21-5) picked up the victory, throwing the complete game and allowing four hits while striking out eight. The triumph was Paisley's 107th of her career, leaving her one behind DePaul's Lindsay Chouinard (2000-03) for the all-time Conference USA record. Courtney Ramos (1-7) took the loss for the Golden Eagles, throwing the first one-and-two-thirds innings, allowing two runs, none earned, on one hit and two walks. She also fanned a pair. Gabby Luciani came in for the next inning, surrendering five runs on two hits, a walk and two hit batters. Beth Dietrich threw the remaining three-and-a-third frames, giving up five hits and an unearned run.

East Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Freshman Kristi Oshiro led off the game with a walk. Classmate Rebecca Lee followed with a grounder back to Ramos, who turned and threw to second to try and force out Oshiro. Southern Miss' shortstop Chanell Thurman had the throw bounce off the end of her glove and into center field. Oshiro advanced to third on the error and Lee was safe at first. Lee stole second, but a groundout by freshman Jordan Lewis left runners on second and third with one out. Riggs drove in Oshiro and Lee with a double to left field on a 3-0 pitch. Riggs continued her hot streak after having a pair of RBI in both games Saturday. A strikeout and groundout allowed Ramos to escape without further damage. For the season, East Carolina has outscored its opponents 32-10 in the first inning.

Southern Miss (10-24, 0-9 C-USA) had a two-out base runner in the first and second innings with a wild pitch following a strikeout and a walk, respectively. A groundout in the first and strikeout in the second allowed Paisley to keep the Golden Eagles off the board both times.

In the top of the third, the Pirates added five runs with two outs to take a 7-0 lead. Lee and Lewis drew back-to-back walks before a fly out and strikeout. Senior Sissy Jimenez was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Clark delivered a single to right center that drove in Lee and Lewis for a 4-0 edge. A single up the middle by Robbins plated Jimenez and Clark, who had advanced to second on the throw home following her single. Robbins moved to second on the throw home from center fielder Leslie LeJune, but the throw got away from the Golden Eagles' catcher and Robbins went all the way to third. A passed ball then scored Robbins. A foul out closed the inning. For the series, the Pirates scored 14 runs with two outs.

The Golden Eagles mounted a rally in the bottom of the third, scoring once to make it a 7-1 game. Britney Dinelt tallied the first hit off Paisley for the series with a leadoff single up the middle. LeJune dropped a single into right center to put runners on first and second. Another single, this one to center field by Taylor Brown, drove in Dinelt. Paisley avoided further damage with a pair of strikeouts and a lineout.

Southern Miss got its leadoff batter on again in the fourth inning as Brittany Lilly singled to the left side and was replaced by pinch runner Kacie Eich. A foul out, pop out and lineout left Eich stranded on the bag.

The Pirates tacked on a run in the top of the fifth for an 8-1 lead. Freshman Alex Fieldhouse led off reaching on an error and Jimenez followed with a single to left center, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Freshman Taylor Megargel entered to pinch run for Fieldhouse. Clark put down a sacrifice bunt, moving Megargel to third and Jimenez to second with one out. Robbins roped another single to center, driving in Megargel for an 8-1 advantage. A pair of groundouts to third ended the threat.

In the top of the sixth, ECU had a chance to score more, but did not convert. With one out, Lewis singled to center field and Riggs singled off the leg of Dietrich in the circle. A pop out and fly out kept ECU off the board.

Paisley struck out the first two batters of the sixth and retired the third on a foul out to clinch the series sweep.

Next up for the Pirates is a brief break from C-USA action Wednesday with a 5:00 p.m. game at UNC Wilmington (8-27).