Pirates Take Two From Tulsa
April 4, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Playing against the team tied atop the Conference USA standings with East Carolina, the Pirates responded to the challenge and defeated Tulsa 3-1 and 2-1 on Saturday afternoon. The pair of victories pushed East Carolina's winning streak to 11 games, the program's longest since taking 14 consecutive contests in March of 2004.
Toni Paisley, 19-4, struck out 12 batters and Jessica Johnson drove in two runs in game one to lead the Pirates (26-9, 11-3 C-USA) to the 3-1 victory. In the second game, a defensive hold that limited the Golden Hurricane (21-13, 6-4 C-USA) to just one run after loading the bases with no outs gave the Pirates the 2-1 win. Brooke Swann picked up the win in the second contest and improved to 5-1.
Johnson finished her day with two hits, two runs batted in and one home run. Her solo shot in game one was the 30th of her career, putting her in sole possession of second in school history and tied for seventh in Conference USA. The two runs batted in moved her into a tie for eighth in C-USA history and her two hits moved her into a tie for ninth on ECU's all-time list.
Paisley also moved up the ECU career-record lists as her victory in game one gave her 44 in her career and put her seventh in program history.
In game one, Johnson's solo home run to left field provided the Pirates with a 1-0 lead in the first inning. East Carolina added another run in the bottom of the second as Cristen Aona led off with a walk and scored on Paisley's double to right center. The double for Paisley was her fourth straight hit, all of which went for extra bases.
The Golden Hurricane hit two-out singles in the second and third innings, but neither runner advanced past first base.
In the top of the fourth, Tulsa broke through with a run to make the score 2-1. Brooke Smart singled up the middle with two outs and scored on Christian Timmons' double to left field. The run snapped Paisley's scoreless innings streak at 22.1 frames and the ECU pitching staff's streak at 35.
Paisley responded in the top of the fifth by striking out the side in order.
East Carolina had its own two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth to get the run back and take a 3-1 lead. Christina Merrida hit a one-out single and moved to second on Charina Sumner's groundout. Marina Gusman-Brown was then hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Johnson followed with a bloop single into center field that plated Merrida.
Tulsa attempted to rally in the top of the seventh as Smart led off with a single, but Paisley retired the next three batters on a strikeout, pop out and another strikeout to end the game. Smart and Timmons both collected two hits in the game for the Golden Hurricane and Lauren Lindsay had the only other base knock.
In the second contest, East Carolina got off to a good start with two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Sumner led off with a walk, stole second base and moved to third when Merrida reached on an error by the Tulsa second baseman. Merrida then stole second base to put runners on second and third with no outs. After Johnson and Angel Barrella recorded outs, Aona turned a 10-pitch at-bat into a single through the left side that drove in Sumner and Merrida.
In the bottom of the second, the Pirates had another chance to score but could not convert. Jillian Gallagher led off with a bunt single, moved to second on Kaui Tom's sacrifice bunt and went to third on Tiffany Shaw's single to center field. Sumner and Merrida followed with back-to-back groundouts, ending the inning.
Tulsa got its first hit of the game in the top of the third with a Skylar Swanson two-out single. Swann then got Lindsay to ground out to end the threat.
Both teams went quietly until the Golden Hurricane got its offense going in the top of the sixth, scoring a run to make the score 2-1. Stephanie Chomicki started the rally with a double to left field. Swanson then singled and Lindsay walked to load the bases with no outs. Paisley then came in for Swann and gave up a single to Lauren Menke that plated Tulsa's run. Kailey Yarmer and Vanessa Vice both struck out swinging for the first and second outs of the inning. Paisley then got Smart to ground out to Sumner at second base to end the threat.
In the top of the seventh, Tulsa again tried to rally as Jessica Stoelke singled with one out and stole second base with two down. Paisley then struck out Swanson to end the game and earn her third save of the season.
The Pirates will go for the sweep tomorrow with a single game at noon.