Tar Heels Top Pirates, 2-1
April 8, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Breanna Brown's single to right field drove in Ally Blake for the game-winning run in the top of the seventh inning as No. 14 North Carolina defeated East Carolina 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon. The win moved the Tar Heels to 35-7 and dropped the Pirates to 26-11. Angel Barrella, Marina Gusman-Brown and Jessica Johnson picked up ECU's only hits in the contest.
Toni Paisley, 19-6, suffered the loss as she allowed eight hits and the two runs. She struck out six in the contest. Lisa Norris, 17-4, came in for Danielle Spaulding and recorded the win for North Carolina. The Tar Heel duo combined to strike out 11.
North Carolina put a runner on base in the first with a two-out single by Whitney Allen and in the second when Emily Troup was hit by a pitch, but both were left stranded.
In the bottom of the second, East Carolina scored its only run, and it did so without a hit. Barrella led off with her team-leading 21st walk of the season. After two strikeouts, Barrella stole second. On her slide into second base, Barrella knocked off the glove of shortstop Christine Knauer, who was covering the bag. Barrella then tried to go to third base as the ball and the shortstop's glove lay between second and third. Knauer then retrieved the ball and attempted to toss it to third to get Barrella out, but the throw was wild and the ball went into the dugout, allowing Barrella to score for the 1-0 lead.
The Tar Heels had two-out runners in the top of the third, on a Brown single up the middle, and top of the fourth, on a Constance Orr walk, but again both were left on base.
Johnson got the first Pirate hit with her single to left field with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Barrella followed with an infield single, putting runners on first and second with one out. Cristen Aona lined out to left and Paisley struck out, ending the inning and keeping the score at 1-0.
North Carolina's Anna Roberts led off the top of the fifth with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blake. Paisley again escaped by getting Knauer and Brown to fly out to end the inning.
For the sixth straight inning, the Tar Heels had a base runner as Allen led off with a single to left field. After Spaulding flew out to left, Troup doubled off the wall in center field to put runners on second and third with one out. Norris then sent a flare just over the drawn-in infield to plate Kelsey Green, who pinch ran for Allen, and tie the score at one run each.
In the top of the seventh, UNC scored the game-winning run as Blake led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Brown's single to right.
ECU went down in order in the seventh to preserve the Tar Heel victory.
The Pirates resume Conference USA action this weekend with a trip to El Paso, Texas, to face UTEP (21-19, 6-6 C-USA). The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. and a single game on Saturday starting at 2 p.m.