Pirates Pick Up Win Over UAB
April 11, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team used a two-run sixth inning and another shutout from junior Toni Paisley to defeat UAB 2-0 Sunday afternoon. Senior Kaui Tom and junior Sissy Jimenez drove in runs for the Pirates (23-14, 6-3 C-USA). The win prevented UAB (24-12, 8-4 C-USA) from sweeping the weekend series.
Paisley (17-8) recorded her second shutout of the week as she limited the Blazers to two hits. She struck out eight, including the final three batters of the game, and issued one walk. The blanking was the 32nd of her career, tying her for second on the ECU all-time list. The win was also the 72nd of her career, moving her into sole possession of sixth on the Conference USA career ledger.
Lauren Webster went the first four-and-a-third innings for UAB, giving up four hits while striking out four. Alisha Smith (8-7) went the final one-and-two-thirds. She surrendered the game's two runs on three hits.
In the bottom of the first, East Carolina recorded the initial hit of the game as senior Christina Merrida dropped a single behind the drawn-in first and second basemen. A pop-out and strikeout, however, left Merrida on first.
The Pirates had a scoring chance in the top of the second, but could not convert. They put the leadoff batter on as Tom sent a single into right center. Sophomore Priscilla Velasquez followed with a ground ball to the second baseman, who could not make the play, putting runners on first and second with no outs. A line-out on a bunt attempt, a strikeout and another line-out ended the inning.
Paisley held UAB hitless until Cameron Skates drove a one-out single to center field in the top of the fourth inning. Skates had been the only previous base runner as she drew a walk in the first inning. Mandy Lowman followed Skates and was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with one out. Kayla Orr grounded out to first base. In an effort to delay the tag of Jimenez, Orr illegally ran backward toward home plate, requiring Lowman and Skates to return to first and second base. Kate Armstrong fouled out to senior Cristen Aona at third base to end the inning.
Neither team mounted another scoring threat until the bottom of the fifth when ECU freshman Kai Clark led off with a single to right field and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Vanessa Moreno. Classmate Marina Gusman-Brown was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. The Blazers then made a pitching change, bringing in Smith. Merrida popped out to the shortstop and senior Charina Sumner grounded out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates broke through for their first runs of the weekend and took a 2-0 lead. Aona led off with a single to left field and advanced to third on an error by the left fielder. Aona scored on Tom's second single of the afternoon, this one going through the left side. Velasquez followed with a sacrifice bunt that moved Tom to second. Jimenez then drove in Tom with a double to left center. A pair of strikeouts ended the inning.
The Blazers tallied a leadoff single from Orr in the seventh, but Paisley recovered to strike out the final three batters.
East Carolina resumes action Wednesday with a doubleheader at rival N.C. State (24-17). The first game is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. Last season, the Pirates swept the season series from the Wolfpack, claiming a 5-0 triumph in 10 innings in Raleigh and a 3-1 victory in Greenville.