Pirates Complete Sweep Of UTEP
April 18, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. – In the second outstanding pitching match-up of the weekend between UTEP’s Stacie Townsend and East Carolina’s Toni Paisley, the Pirates again got the upper hand Sunday, claiming another 1-0 victory with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore Suzanne Riggs recorded her second pinch-hit, two-out, game-winning single of the week as she drove in senior Kaui Tom. It was ECU’s (28-14, 9-3 C-USA) second-straight year sweeping UTEP (26-17, 8-7 C-USA) in the regular season.
Paisley (20-8) limited the Miners to four hits and no walks while tying her career high with 15 strikeouts. It was her third shutout of the week, bringing her career total to an East Carolina program-record 34. Paisley also reached the 20-win plateau for the third time in her career. Townsend (22-11) suffered another tough-luck loss as she gave up seven hits and fanned 12. She struck out at least two batters in four innings.
UTEP mounted the first scoring threat of the game in the top of the second inning. Ashley Ellis led off with a double over the head of senior Marina Gusman-Brown in left field. Paisley recovered to strike out the next three batters to end the inning.
The Pirates responded with an opportunity of their own in the bottom of the frame, but could not convert. Senior Nicole Jordan reached on a leadoff walk before classmate Vanessa Moreno put down a bunt that was spinning toward the first-base line. UTEP first baseman Camilla Carrera was waiting for the ball to roll foul, but it didn’t. Moreno ended up safe at first on the bunt single and Jordan advanced to second. Tom followed with a sacrifice bunt that moved Jordan to third and Moreno to second. A strikeout looking and foul-out allowed Townsend to escape without any damage.
Neither team was able to get another runner to second base until the bottom of the fourth, when ECU junior Sissy Jimenez led off with a double to right center. After a strikeout, Moreno reached on a fielder’s choice as Jimenez beat the throw back to second from third baseman Ashley Collazo. Townsend again escaped as she recorded a strikeout and foul-out to end the threat.
In the top of the sixth, UTEP’s Carrera and Townsend hit consecutive one-out singles, bringing Ellis to the plate with one out. Ellis popped out to senior Christina Merrida in shallow center field before Courtney Ware fouled out to freshman Kai Clark behind home plate for the third out.
The game-winning seventh inning began with Tom reaching on a single through the left side. She was sacrificed to second by classmate Cristen Aona. Sophomore pinch hitter Priscilla Velasquez followed with a single to left field, putting runners on first and third with one out. Gusman-Brown struck out, but Riggs came through with her second clutch hit of the week as she singled through the left side on the first pitch. In Wednesday’s first game at N.C. State, Riggs drove in the game-winning run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning.
East Carolina resumes action Tuesday with a home doubleheader against in-state rival UNC Wilmington (8-31). The Pirates own a 73-13 advantage in the all-time series and have won the past nine meetings. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.