Pirates Sweep Away Southern Miss
May 2, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Junior Toni Paisley threw her second shutout of the weekend as East Carolina downed Southern Miss 5-0 Sunday afternoon on the Pirates' Senior Day. Marina Gusman-Brown and Nicole Jordan, both seniors, drove in a run each to lead the ECU offense. It was the second time this season the Pirates (34-16, 13-5 C-USA) have swept a Conference USA series without allowing a run.
Paisley (24-9) scattered three hits and walked one while striking out six. She has blanked opponents in eight of her past nine starts and has a 0.60 earned run average in C-USA contests. Gabby Luciani (10-10) took the loss for the Golden Eagles (22-25, 6-15 C-USA). She went two-and-two-thirds innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on four hits. She also walked two and struck out one. Courtney Ramos entered and threw the final three-and-a-third frames. She surrendered just two hits and a pair of walks.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Southern Miss' Megan Hill singled up the middle and stole second base. Jill Mathis struck out swinging, but reached first on a passed ball, putting runners on first and third. Alexis Hurley stepped to the plate and fouled the second pitch of her at-bat off her face. Danielle LaPointe entered to finish Hurley's at-bat and struck out looking to end the inning.
East Carolina escaped the damage and then scored twice in the bottom of the first. Senior Charina Sumner reached on a leadoff walk and stole second base before classmate Christina Merrida also received a free pass. A sacrifice bunt by senior Kaui Tom put runners on second and third with one out. With Gusman-Brown batting, a passed ball scored Sumner. Gusman-Brown then singled up the middle to plate Merrida for a 2-0 lead. Senior Vanessa Moreno followed with a single to left, advancing Gusman-Brown to third. Moreno stole second base, putting runners on second and third with one out. A fly-out and strikeout were the final outs of the inning.
The Pirates added another run for a 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the second as senior Cristen Aona led off with a double, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Kai Clark and scored on a fielding error by the third baseman.
In the bottom of the third, ECU scored two more times to make it a five-run advantage. Gusman-Brown led off with a single and Moreno was hit by a pitch. Junior Sissy Jimenez's sacrifice bunt advanced Gusman-Brown to third and Moreno to second with one out. A groundout by Jordan scored Gusman-Brown before a fielding error by the third baseman allowed Moreno to cross home.
Southern Miss had another scoring chance in the top of the fourth. Mathis led off with a walk before a LaPointe single put runners on first and second with no outs. Two fly-outs and a strikeout looking allowed Paisley to escape without any damage.
A pair of throwing errors put Merrida and Tom on second and third with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Gusman-Brown followed with a walk to load the bases. A fielder's choice and fly-out, however, left the bags full.
East Carolina had another chance to push across runs in the bottom of the fifth but could not convert. Aona and Clark hit consecutive one-out singles before a lineout and groundout ended the threat.
Paisley retired the Golden Eagles in order in the sixth and seventh frames to seal the win.
The Pirates return to action Thursday with a 5:00 p.m. doubleheader against in-state foe Elon (33-16). The games will be the last played at the ECU Softball Field.