Softball Wins Two Saturday
May 7, 2011
FARMVILLE, Va. - East Carolina snapped its three-game losing streak with a 10-1 victory over Longwood and 4-0 win against UMBC Saturday afternoon. The Pirates (36-19) were led on offense by freshman Kristi Oshiro, who hit third in the order for the first time and drove in the winning run in both contests. She finished the two games with three hits, three runs batted in, two scored, a pair of walks and a stolen base.
Helping Oshiro on offense during the first game was classmate Jill Jelnick, as she scored a career-high three runs and matched her personal best with two RBI. Every starter for the Pirates reached base and seven had at least one hit during the opener. Freshman Jasmine Robbins went 2-3 with two runs driven in during the second game.
Against Longwood, senior Toni Paisley (27-10) allowed five hits and a run. She struck out six and issued three walks. Briana Wells (29-12) took the loss for the Lancers, tossing six innings and surrendering eight runs on eight hits. She fanned five and walked five. Ashley Cornell entered for the seventh and gave up two runs on a pair of walks and one hit.
In the second game, against UMBC, junior Faith Sutton (9-9) went the first five innings and scattered four hits while walking two and striking out three. Paisley came in for the final two frames and allowed two hits and fanned five. It was her third save of the season and eighth of her career. The eight saves move Paisley into a tie with USF's Leigh Ann Ellis (2003-04) for fourth on the all-time Conference USA record chart. Heather Brown (5-5) went the distance for UMBC, surrendering four runs, but just two earned, and seven hits with three walks.
In the opener, the Pirates jumped on Longwood (32-12) for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Jelnick led off with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by classmate Rebecca Lee and scored on a single to center field by Oshiro. Junior Suzanne Riggs struck out looking, but Oshiro stole second and advanced to third when the shortstop could not handle the throw from the catcher and the ball bounced into center field. Robbins drew a walk and the fourth ball was a wild pitch, allowing Oshiro to score. Wells avoided further damage with an inning-ending groundout.
The Pirates added to their lead in the top of the third and took a 3-0 advantage. It started as a replay of the first frame as Jelnick walked and Lee followed with a sacrifice bunt. Oshiro sent a spinning ball off the end of her bat that landed behind Wells and in front of the shortstop for an infield single that put runners on first and second with one out. It was Oshiro's team-leading 15th multiple-hit game of the season. Riggs brought home Jelnick with a ball just inside third base for a single down the left-field line. A fielder's choice and groundout closed the theat.
Longwood had its first threat of the game in the bottom of the third, but did not convert. Wells opened the frame with a walk, giving the Lancers their first base runner. Brittany Matthews entered to run and was moved to second by a sacrifice bunt. Kami Nuckols followed with a single to left center, putting runners on the corners with one out. Paisley got out of the jam with a strikeout and pop out.
The Lancers got a run back in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 3-1 game. With one out, Courtney Long doubled to the gap in left center and Nuckols beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners. Leta Bressin entered to pinch run for Long and came home when Nichole Simmons hit a hard grounder toward the right side. Oshiro, playing second base, dove, made the stop and retired Simmons at first, but Bressin scored. A lineout by Maggie Margadonna closed the threat.
ECU came back with five runs in the top of the sixth to go ahead 8-1 and put the game out of reach. Robbins started the inning with an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a double down the right-field line by freshman Alex Fieldhouse. After freshman Taylor Megargel entered to pinch run for Fieldhouse, junior Priscilla Velasquez was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. Freshman pinch hitter Mahrisch Medina tallied the second run batted in of her career and put the Pirates ahead 5-1 with a double to the wall in left center that drove in Megargel and advanced Velasquez to third base. A single up the middle by Jelnick drove in both runners for a 7-1 advantage. Jelnick stole second, went to third on a single to center field by Lee and scored on an Oshiro groundout. A foul out ended the inning.
In the top of the seventh, East Carolina scored two more runs for the 10-1 final. Robbins led off with a walk and freshman Jordan Lewis reached on a fielding error by the third baseman to put runners on first and second. A Fieldhouse sacrifice bunt moved the pair up a base and brought up Velasquez, who doubled just out of reach of Nuckols in center and drove in both. Velasquez tried to stretch the hit into a triple and was thrown out at third. Freshman Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin drew a walk, but was called out three pitches into Jelnick's at bat for leaving the base early, ending the inning.
Paisley retired the first two Lancers in the bottom of the frame before walking Nuckols and giving up a double to left by Simmons. Nuckols finished the game 2-2 with a walk. With runners on the corners, Margadonna popped out to Fieldhouse at third base to end the contest.
In the second contest, the Pirates threatened in the top of the second, but failed to score. Robbins led off with a single and moved to second on a Lewis sacrifice bunt. Velasquez was hit by another pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. Brown buckled down and ended the threat with a fly out and lineout.
ECU broke through for a run in the top of the third and 1-0 lead. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin led off with a walk, her third of the day, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jelnick. A groundout by Lee moved Kaluhiokalani-Glackin to third and she came home on an Oshiro single up the middle. Oshiro tried to steal second base, but was caught on the attempt to end the inning.
The Retrievers (25-22) mounted a two-out threat in the bottom of the third as Jessica Warner and Julia Culotta hit consecutive singles to put runners on first and second. A pop out closed the threat.
UMBC threatened again in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Ashley Scroggin walked and Lauren O'Malley followed with a single to right field. Sutton helped herself get out of trouble, catching a Lynn Pronobis line drive up the middle and doubling pinch runner Ashley Carver off second base to end the threat.
Following the defensive hold, the Pirates had another opportunity to score, but did not. Medina led off with a single to left field and sophomore Cicely Lopez dropped down a bunt, but no UMBC player fielded the ball, resulting in a single and runners on first and second with no outs. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin moved the runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt. Jelnick followed with a bouncer up the middle. Medina got caught in a rundown and was eventually thrown out at home with Lopez moving to third and Jelnick to second. A groundout kept ECU from adding to its lead.
The Pirates tacked on a run in the top of the sixth for a 2-0 lead. Oshiro started the inning with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Robbins and scored when Lewis singled through the right side. A lineout and groundout allowed Brown to escape without further damage.
Paisley gave up a single to Culotta to open the bottom of the sixth, but a pair of strikeouts and a foul out left Culotta on first.
In the top of the seventh, East Carolina pushed across two more runs with two outs to make it a 4-0 advantage. Two fly outs started the inning, but Jelnick reached on a fielding error and Lee beat out an infield chopper for a single. After a walk to Oshiro, Robbins singled through the left side and drove in Jelnick and Lee. A groundout closed the threat.
UMBC got a two-out single from Amy Metcalfe in the bottom of the frame, but Paisley registered her third strikeout of the inning to end the game.
ECU plays its final contest of the regular season at 1:00 p.m. Sunday against Longwood.