Pirates Power Past Maryland 5-1
May 20, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - For the first time in program history, East Carolina won its NCAA Tournament opener, defeating Maryland 5-1 in College Park Friday night. The Pirates (40-20) used a three-run home run by freshman Jordan Lewis and a two-run blast by classmate Jasmine Robbins in the first inning to capture the victory. Freshman Kristi Oshiro also chipped in offensively with two hits and a walk.
ECU's win completed Conference USA's strong opening day as the league won all five of its NCAA Tournament contests Friday. The Pirates also reached the 40-win plateau for the third-straight season and seventh time in the last eight years.
Senior Toni Paisley (31-11) recorded the win after going all seven innings and scattering five hits. She allowed one unearned run, two walks and struck out seven. She is now just one whiff shy 18th on the NCAA Division I all-time list with 1,266. Kerry Hickey (18-10) threw the first inning for the Terrapins, allowing five runs on three hits, including both home runs. She fanned three and walked a pair. Kendra Knight entered for the remaining six frames and gave up just a single, but walked five and struck out 10.
The Pirates wasted little time getting on the board as they had three runs before the second out of the game was recorded, courtesy of Lewis' home run. Freshman Jill Jelnick led off the contest with a four-pitch walk and Oshiro followed with a single into right field. After a strikeout, Lewis sent her long ball over the wall in left center. Junior Priscilla Velasquez recorded the second walk of the frame and came home as Robbins followed with a two-run blast for a 5-0 advantage. The Pirates entered the C-USA Tournament with 12 home runs, but have hit four in the last three games. Two strikeouts allowed Hickey to avoid further damage.
Maryland immediately answered with a run in the bottom of the frame to make it a 5-1 game. With one out, Vangie Galindo singled to center field and advanced to second on a passed ball. After a strikeout, a double to the gap in left center by Hickey brought in Galindo. Paisley fanned Marisha Branson swinging to end the threat.
East Carolina loaded the bases with one out in the top of the second but could not convert. Freshman Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin led off the frame with a walk. After a pop out, Oshiro hit a roller toward the first baseman, who attempted to tag out Oshiro, but missed, putting runners on the corners with one out. Freshman Alex Fieldhouse drew a walk to fill the bases before a fielder's choice and strikeout kept the Pirates from adding to their lead.
Neither team mounted another threat until the bottom of the fourth, but the Terrapins could not push a run across. After a pop out started the frame, Branson and Nikki Maier hit consecutive singles to put runners on first and second. Kathy McLaughlin swung at the first pitch and hit into a fielder's choice as Fieldhouse at third flipped to Kaluhiokalani-Glackin covering third base for the force out. Paisley struck out Knight swinging for the third out.
The Terrapins mounted another scoring threat but were held off in the bottom of the fifth. Amanda McCann started the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a groundout. Paisley struck out Galindo swinging and retired Bree Hanafin on a pop out to Kaluhiokalani-Glackin in shallow center field.
Hickey led off the Maryland sixth with her second double to the gap in left center. She became the first opposing player to have two doubles in a game since Houston's Reina Gaber April 25, 2010. A strikeout, foul out and fielder's choice, however, allowed Paisley to get out of the jam.
After allowing just two base runners with a pair of walks since the top of the third, Knight got into trouble in the top of the seventh, but worked her way out of it. Oshiro led off reaching on a fielding error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Fieldhouse. Lewis followed with a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. A strikeout and groundout allowed Knight to avoid damage.
Paisley retired Maryland in order in the seventh to seal the victory.
The Pirates return to action Saturday at noon against No. 11 national seed Baylor. The Bears beat Lehigh 4-0 Friday afternoon.