Baylor Eliminates ECU 1-0
May 22, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A double off the wall in left field by Holly Holl in the top of the sixth inning drove in Megan Turk and provided the game's only run as Baylor edged past East Carolina 1-0 Sunday to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals. The Bears' Whitney Canion allowed just one hit to ECU, a single by freshman Mahrisch Medina in the bottom of the seventh, and walked five in the shutout victory.
Despite the loss, the Pirates finished the season with a 41-22 record, reaching the 40-win plateau with for the third-straight season. ECU became the first C-USA program with three consecutive campaigns of 40 wins or more since Houston from 2006-08 and only the fourth in the history of the league (USF/2003-05; DePaul/2000-03). Back-to-back regional final appearances also made East Carolina one of only two C-USA schools (Houston/2007-08) to play on the final day of the regional two-straight years since the tournament went to the regional-super regional-Women's College World Series format in 2005. The Pirates enjoyed these accomplishments with 10 freshmen on the roster, eight of whom started in Sunday's regional final against Baylor.
Senior Toni Paisley (32-13) took the loss after scattering five hits and striking out seven. She walked two in the complete-game effort. Paisley finished her career as the Conference USA career record holder in wins (118), strikeouts (1,290), innings pitched (1,088.0) and appearances (183). Her final record sits at 118-39, a .752 winning percentage. She also finished fifth in C-USA history with a 1.22 earned run average. The Lakewood, Calif., native ended her career with the 18th most victories and 17th most whiffs in NCAA Division I history. Canion (27-9) struck out six in the blanking.
Baylor (43-12) threatened in the first, but was held off the board. Kathy Shelton led off with an infield single as she beat out a roller toward third base. A sacrifice bunt by Kayce Walker advanced Shelton to second. Turk followed with another sacrifice bunt that moved Shelton to third with two outs. Paisley retired Dani Leal on a pop out to freshman Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin at shortstop to end the threat.
Neither team had another base runner until the top of the third, when the Bears mounted a two-out threat. After a pair of strikeouts looking, Shelton singled to right field and Walker was hit by a pitch. Turk swung at the first pitch and grounded out to Kaluhiokalani-Glackin for the final out.
Following the defensive hold, the Pirates tallied their first base runner and scoring threat in the bottom of the frame. Freshman Rebecca Lee led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Medina. A strikeout and groundout, however, left Lee on the bag.
ECU put its leadoff batter on again in the bottom of the fourth as freshman Kristi Oshiro drew a walk. A strikeout looking, fly out and strikeout swinging ended the frame.
The Bears mounted another threat in the top of the fifth but were held off. With one out, Clare Hosack walked and was replaced by pinch runner Makenzie Robertson. Robertson stole second base before KJ Freeland popped out to Kaluhiokalani-Glackin for the second out. Shelton followed with a hard grounder to Kaluhiokalani-Glackin, who could not field it cleanly, putting runners on first and second with two outs. An infield pop out by Walker got the Pirates out of trouble.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates had another runner on second but failed to push her home. Freshman Alex Fieldhouse led off with a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Abby Wynne. A sacrifice bunt by Lee advanced to Wynne to second before a walk to Medina put runners on first and second with one out. Canion struck out senior pinch hitter Sissy Jimenez and retired freshman Jill Jelnick at first on a groundout to keep the Pirates off the board.
Baylor broke through in the top of the sixth for a 1-0 lead. Turk started the frame with a single to center field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Leal. After striking out twice earlier in the game, Holl came through with a double off the wall in left field to drive in Turk. A pop out and groundout closed the inning.
The Bears threated with two outs in the seventh as Shelton walked and Walker singled to right to move Shelton to third. Paisley ended her career striking out Turk swinging for the final out of the frame.
Canion sent down the Pirates in order in the sixth and retired the first two in the seventh before a walk to Lee. Medina followed with ECU's lone hit of the game, a single into left field. Sophomore Cicely Lopez entered to pinch hit and grounded out to Canion in the circle to end the contest.