Jan. 13, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team took to the field for the first time in 2013 as the Pirates practiced for three hours on Sunday, working on pitching, hitting, defensive fundamentals and base running before closing out the first spring practice at ECU Softball Stadium.
"We started our first day back by getting in an hour of individual pitcher-catcher workouts," head coach Beth Keylon-Randolph explained. "We then progressed and had an hour of hitting in the batting cage and on the field, before finishing the day with an hour of defense and going through situations."
The Pirates return seven starters from the 2012 squad, including Conference USA All-Freshman Team selection Sarah Christian. Christian won 18 games and threw 200 innings as a true freshman to lead the staff. ECU also welcomes back five of the top six hitters in Jill Jelnick, Kai Clark, Jasmine Robbins, Jordan Lewis and Alex Fieldhouse. Jelnick hit .315 last season with 51 hits. Clark sported a .283 batting average in 2012 with a pair of home runs. Robbins doubled 11 times, stole 12 bases and plated 22 in her sophomore season. Lewis put up 26 RBI plus 12 stolen bases, while Fieldhouse contributed 40 hits, 18 RBI and 17 walks.
The team also welcomes in five newcomers to the team in Casey Alcorn, Kelsi Briggs, Morgan Eisenga, Meredith Mitchell and Mary Beth Smith.
"The excitement and enthusiasm of the entire team was evident right from the beginning of practice," Keylon-Randolph stated. "The weather was great, the kids were glad to be back and we put in a great first day of work. We have a lot of outstanding leadership and maturity on the team. What we need at this point are a few live scrimmage situations and that will happen as we progress in practice toward the start of the season."
The Pirates open up the 2013 season at home and host the Pirate Classic from Feb. 8-10. First pitch will be on Feb. 8 at 2:30 p.m., when ECU faces Cleveland State.