Softball Begins 2010 Season
Feb. 12, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. - After heavy rains canceled Friday's games, the East Carolina softball team will open the 2010 season Saturday. The Pirates play No. 3 Florida at 12 p.m. and host USF at 5 p.m.
ECU finishes the event Sunday against No. 13 Georgia Tech at 9 a.m. and Long Island at 11 a.m.
The Pirates Against The Gators ...
Leading the way in the circle will be junior Stephanie Brombacher, a 2009 Easton First-Team All-American who has never lost in her collegiate career (42-0) and went 22-0 a year ago. A pair of two-time Easton First-Team All-American selections in senior Francesca Enea and junior Aja Paculba return to anchor the outfield and infield, respectively.
East Carolina Versus USF ...
The teams have not met since USF knocked East Carolina out of the 2005 Conference USA Tournament with a 1-0 victory. The Bulls’ Carmela Liwag drove in the game’s only run with a two-out RBI-single in the third. Also in the contest, current ECU pitching coach Keli Harrell became the program’s all-time strikeout leader after fanning Carly Griffin to end the fourth inning.
This season, USF will be led by sophomore outfielder Janine Richardson, a 2009 All-Big East First Team pick, and senior catcher Cat Olnick, a third team selection.
ECU In First-Time Meetings ...
One More To 575 ...
Paisley Preseason Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Year ...
Last season, the Lakewood, Calif., native led C-USA in wins (30), innings pitched (270.2), earned run average (1.22), opponents' batting average (.177), batters struck out (297) and batters struck out looking (92). Nationally, she finished the year ranked seventh in wins, 11th in ERA, 16th in strikeouts, 26th in saves and 30th in shutouts (9).
Aona, a third baseman, drove in a team second-best 31 runs a year ago. Her 43 hits, including a career-high six home runs, put her in a tie for third on the squad. Defensively, she led the Pirates with 107 assists, the seventh-most in Conference USA.
Merrida, a center fielder, finished fourth on the squad with a .281 batting average. From the beginning of April to the end of the season, she was the Pirates' hottest hitter, batting .355 and scoring 11 runs. Merrida also stole 16 bases, one off the team lead.