ECU Softball Opens Home Slate This Weekend

Abby Wynne

Feb. 14, 2014

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team will host its first games of the season this Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15-16, when it welcomes Delaware State, Drexel and Seton Hall for the Pirate Snow Classic at the ECU Softball Stadium.

Admission is free to the general public.

East Carolina Notes:
After posting a 2-3 record last weekend at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, a refreshed East Carolina softball team will look to bounce back when it hosts the Pirate Snow Classic, after it’s originally scheduled trip to compete at Baylor University’s Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas was cancelled due to hazardous travel conditions. ECU will play two games against Seton Hall and one game each against Delaware State and Drexel, repsectively.

Delaware State: The Hornets and Pirates have met just once in the history of both programs, with ECU claiming a 29-0 victory in Feb. 1999 in Greenville. Delaware State, a member of the MEAC, will be making its 2014 season debut against East Carolina this weekend.

Seton Hall: In a battle of the Pirates, East Carolina and Seton Hall will meet for the fifth time in history. ECU owns a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series, which includes a 2-0 record in games played in Greenville. The two teams last met at the Pirate Classic in Feb. 2006, where East Carolina claimed a 3-0 win. SHU comes into the weekend with a 1-3 record, after opening its 2014 campaign at the Hampton Inn Campbell Stampede Tournament in Buies Creek, N.C.

Drexel: ECU and the Dragons will square off for just the fourth time ever, with East Carolina leading the all-time series, 3-0. Drexel suffered a 9-7 loss in the last matchup in Feb. 2012 at the Pirate Classic in Greenville, while the previous two games were played in 1989 and 1983 at neutral sites.

East Carolina was picked to finish fourth in Conference USA for the 2014 season according to a  preseason vote conducted by the league’s coaches. The Pirates were one of just three teams to receive at least one first place vote, behind UAB (7) and Tulsa (5) who were picked to finish first and second, respectively, in the league.

ECU will play 22 games against teams whose RPI’s ranked among the top 100 at the end of last season, 12 of which were among the top 50 and eight coming from within the top 30. South Alabama owned the highest RPI at No. 15 and Utah State had the lowest at No. 248, while the average of the Pirates’ scheduled opponents was 103. 

Hazardous travel conditions and subsequent flight cancellations produced by Winter Storm Pax forced the East Carolina softball team to withdraw from its participation at Baylor University’s Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas. ECU was set to compete against UAB, Iowa, Lipscomb, Drake and Baylor during the three-day tourney, Feb. 14-16. All five teams owned top-100 RPIs in 2013, with the host Golden Bears owning the highest at No. 24.

Senior Alex Fieldhouse had one of the more memorable season debuts in program history on Feb. 7, when the infielder recorded nine total bases on two home runs and a single in East Carolina’s 8-4 victory over Grand Canyon. The nine bases touched were the most in a game since Marina Gausman-Brown had 10 in a game against Hampton on April 7, 2010. 

Senior second baseman Kristi Oshiro has drawn 85 walks during her career for the Pirates - the fifth-most in program history. Oshiro forced a base-on-balls in the team’s 6-3 win over Southern Utah on Feb. 8 to pass Erin St. Ledger (2005-08) and enter the top five on the all-time list. She needs just 11 more free passes to tie Isonette Polonius (1997-99) for fourth place in program history. 

Seniors Jill Jelnick and Jordan Lewis had consecutive starts in triple-digit games halted due to injuries sustained at the Red Desert Classic. Jelnick played the season opener but missed the next four games, snapping a streak of 101-straight games started dating back to a Feb. 11, 2012 game against Canisius. Jordan Lewis missed the final two games in Utah, which brought an end to her 118-game streak that began on the same day as Jelnick’s during the 2012 season. Sophomore Casey Alcorn had started her last 24 games, but was rested in the team’s Feb. 9 contest against Utah State. 

Senior first baseman Jordan Lewis has 14-career home runs, which is currently tied for 10th on East Carolina’s all-time list. Lewis is just two behind Marina Gusman-Brown, who hit 16 long balls from 2009-10. If Lewis replicates her seven homers from a year ago, she will move herself into the top five on the chart. 

Infielder Kristi Oshiro has increased her triples total in each of the last three seasons at ECU. The Mililani, Hawai’i native hit a pair of three-base knocks during her freshman campaign in 2011, before posting three as a sophomore in 2012 and five in 2013. Her five triples last season ranked 18th in all of Division I and Oshiro’s 10 three-baggers currently have her locked in a four-way tie for the 10th most in school history. 

The Pirates’ returning senior class of Alex Fieldhouse, Jill Jelnick, Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin, Jordan Lewis, Kristi Oshiro and Jasmine Robbins was relied upon for approximately two-thirds of the 2013 team’s offense. The six players produced 110 runs (68%), 219 hits (64%), 110 RBI (65%) and 339 total bases (66%) last season. 

Entering her second year at the helm of the program, Head Coach Beth Keylon-Randolph’s first five games of the 2014 season were played at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah. The location of the tournament was the same place she coached her final game at Chattanooga State and won the 2012 NJCAA National Championship. Senior outfielder Shelby Johnson and junior infielder Andie Johnson played for Keylon-Randolph on that team and transferred to East Carolina prior to last fall.