Softball Ready For Lipton Invitational
Feb. 18, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team returns to the state of Florida for this weekend's Lipton Invitational in Gainesville. The Pirates open the event playing Conference USA foe Marshall at 9:00 a.m. Friday before squaring off against in-state rival Campbell later in the morning at 11:15. The contest against the Thundering Herd will not count toward this season’s C-USA standings.
Saturday, ECU will face No. 3 Florida at 2:30 p.m. and Kansas at 7:00 before completing the weekend against the Gators at 12:15 p.m. Sunday.
The Pirates began the 2010 campaign going 1-3 at the USF DeMarini Tournament in Clearwater, Fla. After rain forced schedule changes, ECU opened with No. 3 Florida and suffered a 4-3 setback Saturday morning. That night, the Pirates defeated host USF 5-1. In Sunday’s doubleheader, East Carolina lost 3-0 to No. 13 Georgia Tech and 2-1 to Long Island.
The Pirates Against The Thundering Herd ...
A year ago, ECU traveled to Huntington and took two of three in the Conference USA series. In the opener, Marshall’s Rachael Sofie hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh after the Pirates had forced a 1-1 tie in the top of the inning. Game two had East Carolina use a five-run fourth inning to cruise to an 8-3 victory as Jessica Johnson drove in four. The finale featured another game-changing inning as the visitors trailed 1-0 until scoring three in the fifth to win 3-1. Cristen Aona had the deciding hit as she plated two with a single to left field.
Despite both teams being C-USA members, Friday’s matchup will not count toward this season’s league standings. The programs are no strangers to playing non-conference contests, however, as Marshall did not join Conference USA until 2006.
East Carolina Versus Campbell ...
In that contest, Campbell took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth as Katie Hinton doubled in Lizzie Goldbach. The Pirates answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when Christina Merrida drove in Aona. With the game still tied in the top of the eighth, Hinton sent a double to right center to plate Katie Woodcock for a 2-1 lead. A sacrifice fly by Sarah Bibee tied the score at two each in the bottom of the eighth before Kaui Tom delivered a walk-off, two-out, three-run home run for the win.
575 And Counting ...
Since East Carolina began fastpitch softball in 1984, the Pirates have recorded 972 victories, with Kee being a part of 893 of those wins as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
What Can Brown Do For You? ...
In the season opener against No. 3 Florida, she had two RBI with a fifth-inning double that brought the Pirates to within one run at 4-3. Later that day, her three stolen bases against USF made her the first Pirate to swipe three in a game since Krista Jessup against Delaware March 14, 2006. Sunday against No. 13 Georgia Tech, Gusman-Brown broke up the Yellow Jackets’ no-hit bid with a seventh-inning single. She also drove in the only run the Pirates scored in Sunday’s finale against Long Island with her second career triple in the sixth inning.
Gusman-Brown carried over a four-game hitting streak from the end of the 2009 season, giving her a career-best eight-straight games with at least one hit.