Feb. 20, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina softball team will begin play in its final regular-season tournament when it meets Albany and 19th-ranked South Alabama on Friday, Feb. 21 in the 2014 Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Fla.
ECU will take on the Great Danes at 3:30 p.m., before facing off against the Jaguars at 5:45 p.m., on ESPN3. The Pirates will challenge Mercer and 17th-ranked Georgia on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1:15 and 5:45 p.m., respectively, and concludes play the following day with a pair of matchups against Delaware and Fairfield.
Coming into the weekend winners of three straight and in four of its last five games, the East Carolina softball team will look to readjust itself when it competes in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. ECU will play against Albany, No. 19 South Alabama, Mercer, No. 17 Georgia, Delaware and Fairfield during the three-day tournament.
Against the Opposition
Albany: The Great Danes will play their first game of the 2014 season in a contest that will feature a sibling face-off between East Carolina sophomore shortstop Casey Alcorn and Albany senior third baseman Lauren Alcorn. Currently a member of the America East Conference, Albany has played the ECU just once in history, with that meeting coming at the 2000 ECAC Championships where the Pirates escaped with a 1-0 victory.
South Alabama: East Carolina will take on the Jaguars for the first time in program history.
Georgia: ECU and the Bulldogs will meet for the fourth time ever, with Georgia leading the all-time series, 3-0. The two teams last met in Feb. 2011 at the Red & Black Showcase in Athens, Ga., where third-ranked UGA escaped with a slim, 1-0 victory. The previous two meetings came in March 2008, where Georgia picked up 2-0 and 2-1 wins on consecutive days at the Bulldog Invitational.
Mercer: The Bears and Pirates will tangle for the third time overall and the first in nearly 23 years, with the last meeting coming in April 1991 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Each of the previous two contests were played at neutral sites, with the first coming in March 1990 in Fairfax, Va. ECU won the first game, 9-1, before picking up a 17-1 victory the following year.
Delaware: The Fightin’ Blue Hens have a long history with East Carolina on the softball diamond, with 21 previous matchups in the series’ history. ECU has won 17 of those matchups - including each of the last three - with the most recent coming in a 15-1 thrashing at the Pirate Classic in Greenville in Feb. 2010. The affair will be just the third at a neutral site between the two schools.
Fairfield: The Stags and Pirates will square off for the second-straight season and the third time in four years. East Carolina owns a 10-2 lead in the all-time series, but Fairfield came out on top, 14-10, in a slugfest at last year’s Pirate Invitational in Greenville. ECU is 2-0 against the MAAC foe at neutral sites, with a 4-0 win in the first-ever meeting in 1998 at the Rebel Games in Orlando, Fla., and a 9-1 triumph in 2005 at the Seahawk Invitational in WIlmington, N.C.
Kaluhiokalani-Glackin Fears No Changes
Senior Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin, who primarily played shortstop during her first three seasons with the Pirates, has started four of the team’s last six games in the absence of Jill Jelnick. Not only has she learned a new position, but the Hawai’i native now hits from the left-handed batter’s box and has hit in the leadoff spot in each of the past six contests. Kaluhiokalani-Glackin is batting .391 (9-for-23) with eight runs scored and is 4-for-4 in stole base attempts.
Andino The Bambino
Despite playing in just one of the team’s first five games to start the 2014 season, junior transfer Gabby Andino took advantage of her next opportunities and made the absolute best of them in three starts against Delaware State, Seton Hall and Drexel at the Pirate Classic Feb. 15-16. Andino served as the team’s designated player in two of the three games while making one start in the circle and hit a scorching hot .750 (6-for-8) with four doubles, six RBI and a 1.250 slugging percentage to go with a team-best 10 total bases over the three-game stretch.
Despite missing all but eight games in 2013, redshirt junior Abby Wynne’s presence has made a transformational impact on the middle of East Carolina’s lineup. Among the four players to start each of the Pirates’ first eight games of the 2014 season, Wynne leads the group with a .429 batting average, .538 on-base percentage and is tied for the team lead in runs (10), walks (6) and home runs (2). The Greenville native drew four walks against Seton Hall on Feb. 15 and scored three runs. The four free passes were the most in game by an ECU player since Kai Clark achieved the feat on Feb. 20, 2010 against Florida.
Pax Unpacks Pirates
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.