Softball Preview - Games 15-19: Wilson/DeMarini Invitational

Jill Jelnick

Feb. 28, 2013

 Game 52: No. 5 Seed East Carolina (21-30) vs. No. 4 Seed Marshall (32-20)
 May 9 in Tulsa, Okla.
East Carolina vs. Marshall (First Round)  May 9 | 8:00 p.m. (ET) | GameTracker Video
 Game Notes East Carolina | Conference USA | Marshall
 Social Media @ECUSoftball   | Facebook | YouTube

GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina softball team starts the month of March by playing in its first road tournament of the season, the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational, this weekend in Arizona from March 1-3. The Pirates enter the weekend's action with an overall record of 6-8.

The other teams in the competitive field include Binghamton, North Carolina, Baylor, Arizona State and North Dakota. ECU begins the tournament with a contest against Binghamton at 2:30 p.m. (ET) at Mesa Community College on March 1 in the first of its two games on the opening day of the tournament. East Carolina also takes on regional and state-rival North Carolina at 4 p.m. (ET) in the nightcap. The Pirates have a pair of games against ranked foes scheduled for March 2nd starting at 10:30 a.m. (ET) at Mesa Community College with No. 22 Baylor. It is then a quick turnaround and change in venues back to Arizona State's campus to take on the No. 3 Sun Devils at 6:30 p.m. (ET). East Carolina wraps up play in the tournament with a contest against North Dakota at 11 a.m. (ET)

Live stats will be available for the games against North Carolina, Arizona State and North Dakota. The contests against Binghamton and Baylor will not have live stats due to the lack of internet availability at the off campus venue. Live in-game updates for the contests against North Carolina, Arizona State and North Dakota can be accessed through the ECU Softball Twitter feed (@ECUSoftball). Live audio will only be available for the contest against Arizona State.

Pirates Fall To Elon
East Carolina dropped the programs fifth-straight game in a 6-3 loss to Elon on Wednesday, Feb. 27 ... The Pirates held two different leads in the game, but could not overcome the last deficit ... Junior Alex Fieldhouse and freshman Casey Alcorn both homered in the game for ECU.

Not Something That Happens Often
ECU ended the month of February with a 6-8 record ... The program's losing record in the month, was only the second-time since 1997 that the team has finished below .500 in February, and the fifth-time since the start of the fastpitch era in 1984 that East Carolina did not accomplish the feat ... The Pirates have been 6-8 or better in every season since 2000.  

Offense Continues To Impress
East Carolina's offense has had a strong start to the season with a .286 team batting average ... The batting average is the highest for the program after 14 games since 2008 and the third time that the team's hitting has been over .285 upon completion of 14 games over the last 10 years ... The program's 23 doubles are also the most in that same 10-year span  ... The 101 hits are the highest total since the 2008 team's 109 ... The 169 total bases are the most since 2005 (186 total bases) and marks the fourth time with 160 or more total bases in the first 14 games in the last 10 seasons.

Magic of the Fifth Inning
East Carolina has been outscored by its opponents by a run, 67-66, this season in the overall stats, but still hold an advantage in scoring in three of those innings ... The Pirates have really done damaged though in the fifth inning with a positive run differential of 16 runs (21-5).

And We're Off
Junior Jill Jelnick started her February fast last season in leading the team with her .355 batting average ... She continued her hot hitting and had .295 batting average with 12 runs in the opening month this season ... Fellow junior Alex Fieldhouse also had a strong start to her 2012 season with a .316 batting average, a tied for team lead 12 hits and a team-best 10 RBI ... She was even better this year and hit .395 with 15 hits, four doubles, a triple, four home runs and 13 RBI in the first month ... Kristi Oshiro has a combined total of 44 hits and 43 runs scored in the month of February over the last three years.

She Always Has That At Home Feeling
Alex Fieldhouse hit .405 (15-for-37) last season with a home run and six RBI in neutral site contests ... Jill Jelnick also hit well in 2012 with her .317 batting average and 13 hits in a neutral setting.

On A Streak
Jordan Lewis carries a nine-game hitting streak into the action this weekend ... Her hitting streak is only one game away from her matching her career-high ... In her last nine games, the junior is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with a double, triple, home run, six RBI and 16 total bases.

Recent Trends
In the last 10 games, Kristi Oshiro is hitting .483 (14-for-29) with five doubles, three triples, a home run, nine RBI and 28 total bases ... Jordan Lewis has also been playing well with her .345 batting average (10-for-29) ... Alex Fieldhouse is leading the club with her four home runs and 11 RBI during that span ... Mary Beth Smith, despite an 0-2 record, has limited opponents to a 2.62 ERA in the  team's last 10 games ... Sarah Christian has won all four of the team's games in that span.

On This Date - Weekend Edition
East Carolina is 32-20-1 all-time on the dates from March 1-3 ... The program is 15-9 on March 1 and last played on the date in 2008 against Delaware ... ECU is only 7-6 on March 2 and last played against Fordham in 2008 ... The Pirates are 10-5-1 on March 3 and played against Northwestern last season.

East Carolina Versus Ranked Opponents
The Pirates face their first ranked foes of the season on Saturday with contests against No. 22/20 Baylor and No. 3/3 Arizona State ... Since 1996, the Pirates have played 71 games against teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll ... In those contests, East Carolina is 9-62, including a mark of 3-30 since 2008 ... Last season, the Pirates played six games against ranked teams with the last one being in March against Arizona State also at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational

News And Notables
Freshman Meredith Mitchell, after getting her first walk (2/22) and then hit against Liberty (2/24) at the Pirate Invitational, continued her week of "firsts" with her first career RBI with a single to drive in Jordan Lewis against Elon (2/27) ... Casey Alcorn's home run to lead-off the second inning for ECU against Elon was the Pirates first lead-off home run since Priscilla Velasquez hit one against Tulsa last season ... The Pirates used the team's 11th different starting batting order of the season against Elon ... Elon's win on Wednesday was the program's first over ECU since 2004, when the Phoenix took both games of a doubleheader from the Pirates ... Kristi Oshiro (second base), Jill Jelnick (left field) and Alex Fieldhouse (third base) are the only three players on the team to start at the same position in the field in each of the first 14 contests ... Four different members of the team have already started at both designated player and in right field.
Individual Conference Leaders
The Pirates, midway through the third week of softball action, have several players that are ranked highly in Conference USA ...  Junior Kristi Oshiro leads the conference in batting average (.439), triples (4), runs scored (15) and on-base percentage (.489) ... She is tied for the lead in total bases (34), third in slugging percentage (.829), sacrifice bunts (3) plus hits (18) and tied for third in doubles (5) ... Additionally, she is 10th in RBI (9) ... Junior Alex Fieldhouse is second in the league in slugging percentage (.868) and home runs (4), tied for second in sacrifice flies (2), third in total bases (33) and on-base percentage (.468) plus tied for sixth in doubles (4) and tied for seventh in walks (7) ... Junior Jill Jelnick is third in runs scored (12), tied for fourth in triples (1), tied for seventh in stolen bases (5) and tied for 10th in walks (6) ... Senior Kai Clark is tied for sixth in doubles (4) ... Junior Jordan Lewis is tied for fourth in triples (1), tied for sixth in stolen bases (5) and seventh in batting average (.357) ... Freshman Casey Alcorn is tied for sixth in doubles (4), tied for seventh in home runs (2) and tied for 10th in walks (6) ... Junior Jasmine Robbins is tied for fifth in hit by pitch (2) ... Sophomore Sarah Christian is third in wins (5), and appearances (11) ... She is fifth in innings pitched (46.1) and strikeouts (35) plus eighth in ERA (2.57) ... Freshman Mary Beth Smith is tied for fifth in ERA (1.77).



Team Conference Leaders
ECU, as a team, leads the conference in batting average (.291), slugging percentage (.477) and triples (7) ... The program is second in doubles (23), total bases (156) and sacrifice bunts (10) ... East Carolina also ranks third in on-base percentage (.367), runs scored (63), home runs (8) and RBI (55) plus fourth in stolen bases (17).

Scouting Binghamton
The Bearcats (1-3) started their season at the Felsberg Memorial Tournament at Florida International two weekends ago, but haven't played since then ... In the early going the program is being led by freshman Sydney Harbaugh ... Harbaugh was named the America East Rookie-the-Week after she hit .365 (5-for-11) with a .533 on-base percentage in the opening weekend ... The Bearcats are led by fourth-year head coach Michelle Burrell, who has led the program to three consecutive 20-win season ... East Carolina leads the all-time series by a 4-0 with the last matchup between the team's coming in 2007 at the Pirate Clash.

Scouting North Carolina

The Tar Heels (11-5) went 3-0 last weekend at home at the Carolina Classic and then defeated Charlotte in a midweek contest on Wednesday ... Junior Lori Spingola, a two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week this season, pitched a no-hitter and was one walk from a perfect game in a 4-0 win over North Dakota State on Feb. 21, and then went five innings with nine strikeouts against the 49ers on Feb. 27 ... Spingola leads the conference in batters struck out (75 in 65 innings) and ranks third with an ERA of 1.83 ... She leads the team with her seven wins and eight complete games ... Tisha Mahon leads UNC with a .393 batting average ... North Carolina is coached by Donna J. Papa, who began with the program in 1986 and was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Associate (NFCA) Hall of Fame this past fall ... She has led the UNC to the NCAA Tournament in 10 of the last 12 seasons and has an overall record of 1062-574-5 in her 30-year coaching career ... North Carolina leads the all-time series with ECU 49-34  ... The programs last met in 2012 with the Tar Heels prevailing 4-2 at Anderson Stadium ... The two teams will meet again later this season for a single game on April 17 at 5 p.m.

The Last Meeting
East Carolina2
North Carolina4
March 13, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Tar Heels Come Away With 4-2 Victory
Box Score | Live Chat Replay
In the first meeting between rivals East Carolina and North Carolina since 2009, the Tar Heels (18-7) got the upper hand with a 4-2 victory over the Pirates (10-14) Tuesday afternoon at Anderson Stadium.

The Last Meeting
East Carolina10(5)
March 3, 2007
Greenville, N.C.
Paisley Throws Perfect Game Against Binghamton
East Carolina pitcher Toni Paisley threw her first collegiate perfect game in a 10-0 five-inning win over Binghamton before Keli Harrell allowed one run in a 7-1 victory over James Madison.

The Last Meeting
East Carolina1  
Arizona State9(6)
March 9, 2012
Tempe, Ariz.
Softball Falls Twice Friday At Diamond Devil Invitational
Pacific Box Score | Arizona State Box Score | Live Chat Replay
East Carolina dropped its two Friday games at the Diamond Devil Invitational, falling to Pacific 6-3 and No. 5 Arizona State 9-1 in six innings.

The Last Meeting
East Carolina0
May 22, 2011
College Park, Md.
Baylor Eliminates ECU 1-0
Box Score | Live Chat Replay
A double off the wall in left field by Holly Holl in the top of the sixth inning drove in Megan Turk and provided the game's only run as Baylor edged past East Carolina 1-0 Sunday to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.

Scouting No. 22/20 Baylor
The No. 22/20 Bears (15-2) are one of the top softball programs in the country and the first of two ranked teams that the Pirates will face this weekend ... Baylor comes into the tournament on a 14-game winning streak and have outscored opponents by a 73-11 margin in that time ... Freshman Sarah Smith leads the team with her .537 average ... She has also totaled 22 hits, two home runs, eight RBI and a .780 slugging percentage ... Sophomore Kaitlyn Thumann is hitting .453 with a team-high 24 hits, 14 runs and 15 stolen bases this season ... Senior Kathy Shelton has also been hitting well with her .404 batting average and 23 hits ... Shelton has also stolen 11 bases in 12 attempts ... Leading the way in circle for Baylor is junior Whitney Canion ... Canion is 8-1 with 1.22 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 51.2 innings worked ... Baylor is coached by Glenn Moore, who is in his 13th season in charge of the program, and has led the Bears to the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last nine campaigns ... The Bears lead the all-time series with ECU 2-0 with both meetings coming in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

Scouting No. 3/3 Arizona State
The No. 3/3 Sun Devils (16-0) are the tournament hosts and the second of two ranked opponents that East Carolina will matchup with this weekend ... ASU enters the week with a team batting average of .355 and a team ERA of 1.06 ... Elizabeth Caporuscio is the current leader on the club in hits (23) and batting average (.460) ... Cheyenne Coyle has proven to be the most dangerous hitter in the lineup and is hitting .419 with seven home runs, 21 RBI, 18 hits, 20 runs scored and 12 walks ... Dallas Escobedo is one of the top pitchers in the country and enters the week with a perfect 9-0 record to go along with 106 strikeouts in her 63.1 innings worked ... She has also limited opponents to a .135 batting average ... The Sun Devils have won two NCAA National Championships since 2008 and finished third in 2012 ... Clint Myers has been serving as head coach of the program since 2006 and has accumulated an impressive 393-90 record in that time ... The Sun Devils leads the series with East Carolina 2-0 with both meetings coming in this same tournament the last two seasons.

Scouting North Dakota
The University of North Dakota  (2-4) did not play the last two weekends and head to Tempe, Ariz. after beginning the season in a tournament hosted by Iowa State from Feb. 8-10 ... UND lost to Indiana State, IPFW and Iowa State (twice) in that opening tournament ... North Dakota's two wins this season came against regional-rival South Dakota in that same tournament ... The UND offense is being led in the early going by senior Brittany Baker ... Baker has a team-high .462 batting average, six hits and an RBI ... Eric Oakley is in his second year in charge of the program and went 18-29 in his opening season ... The Pirates have never faced North Dakota before and last played a program from the Big Sky Conference, which just started sponsoring softball this season, in 2011 with an 11-3 victory over Northern Colorado.

Up Next
The Pirates travel to Hawai'i next week to participate in the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament from March 8-10 ... The team starts the tournament with an exhibition game against Tokyo-Women's College PE at 9 p.m. (ET) on March 8 ... The program will also take on Portland State and Hawai'i in the initial tournament ... ECU then sticks around the islands and plays single games against Syracuse (3/12) and Hawai'i (3/13) before coming back to the mainland and starting conference play against UAB on March 16 in Birmingham, Ala.