Pirates Head West For Five Games
March 3, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina returns to the road for the first time since the opening weekend as it makes a trip to Tempe, Ariz., and Arizona State University for the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational. The Pirates (12-4) begin the event Friday with a 3:00 p.m. ET contest against New Mexico State (14-3) before taking on the host and ninth ranked Sun Devils (12-1) at approximately 7:30 p.m. Saturday, ECU faces Creighton (6-4) and Northern Iowa (7-3) at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively, before finishing the event Sunday with an 11:00 a.m. game versus Northern Colorado (1-8).
It will be a weekend of firsts for the Pirates as they have never faced any of their opponents. All time against conference members of the foes, ECU is 1-4 versus Pac-10 clubs, 3-4 facing Missouri Valley squads, 2-6 taking on Western Athletic Conference teams and 2-0 against Pacific Coast Softball Conference units.
Last Friday through Sunday at the Pirate Clash, East Carolina rolled to a 4-0 record, shutting out its last three opponents and outscoring them 29-5 during the four games. Four starters hit .500 or better for ECU with freshman Jordan Lewis’ .571 mark, eight hits and seven RBI leading the way. Senior Toni Paisley went 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA while junior Faith Sutton shut out Fairfield Saturday afternoon.
About The Aggies
So far this season, New Mexico State leads the WAC with a .353 team batting average and .575 slugging percentage. Senior outfielder Kandis Jones leads the team and conference with a .509 average, 29 hits and 25 runs scored. Senior infielder Hoku Nohara paces the WAC with 29 RBI. In the circle, reigning league pitcher-of-the-week sophomore Alex Newman is 8-0 with a 2.14 ERA.
Arizona State At A Glance
On offense, the Sun Devils are led by junior infielder and All-America selection Katelyn Boyd’s .529 batting average, 23 runs scored, six home runs and 1.176 slugging percentage. Junior infielder Annie Lockwood paces ASU with 17 RBI. In the circle, freshman Dallas Escobedo is 7-0 with a 1.34 ERA. Junior Hillary Bach has posted a 3-0 record and a 1.85 earned run average while redshirt freshman Mackenzie Popescue is 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA.
ECU In First-Time Meetings
A year ago, ECU went 4-5 in initial meetings. The Pirates defeated Cal State Fullerton 2-0 and UC Davis 4-0 at the Cal Round Robin in Berkeley, Calif., Seattle 9-0 at the Bank of Hawai’i Invitational Tournament in Honolulu and Morehead State 6-3 at the Pirate Classic. On the other hand, ECU fell to No. 3 Florida 4-3, Kansas 3-1, No. 1 Washington 6-0, Hawai’i 10-0 and Fresno State 1-0.
Eight Games, Eight Wins
Off To A Strong Start
Paisley Reaches 1,000
After striking out the last two batters in the top of the first versus Campbell, Paisley recorded strikeout No. 1,000 in the top of the second, fanning the inning’s leadoff batter, Taylor McGee. Paisley now has 1,005 whiffs in her career.
Paisley Climbs The Wins Charts
Lewis’ Big Bat
The freshman hit her first career home run against Towson and drove in a personal-best four runs during the contest, including the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth with a double to left. Lewis added another game-winning RBI Saturday against Lehigh.
A Streak Of Eight
Since the start of the 2005 campaign, the Pirate players have produced only seven hitting streaks longer than eight games. Paige Baggett (2006) and Krista Jessup (2005) own the longest strings during that span at 11 games each.