Pirates End West Swing At Arizona State
March 8, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - After snapping its six-game losing streak Tuesday at Cal State Fullerton, East Carolina looks to continue its momentum this weekend at the Diamond Devil Invitational, hosted by defending national champion Arizona State. The Pirates open tournament play Friday with a 5:30 p.m. ET contest against Pacific (10-8) before taking on the No. 5 Sun Devils (21-2) at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET.
On Saturday, ECU plays Creighton (8-7) at 1:00 p.m. ET and New Mexico State (13-10) around 5:30 p.m. ET. East Carolina completes the event Sunday at 12:00 p.m. ET against Valparaiso (11-3).
Tuesday against the Titans, the Pirates turned a slim 2-0 lead into a 10-0 victory by scoring eight runs in the seventh inning. Freshman pitcher Sarah Christian threw the first shutout of her career and limited Cal State Fullerton to just one hit over seven innings. The Greenville product had a personal-best four strikeouts during the contest. Offensively, sophomores Jill Jelnick, Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin and Kristi Oshiro each tallied two hits while classmate Jordan Lewis hit a grand slam. Oshiro and Kaluhiokalani-Glackin also scored two runs each and senior Priscilla Velasquez tallied two runs batted in with a double to right center during the high-scoring seventh.
What The Record Means Through 18 Games
In 2010, when the initial 18 games of the campaign also featured five contests against ranked foes, the Pirates were an identical 8-10. That year, ECU won its first Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. That campaign was also when pitcher Toni Paisley earned All-America honors and the regular starting lineup featured six seniors. This year's group features two freshman hurlers and seven underclassman starters.
For the Tigers in 2012, junior Nikki Armagost paces the pitching staff and offense. In the circle, she is 4-2 with a 2.06 earned run average. At the plate, she leads the team with a .373 batting average, 22 hits and six doubles.
East Carolina Versus Arizona State
Arizona State is making a strong bid to repeat in 2012, as the team is 21-2 and ranked fifth in the country. Escobedo, just a sophomore, is 8-1 with a 2.15 earned run average while senior Hillary Bach is 9-0 with a 0.28 ERA. At the plate, sophomore outfielder Alix Johnson (.576) and senior shortstop Katelyn Boyd (.500) are both batting .500 or better while three others top .435. Boyd also paces ASU with nine home runs and 28 RBI.
ECU In First-Time Meetings
More Games = More Ranked Opponents
This season's schedule is shaping up to be one of the most difficult in program history. The Pirates' 2008 campaign featured contests against a record seven ranked squads, but the Pirates are nearly to that total already. After this weekend, ECU's six games against ranked teams are only one fewer than the Pirates played in the regular season the last two years combined.
Playing Good People
When looking at only the teams ECU has lost to, those foes are a combined 114-47 (.708 winning percentage), including undefeated Louisville, Alabama and California.
Facing Some Of The Best Hurlers In The Country
The combined record of the starting pitchers to have beaten the Pirates is 65-25 (.722 winning percentage). The 10 have a combined earned run average of 2.23.
Home Cooking Does The Body Good
Fieldhouse recorded at least one hit in each contest and booked a career-best three against Indiana. With two singles against California, she joined Cal Poly's Nora Sobczak as the only players this season with a two-hit game against Arioto. Fieldhouse is the first to tally two hits and an RBI off Arioto in 2012.
Double Plays Helping Clear The Base Path