Softball Preview - Games 40-42: Marshall

UABSPORTS.COM Alex Fieldhouse
Alex Fieldhouse

April 11, 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 makes the trip to Huntington, West Virginia to take on league-rival Marshall for three games this weekend starting with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. ECU completes the series against the Thundering Herd with a noon contest on Sunday. The Pirates enter the weekend with an overall record of 15-24 (5-7 C-USA) and are coming in off a 6-4 win over a ranked Tulsa squad.

Live stats and video will be available for all three conference games. Live in-game updates for the contests can also be accessed through the ECU Softball Twitter feed (@ECUSoftball).

Scouting The Thundering Herd
Marshall (27-14, 11-4 Conference USA) are red-hot having won 17 of the last 18 games including a stretch of 11 out of 12 conference contests ... Andi Williamson is one of the top pitchers in the country ... She leads the nation in strikeouts with 272 and is third in wins with 24 ... Williamson has also worked 222 innings this season and sports a 2.27 ERA ... She has allowed only 153 hits, but has also totaled 131 walks and surrendered 13 home runs ... Williamson has appeared in the circle in all but two games that Marshall has played this season, while completing 22 of her starts ... Ashley Gue leads the team with her .348 batting average and 25 stolen bases ... Katelynn Greene has a team-high of 41 hits while also stealing 24 bases ... Three different members of the team have 20 more RBI led by Jazmine Valle and Shaelynn Braxton, who have 23 runs-driven in each ... Braxton was just named the league's hitter of the week on Monday after leading the program to a series victory over Houston last weekend ... Marshall has been aggressive on the base paths and ranks fourth nationally with an average of 2.26 stolen bases a game ... The program is also undefeated at home this season (14-0 record) ... The head coach of the Thundering Herd in her 14th year with the program is Shonda Stanton ... Stanton is 420-352-2 overall in her career and 393-328-2 at Marshall since taking over the program ... The Thundering Herd have captured 14 victories to the Pirates' 13 ... East Carolina defeated Marshall in two of the three games last season at home and twice in the last series in Huntington.

Career Numbers vs. Marshall
Senior Kai Clark has hit well against Marshall with a .304 batting average (7-for-23), three runs scored, a home run and six RBI ... Junior Kristi Oshiro sports a .333, eight hits, two doubles and four RBI in seven career contests against the Thundering Herd ... Sophomore Sarah Christian won two games and threw 16.1 innings against Marshall last season.

On This Date (Weekend Edition)
ECU has an all-time record of 27-20 on the dates from April 13-14 ... The Pirates are 14-12 on April 13 and last took on N.C. State on the date in 2011 ... ECU is 13-8 on April 14 and played against Houston last season.

Last Time Out
The Pirates lost two of three to No. 20/18 Tulsa over the weekend, but won the final game over the Golden Hurricane by a 6-4 margin on Sunday ... Junior Jordan Lewis homered and drove in four to power the offense ... Sophomore Courtney Smith got the ball and went the first five innings for ECU with a career-high seven strikeouts ... Fellow sophomore Sarah Christian pitched the final two innings to pick her first career save.

Seventh Time Is The Charm
The Pirates' 6-4 win over No. 20/18 Tulsa on Sunday snapped a losing streak of 16 straight-games to ranked opponents dating back to the 2010 NCAA Regional when ECU defeated then No. 12 Texas 1-0 ... The game against Tulsa was ECU's seventh contest against a ranked opponent this season, which is the most since the 2008 program played 13 games against teams in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.

She Gets Them In Pairs And Now Threes
Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin put up the first-three hit game of her career against Tulsa (4/6) and is hitting .375 in her last five games ... The multi-hit game was her fourth of the season and the ninth of her career.

Not Uncharted Territory
The Pirates are currently 5-7 in league play for only the second time in the last 12 seasons (2008 and 2013) ... Upon completion of 12 games, ECU has started Conference USA play .500 or below a total of six times since joining the league prior to the 2002 season (1-11 in 2003, 4-8 in 2004, 3-9 in 2006, 5-7 in 2008, 4-8 in 2012 and 5-7 in 2013).



The Last Meeting
East Carolina3
April 29, 2012
Greenville, N.C.
Pirates Win Series With 3-0 Victory Over Marshall
Box Score | Highlights
A two-run single in the fourth inning from junior Kai Clark and the first Conference USA shutout of freshman pitcher Sarah Christian's career lifted East Carolina to a 3-0 victory over Marshall on Senior Day Sunday afternoon.

Turning It Around
After a rough stretch of three starts in the middle of the season (0-3 record, 7.41 ERA in 11.1 innings pitched), sophomore Sarah Christian has really begun to settle down in her last 10 starts ... Despite the 5-4 overall record, she sports a 2.49 ERA and has fanned 32 in her 59 innings in the circle with nine complete games.

On A Streak
After getting recording at least a hit in each game against Tulsa (4/6-7), Jordan Lewis has reached base safely in 31 of the team's last 34 games ... Lewis, in that time, is hitting .365 (31-for-85) with an on-base percentage of .491 ... She also has reached base safely in each of her last 15 games, which is a career high.

Sneaky Fast
Jordan Lewis is 12-for-13 in stolen base attempts this season and has only been thrown out three times in 32 career attempts on the base paths.

Individual Conference Leaders
The Pirates, through the ninth week of softball action, have several players that are ranked highly in Conference USA ...  Junior Kristi Oshiro is tied for the conference in triples (5) ... She is second in the league in batting average (.384), doubles (11), third in runs scored (32), on-base percentage (.474) and hits (43) ... Oshiro is tied for fifth in total bases (67) and sacrifice bunts (6) plus sixth in slugging percentage (.598) and eighth in hit by pitch (4) ... Junior Alex Fieldhouse is tied for the league lead in sacrifice flies (3) ... She is second in RBI (32), fourth in total bases (69), fifth in doubles (10) and slugging percentage (.611), sixth in triples (2), seventh in home runs (6), ninth in hits (37) ... Junior Jordan Lewis is third in walks (21), sixth in on-base percentage (.468), eighth in stolen bases (12), ninth in batting average (.353) and 10th in slugging percentage (.549) and total bases (56) ... Junior Jill Jelnick is tied for third in sacrifice flies (2), tied for sixth in triples (2) and ninth in runs scored (22) ... Freshman Kelsi Briggs is tied for third in sacrifice flies (2) ... Sophomore Sarah Christian is tied for third in appearances (29), fourth in innings pitched (136.2) and games started (20)... Christian is fifth in wins (11), tied for sixth in games in relief (9) and ninth in strikeouts (84) and saves (1).

Team Conference Leaders
ECU, as a team, lead the conference in triples (12) and sacrifice flies (11) ... The program is also fourth in total bases (388). fifth in slugging percentage (.392), hits (259) and home runs (19) plus sixth in runs scored (142), batting average (.262) and on-base percentage (.332).

NCAA Leaders
Kristi Oshiro ranks among the NCAA leaders in several categories in the fourth release of statistics this week (4/7) ... Oshiro is eighth in triples (5.0), 15th in triples per game (0.13), 68th in toughest to strikeout (18.7), 78th in doubles per game (0.28), 87th in batting average (.384), 140th in batting average (.384), 142nd in on-base percentage (.474) and 144th in runs per game (0.82) ... Alex Fieldhouse also finds herself among the NCAA leaders in sacrifice flies (3.0 - 21st) ... She is also 78th in doubles per game (0.28), 107th in triples (2.0) and 129th in RBI per game (0.82) ... Jordan Lewis is 107th nationally in triples (2.0) ... Jill Jelnick is 103rd in tough to strikeout (16.3) ... In the circle, Sarah Christian is 102nd in walks per seven innings (2.1), 109th in wins (11.0) and 113th in saves (1) ... Courtney Smith ranks 145th in shutouts nationally (2.0)

Need To Keep Them Scoreless in the First
Against UTEP (3/29), the Pirates picked up their first win of the season when the opponent scores in the opening inning and are now 1-14 when that happens this year ... After the comeback win against UNCW, ECU is 2-20 when its opponent crosses home first ... East Carolina is 13-2 on the season though when holding opponents to two runs or less in any game and 9-4 when scoring in the first frame.

Up Next
East Carolina returns home and hosts No. 24 North Carolina (32-13) for a single game on Wednesday at 5 p.m.