Softball Preview - Game 43: No. 25 North Carolina

UABSPORTS.COM Meredith Mitchell
Meredith Mitchell

April 16, 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 returns home this week to ECU Softball Stadium and hosts the first of four-straight contests beginning on Wednesday at 5 p.m. against No.25 North Carolina. The game is also ECU's second annual Strikeout Cancer Game where all attendees that wear pink can enjoy free admission to the contest. The Pirates, after a 3-0 mark last weekend against Marshall on the road, enter this week with an overall record of 18-24.

Live stats and video will be available for the single contest against the Tar Heels. Live in-game updates for the game can also be accessed through the ECU Softball Twitter feed (@ECUSoftball).

Scouting The Tar Heels
North Carolina (33-15) lost two-of-three games over the weekend at North Carolina State ... Previous to the current two-game losing streak, the Tar Heels had won nine in a row ... Six of the team's 15 losses this season have come to ranked opponents ... The Tar Heels are 20-1 at home, but only 4-10 on the road ... Amber Parrish leads the team in batting average at .349  .... Parrish also is tied for the squad lead with eight doubles and has a team-high 21 walks ... Constance Orr is hitting .348 with 47 hits, seven doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 42 RBI along with 91 total bases ... Aquilla Mateen and Tisha Mahon proved the speed on the team ... Mateen has 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts and Mahon has 10 steals in her 12 tries ... Haleigh Dickey is another dangerous hitter with her nine home runs, 29 RBI and 42 hits ... Lori Spingola is one of the top pitchers in the country with her 23-11 record, 2.43 ERA and 231 strikeouts in 210 innings worked ... She also has thrown 23 complete games and five shutouts ... The head coach of the Tar Heels in her 28th season is Donna J. Papa ... Papa has led Carolina to the NCAA Tournament in 10 of the last 12 years and 40 or more wins in 10 seasons ... She was inducted in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in November of 2012 ... She has an all-time record of 1,084-584-5 in her 30 years of being a collegiate head coach, including a 1,055-569-2 mark at Carolina ... The Tar Heels are the second-most frequently played opponent for the Pirates as this week's game will be the 85th in the series ... North Carolina have captured 50 victories to the Pirates' 34 ... North Carolina defeated ECU by a 5-4 score earlier this season at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.

Career Numbers vs. North Carolina
Senior Kai Clark has hit well against North Carolina with a .571 career batting average (4-for-7) with two RBI ... Junior Alex Fieldhouse has also had success against the Tar Heels with her .500 batting average (4-for-8) with both a double and a home run plus five RBI ... Fellow junior Jordan Lewis has outstanding statistics against UNC with a .857 batting average (6-for-7) including two home runs, a double, three RBI and a pair of walks ... Freshman Meredith Mitchell went 2-for-3 with a double against the Tar Heels earlier this season

On This Date
ECU has an all-time record of 11-10 on the date of April 17 and last played against UAB during the 2011 season.

Last Time Out
The Pirates had a strong weekend with a 3-0 record against Marshall (4/13-14) ... ECU was able to reach double figures in runs in all three games (11-1, 17-6 and 10-4) ... The three straight games with double digits runs was a first for the program since the 2004 season (3/19-20) when ECU defeated George Mason 16-1, UMBC 14-2 and St. Francis (N.Y.) 21-0 ... The only other times that the Pirates have recorded 10 or more runs in three straight games was during the 1992 season when the program defeated Barton by scores of 10-0 three times and during the 1989 campaign with tallies of 22-2 and 16-4 over Louisburg College and 14-0 over Georgia Southern ... Kai Clark hit her first career grand slam in the series finale to propel the Pirates to the victory ... Sarah Christian pitched in all three games with a pair of starts and earned two wins with a 1.87 ERA ... Meredith Mitchell had a strong weekend anchoring the lower half of the batting order with a .545 batting average (6-for-11) and six runs scored ... Jordan Lewis was on a tear with three home runs, six RBI, seven runs scored and five walks in the three games.

Crossing The Plate
Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin scored four runs in the second game against Marshall (4/13) ... Her four runs scored were a career-high ... She became the second ECU player to score four runs in contest this season (Kristi Oshiro vs. Towson - 2/10).

The Rifle Woman
Freshman Meredith Mitchell, after throwing out a runner at home against Marshall (4/13), has already totaled six outfield assists this season including nailing four runners at the plate trying to score from center field ... Mitchell  has also recorded an outfield assist in four straight series  .. ECU outfielders have recorded 12 assists this season with juniors Jasmine Robbins and Jill Jelnick also recording multiple assists on the campaign.



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 12 starts ... Despite the 7-5 overall record, she sports a 2.43 ERA and has fanned 42 in her 72 innings in the circle with 11 complete games.

On A Streak
After recording either a hit or walk in each game against Marshall (4/13-14), Jordan Lewis has reached base safely in 34 of the team's last 37 games ... Lewis, in that time, is hitting .366 (34-for-93) with an on-base percentage of .504 plus seven home runs and 24 RBI ... She also has reached base safely in each of her last 18 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 10th 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 tied for second in doubles (11), third in runs scored (37), tied for fifth in walks (21), hits (44) and sacrifice bunts (7) ... She is sixth in on-base percentage (.473), tied for sixth in total bases (68), eighth in slugging percentage (.567) and tied for ninth in hit by pitch (4) ... Junior Alex Fieldhouse is tied for the league lead in sacrifice flies (3) ... She is second in doubles (11), tied for second in RBI (39), tied for third in total bases (78), fourth in slugging percentage (.614), tied for fifth in home runs (7), tied for sixth in triples (2) and tied for ninth in hits (42) ... Junior Jordan Lewis is second in walks (26), third in slugging percentage (.614), fourth in on-base percentage (.482), tied for fifth in home runs (7), tied for sixth in triples (2), eighth in batting average (.355), tied for eighth in RBI (26), ninth in stolen bases (12) and tied for 10th in runs scored (23) ... Junior Jill Jelnick is tied for the league lead in sacrifice flies (3), tied for sixth in triples (2) and ninth in runs scored (25) ... Freshman Kelsi Briggs is tied for fifth in sacrifice flies (2) ... Sophomore Sarah Christian is fourth in innings pitched (151.2), games started (22) and wins (13) ... She is tied for fourth in appearances (32), fifth in wins (11), tied for fifth in games in relief (10) and eighth in strikeouts (94) and ninth in saves (1) ... Fellow sophomore Courtney Smith is tied for ninth in games started (16) and tied for 10th in appearances (23)

The Last Meeting
East Carolina4
North Carolina5
March 1, 2013
Tempe, Ariz.
Softball Edged Out By North Carolina
Junior Alex Fieldhouse homered and drove in three runs, but East Carolina (7-9) was edged out by North Carolina (13-5), 5-4, in its second game on Friday at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational. The Pirates held two different leads in the game, but two Tar Heel runs in the fifth inning proved to be the difference.

Team Conference Leaders
ECU, as a team, lead the conference in triples (13) and sacrifice flies (13) ... The program is also third in doubles (51) and stolen bases ... ECU is also fourth in total bases (444), runs scored (180), hits (292), runs batted in (154) plus fifth in batting average (.268), home runs (25) and slugging percentage (.408)

NCAA Leaders
Kristi Oshiro ranks among the NCAA leaders in several categories in the fifth release of statistics this week (4/15) ... Oshiro is 10th in triples (5.0), 15th in triples per game (0.12), 57th in toughest to strikeout (20.0), 95th in doubles per game (0.26), 97th in runs per game (0.88), 140th in on-base percentage (.473) ... Alex Fieldhouse also finds herself among the NCAA leaders in sacrifice flies (3.0 - 31st) ... She is also 80th in RBI per game (0.93), 95th in doubles per game (0.26) and 133rd in triples (2.0) ... Jordan Lewis is 85th in walks ((0.62), 112th in on-base percentage (.482) and 133rd nationally in triples (2.0) ... Jill Jelnick is 85th in toughest to strikeout (17.5) ... In the circle, Sarah Christian is 92nd in victories (13.0), 120th in walks per seven innings (2.17) and 131st in saves (1) .
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 (4/3), ECU is 2-20 when its opponent crosses home first ... East Carolina is 14-2 on the season though when holding opponents to two runs or less in any game and 11-4 when scoring in the first frame.

Up Next
East Carolina continues the homestand and gets back into conference play with a three-game set against Memphis (20-28, 8-10 C-USA) from April 20-21 ... The Pirates start the weekend with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday against the Tigers and wrap up the series with a single game on Sunday.