Pirates Sweep C-USA Weekly Honors Again
April 20, 2009
IRVING, Texas – East Carolina junior third baseman Cristen Aona and redshirt sophomore pitcher Toni Paisley have been selected as the Conference USA Hitter-of-the-Week and Pitcher-of-the-Week, according to an announcement Monday by league officials. The selection is the first of Aona’s career. For Paisley, the honor is her second-consecutive and seventh of the year, tying her with Southern Miss’ Courtney Blades (2000) for the most weekly honors in a single season.
Aona began her week with a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning against N.C. State. The win gave the Pirates the season sweep of the rival Wolfpack for the first time in program history. The homer was also the 12th of her career, moving her into a tie for ninth-place on ECU’s all-time chart.
In the Memphis series, Aona hit .444 and drove in three of the team’s six runs in the series finale. In the opening inning of the third game, she drove in the Pirates’ first run and one batter later scored what turned out to be the game-winning run. Aona is currently on an eight-game hitting streak, tied for the longest of her career.
Paisley picked up all five of the Pirates’ wins last week while posting a 0.76 earned run average and striking out 41 batters. Over the five games, opponents hit just .188 off of her.
Against N.C. State, Paisley fanned 14 batters, just one shy of her career high, and allowed one run on six hits. The next day against Elon in a relief effort, she fanned 10 of the 15 batters she faced, including seven of the first eight. It was her fourth-straight performance in which she struck out at least 10 batters.
In the Memphis series, the redshirt sophomore earned the 21st shutout of her career in game one, blanking the Tigers on four hits. In the second contest, she came in with runners on first and third and no outs in the top of the sixth and struck out the side. Paisley earned the win when the Pirates won on Sarah Bibee’s walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh. In her final appearance of the week, Paisley held Memphis to one run on six hits while striking out six.
East Carolina (34-11, 17-3 C-USA) will try to extend its winning streak to nine games when the team faces No. 13 North Carolina on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in Chapel Hill.