Pirates Make Cross-Country Trek To UTEP
April 20, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - For its final Conference USA road series of the season, East Carolina makes the cross-country, 1,908-mile journey to El Paso, Texas, for three games against UTEP (16-29, 1-14 C-USA). Because of the Easter holiday, the Pirates (31-16, 11-7 C-USA) play a doubleheader Friday at 4:00 p.m. and close the set Saturday with a 2:00 p.m. game. So far this season, East Carolina has gone 7-2 playing on the road in C-USA.
Last weekend, the Pirates took two of three games at league-leading UAB. ECU won the opener 3-2 in 11 innings as freshman Jasmine Robbins drove in the game-winning run with a double to left. Senior Toni Paisley earned the victory, the 109th of her career, to set the C-USA career wins record. UAB used a two-run home run by Kristen McGrath in the bottom of the sixth to down East Carolina 2-0 in the second contest. During the Sunday finale, C-USA Hitter-of-the-Week Suzanne Riggs drove in a career-high five runs and Paisley fanned 11 in the 6-2 win.
The Pirates Against The Miners
Last season in Greenville, Paisley and Faith Sutton limited UTEP to one run and 10 hits in a pair of 1-0 victories and a 4-1 triumph. In the opener, Charina Sumner singled to center field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and drove in Nicole Jordan with the game-winning run. Paisley limited the Miners to just one hit and struck out 12. During the second game, ECU scored all four runs in the bottom of the second as Jordan tallied two RBI with a double to right center and scored on an illegal pitch. Vanessa Moreno also came home on an illegal pitch during the frame. In Sunday's contest, Riggs played the role of hero, singling to left field with two outs to drive in Kaui Tom with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh. Paisley fanned 15 in the complete-game victory.
East Carolina's last trip to El Paso resulted in a 4-3 loss in 13 innings during the 2009 league tournament. Chelsea Troupe hit her second home run of the game with two outs in the top of the 13th to give UTEP the victory. ECU sent the game into extras by scoring three unearned runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. During the regular season, the Pirates visited El Paso and swept the Miners. East Carolina won 2-0 and 7-1 before blanking UTEP again in the finale, 8-0 in six innings. Paisley recorded both shutouts and Cristen Aona hit a two-run home run in the first and third games to lead the offense.
Loving The C-USA Road Life
In series at Marshall, Southern Miss and UAB, East Carolina has outscored the opposition 43-14 while Paisley and Sutton have combined to post a 1.31 earned run average. Riggs and Robbins have led the Pirate offense, batting .400 and .348, respectively, on the road. Riggs paces the squad with 13 RBI in road tilts.
Kee One Away From No. 650
Ironically, a year ago, Kee recorded the 600th victory of her career with the game-one win against UTEP in Greenville April 17.
The Richmond, Va., native began the season ranked 43rd among all Division I active coaches in career victories (618) and 30th in winning percentage (.664).
Riggs Named Conference USA Hitter-of-the-Week
Riggs tallied at least one hit in each of East Carolina's five games last week and led the Pirates in nearly every offensive category, including hits (7), doubles (2), home runs (1), runs batted in (6), walks drawn (5), total bases (12), slugging percentage (.857) and on-base percentage (.600).
She scored the game-winning run in the opener at UAB and drove in a career-best five runs in the Sunday finale. She became the first Pirate with five RBI during a game since Jessica Johnson against Georgetown March 20, 2009.
Riggs Powering The Offense All Month Long
Robbins Comes Through Again
Robbins has posted a team second-best .308 batting average and four runs batted in during April. She has also drawn five walks compared with three strikeouts.
Three More For Paisley
Following Sunday's victory, Paisley now has league and program-best marks with 110 wins, 993.0 innings pitched and 169 appearances.
About To Enter The Top 10
For ECU freshmen, only Christine Sheridan (2003/40) and Hillary Halpern (2000/36) have drawn more free passes than Oshiro during their initial collegiate campaigns.
No Walks Allowed