April 22, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina plays its final Conference USA road game of the season Saturday with a 2:00 p.m. contest at UTEP (16-31, 1-16 C-USA). The Pirates (33-16, 13-7 C-USA) are looking for their second league sweep of the season after a pair of victories Friday. Earlier this month, ECU won all three games at Southern Miss.
Another Winning Season In Conference USA
With East Carolina's two victories Friday, the Pirates are assured of a winning Conference USA season. Since joining the league in 2002, the Pirates have produced six winning campaigns, all within the last seven seasons. The lone year below .500 during the stretch was in 2008, when ECU went 10-12 in league games.
Moving Up The NCAA Record Book In Strikeouts
With 16 strikeouts yesterday against UTEP, senior Toni Paisley pushed her career total to 1,198 whiffs. The 16 also moved her to within two Ks of Lisa Ishikawa (Northwestern/1984-87) for 27th place on NCAA Division I all-time list.
This season, Paisley is averaging 9.5 strikeouts per game and is likely to make at least six more starts. At her current rate, that would give Paisley 57 additional strikeouts. Those whiffs could push her to 21st on the NCAA career list.
And Joining In Career Wins
Paisley's win Friday at UTEP was the 111th of her career, moving her into a tie with Samantha Iuli (Illinois-Chicago/1997-2000) for 27th on the NCAA Division I record chart. Entering Saturday's contest, Paisley's career record sits at 111-34, which is to a .766 winning percentage.
An Impressive Strikeout Number
This season, Paisley has fanned 304 batters, good for third on the ECU single-season record list. Paisley set the program standard in 2010, fanning 356. Her 16 whiffs yesterday pushed her into third on the yearly chart. Paisley a year ago and Keli Harrell (338) in 2005 are the only Pirate hurlers to record 300 or more strikeouts in a season.
A Good Switch
Freshmen Jill Jelnick and Jordan Lewis switched positions for the UAB series with Jelnick starting in right field and Lewis as the designated player. The move proved productive for both as Jelnick hit .364 and Lewis drove in the first run of the series with a single to left field. Jelnick matched her career high with two hits in the first and third games and tied her personal best with two runs scored in the Sunday finale.
The pair kept up the switch in yesterday's doubleheader with continued success. Jelnick finished a combined 4-6 with two runs batted in and another scored while Lewis went 2-4 with a run in the second contest.
Taking A Free Run, Again
The Pirates scored their fifth run Sunday at UAB when junior Suzanne Riggs drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning. It was ECU's 11th free pass of the year when the bases were full.
East Carolina also had another run forced in when freshman Jasmine Robbins was hit by a pitch with the bases full in the first game of the March 15 doubleheader against Charleston Southern.
Matching Last Year With More To Play
Sophomore catcher Kai Clark threw out Lauren Webster on an attempted steal of second base during last Saturday's first game versus the Blazers. It was Clark's seventh runner caught stealing this season, matching her total from the entire 2010 campaign.
Home Runs Mean Wins
Riggs' three-run home run in the first inning at UAB Sunday gave the Pirates the lead for good as they won 6-2. When ECU hits a home run this season, the team is 9-0.
Since the start of the 2009 campaign, East Carolina has gone 44-5 in games when it hits one or more home runs.