Softball Preview - Games 47-49: Southern Miss

UABSPORTS.COM Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin
Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin

April 25, 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 is on the road for the final time during the regular season with a trip to Hattiesburg, Miss. this weekend to take on Southern Miss. The Pirates carry a seven-game conference winning streak into the three-game set and enter the contests with an overall record of 21-25 (11-7 C-USA).

Live stats 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 Golden Eagles
Southern Miss (12-37, 2-15 C-USA) snapped a 16-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over UCF on Sunday ... The win moves the Golden Eagles into eighth place and into a position to gain a potential berth in the upcoming Conference USA Tournament ... Caroline Walker leads the team with her .330 batting average (29-for-88), nine doubles and a .434 on-base percentage ... Mackenzie Sher is the team's leading home run hitter (8) and RBI producer (27) ... Morgan McKeever leads the squad in hits (41) and is tied for the lead in runs (20) ... The Eagles have three players that have drawn over 20 walks this season led by 24 from Sarah Evans and Taylor Beck ... USM uses three pitchers with Beth Dietrich leading the squad with her 105.1 innings thrown, 11 complete games and three saves ... Kimberly Wagner has the most wins (6), lowest ERA (4.04) and strikeouts (57) ... Kaitlin Wilson is second on squad with her four wins ... The co-head coaches of the Golden Eagles is the husband and wife duo of Jon Malgradi and Kristen Voak ... The husband and wife team are in their second season of directing Southern Miss and have gone 25-71 including a mark of 6-34 in league play since their arrival ... Voak came to Southern Miss after spending the 2006-10 seasons at her alma mater, Arizona State, as an assistant and pitching coach ... East Carolina leads the all-time series with the Golden Eagles by a 20-16 margin, but are only 8-7 all-time in Hattiesburg ... ECU is on a run of having won nine in a row over the Golden Eagles with the last defeat coming during the 2009 season ... The series between the schools began in 1985 with Southern Miss winning the first 10 contests ... After that first game in 1985, the teams didn't play again until the 2002 season.

Career Numbers vs. Southern Miss
Junior Jasmine Robbins has hit well against Southern Miss with a .500 career batting average (6-for-12) including a double and five RBI ... Sophomore Sarah Christian threw a four-hitter with one run allowed against the Golden Eagles last season ... Juniors Alex Fieldhouse and Jordan Lewis both have a career home run against USM ... Fieldhouse's home run was the game-winner against the Golden Eagles last season ... Sophomore Courtney Smith allowed just three hits and one run in defeating Southern Miss in 2012.

On This Date (The Weekend Edition)
ECU is only 8-6 all-time on the dates from April 27-28 ... The Pirates are 5-5 on April 27 and last took on Marshall on the date in 2012 ... ECU is 3-1 on April 28 and played against Houston last during the 2007 season.

Last Time Out
The Pirates swept the program's second consecutive conference series with three close victories over Memphis (2-1, 4-2 and 4-3) from April 20-21 ... Sophomore Sarah Christian made two first-inning runs hold up in the first game in throwing the complete game and tying her career-high against the Tigers with seven strikeouts ... The second game was the first of two comeback victories on the weekend, as junior Kristi Oshiro hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give ECU a lead it would never relinquish in the game to back the pitching of sophomore Courtney Smith ... Smith surrendered just two runs in earning her fifth victory of the season ... Freshman Kelsi Briggs added a big insurance run in the game with her sixth-inning home run ... The third game was another comeback victory ... Senior Kai Clark tied the game up with her two-run home run in the sixth inning ... Briggs followed with her second home run in as many days to propel the Pirates to a 4-3 win ... Christian earned her second victory of the weekend in allowing three runs (none earned) in the complete game.

Nice Little Run
East Carolina is on a current streak of seven-straight conference victories ... The streak is tied for the fifth-longest in school history for consecutive league wins and the longest since the team also won seven straight C-USA games between the end of the 2010 season and the start of the 2011 season ... Only once has the program had a conference winning-streak reach double digits and that was the team's 11 straight league victories during the 1998 season when ECU was in the Big South Conference.



We Are Just Getting Started
Freshman Meredith Mitchell has recorded 11 hits, is hitting .478 while scoring seven runs in ECU's current seven-game conference winning streak ... Junior Jordan Lewis is hitting .333 (6-for-18) with 10 runs scored and 11 RBI ... Four of her six hits have been home runs and she has also walked seven times ... Senior Kai Clark is also in a groove with her .292 batting average (7-for-24), two home runs and nine RBI ... Sarah Christian is 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA plus 22 strikeouts in her 31 innings pitched in the last seven conference contests.

The Rifle Woman
Meredith Mitchell, after throwing out a runner at home against Memphis (4/20), has already totaled seven outfield assists this season including nailing five runners at the plate trying to score from center field ... Mitchell has also recorded an outfield assist in five of the last six series ... Her seven outfield assists are one off the conference individual lead ... ECU outfielders have recorded 15 assists this season, which leads the conference, with Jasmine Robbins, Jill Jelnick and Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin all recording multiple assists on the campaign.

Only Once Before
The Pirates have a conference record of 11-7 this year after 18 league games for only the second time (2011) since joining Conference USA in 2002 ...  ECU has been .500 or better at this point seven times since joining the league (9-9 in 2002, 13-5 in 2005, 10-8 in 2007, 14-4 in 2009, 13-5 in 2010, 11-7 in 2011 and 11-7 in 2013)

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 15 starts ... She has an overall record of 9-5 and sports a 2.35 ERA plus she has fanned 52 in her 89.1 innings in the circle with 13 complete games.

On A Streak
After recording a walk and a hit in the first two games against Memphis, Jordan Lewis was unable to reach base in the third game against the Tigers to end her career-high 21-game consecutive on-base streak ... Lewis has now reached base safely in 37 of her last 41 games and is hitting .353 (37-for-112) with an on-base percentage of .485 plus seven home runs and 25 RBI in that time.

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.

Individual Conference Leaders
The Pirates, through the 12th 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 runs scored (38), tied for third in doubles (11), sixth in total bases (72) and on-base percentage (.466), tied for sixth in sacrifice bunts (8), seventh in batting average (.352), tied for seventh in walks (23) plus ninth in slugging percentage (.563), hit by pitch (5) and hits (45)... Junior Alex Fieldhouse leads the conference in sacrifice bunts (3) and is tied for the doubles lead (13) ... She is third in slugging percentage (.610) and runs batted in (39), fourth in total bases (83), tied for sixth in triples (2), eighth in home runs (7) plus tied for ninth in hits (45) ... Junior Jordan Lewis is second in walks (27), fifth in slugging percentage (.588) and on-base percentage (.466), seventh in total bases (70), tied for seventh in triples (2), eighth in batting average (.345), tied for eighth in home runs (7) and RBI (27) plus tied for ninth in stolen bases (12) ... Junior Jill Jelnick is tied for the league lead in sacrifice flies (3), tied for seventh in triples (2) and ninth in runs scored (26) ... Freshman Kelsi Briggs is tied for fifth in sacrifice flies (2) ... Sophomore Sarah Christian is fourth in innings pitched (169.0), games started (25) and wins (15) ... She is tied for fourth in appearances (35), tied for sixth in games in relief (10), eighth in strikeouts (104) and ninth in saves (1) ... Fellow sophomore Courtney Smith is tied for ninth in games started (17) and 10th appearances (25)

The Last Meeting
Southern Miss1
East Carolina2
April 21, 2012
Greenville, N.C.

Team Conference Leaders
ECU, as a team, lead the conference in triples (13) and sacrifice flies (14) ... The program is also third in doubles (53), stolen bases (44), runs batted in (164) and total bases (483)... The Pirates are also fourth in runs scored (190), hits (317) and stolen bases (44) plus fifth in slugging percentage (.410) and home runs (29)

NCAA Leaders
Kristi Oshiro ranks among the NCAA leaders in several categories in the sixth release of statistics this week (4/23) ... Oshiro is 10th in triples (5.0), 18th in triples per game (0.11), 59th in toughest to strikeout (18.3), 131st in runs per game (0.83), 145th in on-base percentage (.465) ... Alex Fieldhouse also finds herself among the NCAA leaders in sacrifice flies (3.0 - 41st) ... She is also 75th in doubles per game (0.28), 120th in RBI per game (0.85) and 150th in triples (2.0) ... Jordan Lewis is 107th in walks (0.59), 138th in on-base percentage (.466) and 150th nationally in triples (2.0) ... Jill Jelnick is 41st in sacrifice flies (3.0), 120th in toughest to strikeout (15.1) and 150th in triples (2.0) ... In the circle, Sarah Christian is 80th in victories (15.0), 106th in walks per seven innings (2.11) and 147th 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 1-15 when that happens this year ... After the comeback win against Memphis (4/20), ECU is 3-21 when its opponent crosses home first ... East Carolina is 16-2 on the season though when holding opponents to two runs or less in any game and 13-4 themselves when the scoring in the first frame.

On The Road
The Pirates have played a total of 12 true road games this season and are 7-5 in those contests ... Junior Kristi Oshiro has led the team in away games with a .364 batting average (12-for-33) ... Jordan Lewis is also hitting well with a .344 batting average (11-for-32) with 11 RBI on the road ... Alex Fieldhouse is also hitting over .300 in away games (.325) and leads the team with her 17 RBI ...  ECU's team batting average is .267 in those 12 games and the team ERA is 2.99.
Up Next
East Carolina returns home and finishes the regular season with three games against UCF from May 4-5 ... The Pirates will begin the series with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. ... ECU completes the regular season with a single game against the Knights at noon on Sunday ... Sunday's game will also be Senior Day for catcher Kai Clark and infielder/outfielder Cicely Lopez.