April 28, 2012
|East Carolina Game 49: Marshall
Sunday, April 29 | 12:00 p.m. ET
Greenville, N.C. (ECU Softball Stadium)
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina (22-26, 8-11 C-USA) will celebrate Senior Day, and the careers of Suzanne Riggs and Priscilla Velasquez, on Sunday with its 12:00 p.m. series finale against Marshall (31-19, 12-8 C-USA).
Saturday, after suffering an 8-0 setback in the opener, sophomore outfielder Jasmine Robbins drove in two runs in the second game with a first-inning double off the right center field wall. Classmate Kristi Oshiro tacked on what proved to be the game-winning run with a two-out base knock in the second frame.
In the victory, East Carolina recorded all three of its runs with two outs on the board and has scored 18 of its last 25 runs with two down.
One More For Riggs
Riggs has powered East Carolina's offense this year, leading the team with eight home runs, 29 runs batted in, a .566 slugging percentage, a .437 on-base percentage and 25 walks. The eight home runs are one shy of making the Pirates' single-season top-10 list. ECU Hall of Fame member Isonette Polonius holds the one-year record with 18 long balls in 1999. Polonius (1997) is tied with Keisha Shepperson (2000) for 10th on the ledger with nine homers.
Riggs is also approaching the top-10 list for walks in a year. Kate Manuse established the mark in 2005 with 55 free passes. Riggs needs nine more to tie Marnie Ousler (1999) for 10th on the list with 34.
Pitching Tells The Story
Entering this weekend, the Pirates had compiled a 21-25 record with the pitching by freshmen Sarah Christian and Courtney Smith playing a major role in wins and losses. In ECU victories, the staff's earned run average was 2.06. In losses, the mark ballooned to 5.93.
Defense Locked Down With Runners On Base
Longwood and Southern Miss registered 12 at-bats last week with a runner in scoring position but could not muster a hit off Christian or Smith. Entering the doubleheader with the Lancers, opponents were batting .315 (124-for-400) with a runner in scoring position.
... But Pirates Are Producing On Offense
East Carolina hitters, however, were able to do damage with runners on during the four games last week, going 10-for-33 for a .303 average. Heading into the pair against Longwood, the Pirates were batting .287 (108-for-376) with runners in scoring position.
Growing Up At The Plate
Despite scoring only three runs Saturday against Marshall, East Carolina has pushed across 74 in 19 Conference USA contests (3.9 runs per game). A year ago, the Pirates tallied 81 runs in 24 league matchups (3.3 rpg) and in 2009, the squad had 66 runs during the 21-game league campaign (3.1 rpg)
ECU's batting average is also much higher in C-USA play than in the 2011 season, when the squad hit just .205 with a .276 slugging percentage. This year's club is batting .269 and slugging .355.
No Luck For Lefties
In four games last week, left-handed hitters hit just .115 (six-for-52) against Christian and Smith. Entering the Longwood doubleheader last Wednesday, left-handed batters had posted a .338 average (124-of-367) versus the duo.