May 7, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina plays its final regular season game Sunday, taking on Longwood (33-12) at 1:00 p.m. The Pirates (36-19) defeated Longwood 10-1 Saturday as freshman Kristi Oshiro, classmate Jill Jelnick and junior Priscilla Velasquez all drove in two runs. Jelnick also added a career-high three runs scored.
Coming Up With A Big Hit
In the bottom of the fourth inning of last weekend's finale against Houston, Oshiro hit a two-out single to left center that drove in a pair of runs and put East Carolina ahead 3-2. The hit gave Oshiro a team second-best eight two-out RBI and 13 base knocks with two down this season.
Oshiro kept up the big hits Saturday against Longwood and UMBC, driving in the game-winning run in each contest and totaling three RBI.
Taking Her Base
Junior Suzanne Riggs finished the Conference USA season with a league-high 19 walks. The 19 are the most bases on balls in C-USA action for any Pirate player since ECU joined the conference for the 2002 campaign.
In all games, Riggs' 28 walks stand second among C-USA players. Oshiro's 36 lead the way.
Patience Is A Virtue, And A Winning Recipe
The Pirates have drawn five or more walks in a game 17 times this season, going 13-4 in such contests. The four losses were: a 6-5 setback in nine innings to St. John's Feb. 18, a 5-3 defeat to Tulsa in game two of the March 26 doubleheader, a 2-1 decision at UNC Wilmington April 6 and a 5-3 10-inning loss to Houston May 1.
For the year, ECU is averaging 3.7 walks per tilt.
Forcing Them Home
Not only does East Carolina draw plenty of walks, but 12 free passes have come with the bases loaded to force in a run. The Pirates 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.
Sharing The Winners
ECU has been a very balanced team this season with run production coming from every player in the lineup. Of the Pirates' 15 offensive players on the roster, 10 have driven in the game-winning run at least once. Riggs paces the squad with seven game winners while Oshiro is second on the squad with five.
The Nation's Leader
With the release of the most recent NCAA Division I softball statistics, through May 1 games, senior Toni Paisley and Texas hurler Blaire Luna are tied for the nation's lead in solo shutouts with 14.
And Frequently Among The Top 16
At the time of the NCAA stats release, through May 1 games, Paisley also ranked among the top 16 in Division I in total strikeouts (5th/328), victories (7th/26), earned run average (7th/1.07), hits allowed per seven innings (12th/4.07) and walks allowed per seven innings (16th/1.18).
Paisley and junior Faith Sutton had combined to post the 10th-best earned run average among Division I programs at 1.58.
We Got You
East Carolina catchers, sophomore Kai Clark (7) and freshman Rebecca Lee (1), have combined to gun down eight would-be base stealers this season. A year ago, the Pirates totaled seven runners caught stealing.