Softball Preview - Game 52: Marshall

Kai Clark

May 8, 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

TULSA, Okla. - The East Carolina softball team heads to Tulsa for the Conference USA Tournament from May 9-11. The Pirates earned the fifth seed and begin play in the single-elimination tournament against fourth-seeded Marshall on the Thursday night at 8 p.m. (ET). East Carolina, who have won two of the last three C-USA Tournaments, enter the week with an overall record of 21-30.

Live stats and video will be available for all games of the tournament. Live in-game updates for the contests can also be accessed through the ECU Softball Twitter feed (@ECUSoftball).

Scouting The Thundering Herd
Marshall (32-20, 13-10 Conference USA) earned the fourth seed in the tournament by taking two of the three games in the series against UTEP over the weekend in Huntington, W. Va. ... The Herd have won three of their last four contests to close the season ... Andi Williamson is one of the top pitchers in the country ... She ranks among the national leaders in strikeouts with 332 and has also won 29 contests .... Williamson has worked 275 innings this season and sports a 2.16 ERA ... She has only allowed 196 hits, but has also totaled 152 walks and surrendered 13 home runs ... Williamson has appeared in the circle in all but five games that Marshall has played this season and completed 29 of her starts ... Ashley Gue leads the team with her .345 batting average and 32 stolen bases ... Katelynn Greene has a team-high of 55 hits while also stealing 30 bases ... Three different members of the team have 20 more RBI led by Jazmine Valle's 27 runs ... Shaelynn Braxton and Alysia Hively both have 26 RBI ... Hively leads the team with her nine home runs ... Marshall has been aggressive on the base paths and rank fourth nationally with an average of 2.33 stolen bases a game ... The program had a 16-4 record at home this year, but only went 16-16 in away and neutral site contests ... The head coach of the Thundering Herd in her 14th year with the program is Shonda Stanton ... Stanton is 425-358-2 overall in her career and 398-334-2 at Marshall since taking over the program ... East Carolina leads the all-time series with the Thundering Herd by a 16-14 margin including three straight during the regular season this season in Huntington ... ECU is 1-1 all-time against Marshall in the conference tournament and fell to the Thundering Herd by an 8-1 score in 2012

Career Numbers vs. Marshall
Senior Kai Clark has hit well against Marshall with a .333 batting average (12-for-38), four runs scored, two home runs and 11 RBI ... Junior Kristi Oshiro sports a .281 batting average, nine hits, seven runs, two doubles and four RBI in 10 career contests against the Thundering Herd ... Freshman Meredith Mitchell had six hits and runs scored in the three games earlier this season against Marshall ... Junior Jordan Lewis had three home runs, seven runs scored and eight RBI in the three contest played earlier in April ... Sophomore Sarah Christian has a 4-1 all-time record against Marshall with a 2.46 ERA.

On This Date (The Week Edition)
ECU is 6-6 all-time on the dates from May 9-11 ... The Pirates are 4-3 on May 9 and last took on Memphis on the date in 2010 ... East Carolina is 1-1 on May 10 and lost to Memphis in 2012 ... ECU is 1-2 on May 11 and last played on the date in a loss to UCF in 2007.

Last Time Out
The Pirates lost all three games to UCF at home to close the 2013 regular season and run the current losing streak to five consecutive games, which ties for the longest streak of the season ... East Carolina fell behind in the first game of the series to the Knights in the opening inning and lost 3-1 ... The offensive highlight was a sacrifice fly from freshman Casey Alcorn to drive in junior Jordan Lewis ... ECU's offense was limited to only two hits in each of the final two contests in falling by scores of 3-0 and 6-1 to close out the series ... Sophomore Courtney Smith was tagged with all three losses for the Pirates.



Familiar Territory Against A Familiar Opponent
East Carolina is the fifth seed in the conference tournament for the fourth time since joining the league in 2002 ... The last time the Pirates were the seeded fifth, the team made a run through the tournament earning the 2011 C-USA Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament ... The Pirates will also squad off with Marshall in the first round of the tournament for the second-straight season ... East Carolina has an all-time record of 11-13 in C-USA Tournament games and won the league tournament championship in both 2010 and 2011.

C-USA-Only Comparison
The Pirates set new conference-only team bests this season in several categories ... The team's 99 runs are seven runs better than the previous high of 92 by the 2005 team ... The  program's 87 RBI bested the 2004 team by three ... The 10 sacrifice flies doubled the previous mark of five set by the 2005 and 2009 teams ... The five triples clipped the four triples by the 2007 and 2011 squads ... The team also ranked second in the all-time rankings in home runs (16), total bases (247) and slugging percentage (.378) ... The team's pitching staff also improved quite a bit from the 2012 team marks ... The program lowered the team ERA by (0.84), improved by 59 strikeouts, threw two additional complete games and added a second shutout  compared to the 2012 squad.

Jelnick and Christian Named To C-USA All-Academic Team
East Carolina junior outfielder Jill Jelnick and sophomore pitcher Sarah Christian were selected to the 2013 Conference USA Softball All-Academic Team, according to an announcement by the league office ... East Carolina's two selections were tied for the most in the conference along with Marshall, Southern Miss, Tulsa and UTEP ... The multiple selections for ECU were the most for the program since three Pirates were chosen for the conference's all-academic team during the 2010 season ... Jelnick was one of only two players that was a repeat selection to this year's team.

The Rifle Woman
Freshman Meredith Mitchell, after throwing out a runner at home against UCF (5/5), has totaled nine outfield assists this season including nailing seven runners at the plate trying to score from center field ... Mitchell has also recorded an outfield assist in seven of the last eight series ... Her nine outfield assists is tied for the conference individual lead ... ECU outfielders have recorded 18 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
East Carolina went 11-12 in Conference USA play this season for both the second straight year and the second-time ever ... The program has only finished below .500 in C-USA play six times since 2002 (10-13 in 2002, 5-19 in 2003, 10-14 in 2004, 10-12 in 2007, 11-12 in 2012 and 11-12 in 2013).

On A Streak
After recording a hit in two of the three games against UCF, Jordan Lewis has now reached base safely in 40 of her last 46 games and is hitting .308 (39-for-120) with an on-base percentage of .471 plus seven home runs and 26 RBI in that time ... In her recently completed 21-game on-base streak from March 16-April 20, she hit .385 (20-for-52) with five home runs, 15 RBI, 19 walks and an on-base percentage of .549.

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, midway through the 13th week of softball action, have several players that are ranked highly in Conference USA ... Junior Kristi Oshiro is tied for the conference lead in triples (5) ... She is tied for fifth in sacrifice bunts (9), sixth in runs scored (39), tied for sixth in doubles (12), seventh in on-base percentage (.445), tied for eighth in walks (25), ninth in total bases (76) and 10th in slugging percentage (.528) ... Junior Alex Fieldhouse leads the conference in sacrifice flies (3) and is tied for second in doubles (13) ... She is fourth in slugging percentage (.570), fifth in total bases (85), tied for sixth in runs batted in (39), tied for ninth in triples (2) plus tied for 10th in home runs (7) ... Junior Jordan Lewis is third in slugging percentage (.571), tied for fourth in walks (27), tied for fifth in sacrifice flies (2) and triples (3) plus tied for 10th in home runs (7) and stolen bases (12) ... Junior Jill Jelnick is tied for the league lead in sacrifice flies (3) and tied for ninth in triples (2) ... Freshman Kelsi Briggs is tied for fifth in sacrifice flies (2) ... Sophomore Sarah Christian is tied for fourth in wins (15) and appearances (35), fifth in innings pitched (169.0), tied for fifth in games started (25), tied for eighth in games in relief (10) plus 10th in strikeouts (104) and saves (1) ... Fellow sophomore Courtney Smith is tied for sixth in games started (22) and ninth in appearances (30)

Team Conference Leaders
ECU, as a team, lead the conference in triples (13) and sacrifice flies (16) ... The program is also third in doubles (54) and fourth in runs (194) ... The Pirates are fifth in total bases (510), runs batted in (194), slugging percentage (.393) and home runs (30).

NCAA Leaders
Kristi Oshiro ranks among the NCAA leaders in several categories in the eighth release of statistics this week (5/7) ... Oshiro is 15th in triples (5.0), 28th in triples per game (0.10) and 87th in toughest to strikeout (15.8) ... Alex Fieldhouse also finds herself among the NCAA leaders in sacrifice flies (3.0 - 61st) ... She is also 128th in doubles per game (0.25) ... Jill Jelnick is 61st in sacrifice flies (3.0) and 103rd in toughest to strikeout (15.1) ... In the circle, Sarah Christian is 118th in victories (15.0) and 134th in walks per seven innings (2.11).

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 1-18 when that happens this year ... After the comeback win against Memphis (4/20), ECU is 3-26 when its opponent crosses home first ... East Carolina is 16-3 on the season though when holding opponents to two runs or less in any game and 13-4 themselves when scoring in the first frame.

The Last Meeting
East Carolina10
April 14, 2013
Huntington, W.Va.
Pirates Finish Sweep Of Marshall, 10-4
Senior Kai Clark hit a grand slam to power the East Carolina softball team's attack (18-24, 8-7 C-USA) in a 10-4 win over Marshall (27-17, 11-7 C-USA) on Sunday at Dot Hicks Field. The Pirates swept their second conference series of the season with the victory.

Comfortable Even When No One Is At Home
Junior Kristi Oshiro is hitting .381 with six hits and four runs scored in neutral site contests ... Fellow junior Alex Fieldhouse is hitting .318 with five RBI in the team's neutral site games ...Freshman Meredith Mitchell sports a .353 batting average in those same games.