Pirates Go For C-USA Title Saturday
May 13, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. -For the second-straight season, East Carolina will play for the Conference USA Tournament championship. The Pirates (38-20) take on regular season co-champion and No. 2 seed Tulsa (43-12) at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Fifth-seeded ECU defeated No. 4 Memphis 5-1 and top-seed Houston 1-0 to advance to the title game.
East Carolina, winner of five-straight Conference USA Tournament contests, joins Houston in 2007 and 2008 as the only teams to make repeat appearances in the championship game since the league realigned in 2006. The Pirates would also be the lowest seed to ever win the tournament.
A year ago, ECU won the program's first C-USA Tournament championship by defeating Southern Miss 8-0, the host Cougars 4-0 and UCF 3-1. Toni Paisley was named the event's most valuable player after going 3-0 and striking out 20. In addition to the 2010 crown, the Pirates faced Houston for the league championship in 2007 in Orlando, Fla., losing 1-0 on an unearned run in the first.
The Pirates Against The Golden Hurricane
Earlier this season in Greenville, ECU won two of three against the Golden Hurricane, which entered the series tied for first in the C-USA standings. Paisley struck out a career-high 16 in the opener as the Pirates claimed a 1-0 victory in 10 innings. Sophomore Kai Clark drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th for the win. After falling 5-3 in the second contest, East Carolina took the Sunday finale 10-1 in five innings. Clark drove in three runs and senior Sissy Jimenez scored three times and had three RBI to back Paisley's nine-strikeout performance.
During the 2009 series, also in Greenville, the Pirates won 3-1 and 2-1 Saturday before falling 2-1 Sunday. Paisley struck out 12 in the opener and drove in a run. Jessica Johnson powered the ECU offense with a home run and RBI single. In the second contest, Cristen Aona had the game-deciding hit, singling through the left side of the infield in the bottom of the first to deliver a pair of unearned runs. In the finale, Jordan Kinard picked up the win for the Golden Hurricane as she allowed just two hits and a run via a Johnson solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning. Paisley took the loss, giving up four hits and a two-run home run to Lauren Menke in the top of the sixth.
ECU And TU In The C-USA Tournament
Paisley Breaks Own Strikeout Mark
Up To 21st In NCAA Division I History
... And Moving Up The Career Wins Ladder
Fieldhouse's Big Blast