Dec. 9, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Entering her second season at the helm of the East Carolina softball program, head coach Beth Keylon-Randolph announced the team’s 2014 schedule Monday afternoon.
The 2014 campaign will be the Pirates’ last as a member of Conference USA, before joining the American Athletic Conference on July 1.
The Pirates will open 2014 at the Red Desert Classic, Feb. 7-9, in St. George, Utah – the same location where Keylon-Randolph won her first national championship with Chattanooga State at the 2012 NJCAA World Series. ECU will face Grand Canyon University, BYU, Utah State, Southern Utah and Nevada during the three-day tournament.
East Carolina will then head to Waco, Texas to compete in the Getterman Classic, Feb. 14-16, where it will take on UAB, Iowa, Lipscomb, Drake and Baylor. The Pirates will round out regular-season tournament play at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic, Feb. 21-24, in Kissimmee, Fla.
The squad’s home opener will be held Saturday, March 1 when they host Tennessee Tech in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the ECU Softball Stadium. One week later, the Pirates will open their Conference USA schedule with a home twinbill against UAB.
In addition to tournament play and the three-game set with Tennessee Tech, the Pirates’ non-conference schedule includes a home doubleheader with Eastern Illinois, beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, before heading to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a 6 p.m. matchup with North Carolina on Wednesday, March 26. ECU will take on another Atlantic Coast Conference opponent with a mid-week doubleheader at NC State on Wednesday, April 9 at 4 p.m. The Pirates will round out their non-conference slate with another mid-week doubleheader at James Madison on Wednesday, April 30 with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.
Senior Day will take place in the squad’s regular-season finale against UTEP on May 4 at noon. The Conference USA Tournament will take place May 8-10 in Boca Raton, Fla.
The Pirates won 21 games in their first year under Keylon-Randolph last season, before being eliminated in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament.
Returning for the Pirates is a strong senior class led by second baseman Kristi Oshiro, who topped ECU in batting average (.331) and runs (39) last season. Outfielder Jill Jelnick led the team in hits with 49 and ranked second in runs with 28, while third baseman Alex Fieldhouse ranked first on the squad with 39 RBIs and tied first baseman Jordan Lewis for the team lead in home runs with seven. Oshiro, Jelnick, Fieldhouse and Lewis were the only four players on the team to start all 52 games for the Pirates in 2013.