GREENVILLE, N.C. - After 26 years of competition at the ECU Softball Field, East Carolina opened its new facility, the ECU Softball Stadium, in style with an 8-0 victory over UNC Wilmington Wednesday afternoon. The Pirates (3-3) pounded 13 hits and held UNC Wilmington (0-5) to just one. Freshman Kristi Oshiro went 3-4 and scored twice while junior Suzanne Riggs was 2-2 with two runs batted in.
With the triumph, the Pirates claimed their 12th-consecutive victory over the Seahawks and 15th-straight against teams from North Carolina.
Senior Toni Paisley (3-1) earned the victory, going the first five innings. She allowed the one hit and fanned eight. The win was the 89th of Paisley’s career, giving her sole possession of third on the ECU and Conference USA career lists. The eight whiffs also leave her just 11 shy of the program and league record. Paisley now has 937 career Ks. Junior Faith Sutton came in to throw the final inning, sending down the side in order. Samme Lisowsky (0-3) suffered the loss for the Seahawks, pitching the first one-and-two-thirds and allowing three runs on six hits. Amanda Davenport went three innings (one run) and Amanda Aditays tossed the final two-thirds (four runs) for UNC Wilmington.
East Carolina wasted little time getting on the board, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After a groundout started the half inning, the Pirates strung together three-straight singles to score. Oshiro singled to right, marking the first hit at the new facility (see chart below for a list of stadium firsts). Riggs followed with a shot to left and classmate Priscilla Velasquez with one through the right side to deliver Oshiro. Following a strikeout, freshman Alex Fieldhouse drove in Riggs with a single to left field.
The Pirates put a two-out rally together in the bottom of the second to make it a 3-0 lead. Oshiro converted a 10-pitch at-bat into a double and Riggs singled to center to plate Oshiro. Velasquez was hit by a pitch and senior Sissy Jimenez drew a walk to load the bases for sophomore Kai Clark. Clark sent a hard grounder to shortstop Lauryn Buckworth, who made the stop and forced out Velasquez at third base, ending the threat.
In the bottom of the third, ECU added another run to make it a 4-0 advantage. Fieldhouse and freshman Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin drew back-to-back walks to start the frame. Classmate Jasmine Robbins laid down a bunt and the Seahawk catcher had no play, allowing Robbins to record her first career hit. After a strikeout and fielder’s choice, Riggs drew a bases loaded walk to plate Kaluhiokalani-Glackin. It was ECU’s second bases loaded walk of the season as Oshiro drew one against Lipscomb in the season opener.
UNC Wilmington recorded its only hit in the top of the fifth when Daniela Torres singled through the left side to lead off the frame. Torres tried to go to second when the throw from the outfield sailed high, but freshman second baseman Jill Jelnick chased the ball down the right-field line and threw out Torres at second. Paisley retired the next two batters on a groundout and lineout.
The Pirates ended the game in the bottom of the sixth with four more runs, creating an eight-run mercy. Freshman Abby Wynne led off with a triple off the base of the wall in left field. Sophomore Cicely Lopez drove in Wynne with a single through the right side. Jelnick delivered Lopez with a triple of her own. Robbins picked up her second hit of the game and plated Jelnick with a double to left center. Oshiro ended the game with a triple to right center that scored Robbins.
East Carolina returns to action Friday with a pair of games starting at 2:00 p.m. The Pirates take on Virginia (3-1), then St. John’s (2-3) 20 minutes after the completion of the Cavaliers contest. The games are part of the Pirate Classic, which continues throughout the weekend and includes Hofstra (4-1) and Kent State (2-2). ECU takes on the Pride and Golden Flashes Saturday at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m., respectively, and faces the Red Storm again Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
East Carolina Softball Stadium Firsts:
Pitch - Toni Paisley ball
Single - Kristi Oshiro (bottom 1st)
Double - Kristi Oshiro (bottom 2nd)
Triple - Abby Wynne (bottom 6th)
RBI - Priscilla Velasquez (bottom 1st)
Run Scored - Kristi Oshiro (bottom 1st)
Strikeout - UNC Wilmington’s Allison Lanouette (top 1st)
Walk - Sissy Jimenez (bottom 2nd)
Hit by Pitch - UNC Wilmington’s Nicole Tuttle (top 1st)
Stolen Base - Rebecca Lee (bottom 4th/second base)