GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Following a tough loss to Marshall in the morning, the East Carolina softball team rebounded to defeat Campbell 7-2 Friday afternoon at the Lipton Invitational. A four-run second inning was the difference for the Pirates as senior Charina Sumner drove in two with a double to left field. The hit for Sumner put her in sole possession of 10th place on the East Carolina career list with 177.
The victory improved East Carolina to 2-4 while the Camels fell to 1-3-1.
Toni Paisley (2-2) picked up the win, going six innings and giving up just one hit while fanning 10. It was the 22nd game of her career in which she recorded double-digit strikeouts. Paisley's 14 strikeouts during the day's two games put her in ninth place on the Conference USA career list with 569. She is the only active pitcher in the league to be in the top 10.
Brittany Stanley (0-2) suffered the loss for the Camels, throwing four innings and allowing four runs on three hits.
The Pirates scored four runs in the bottom of the second after loading the bases with nobody out. Senior Marina Gusman-Brown beat out an infield single, freshman Kai Clark bunted for a base hit and junior Sissy Jimenez reached on a fielder's choice when she laid down a bunt and the third baseman tried to force out Gusman-Brown at third. Senior Cristen Aona then drove in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly to right field. Sophomore Priscilla Velasquez drew a walk to reload the bases with one out and bring up senior Kaui Tom, who popped out to the third baseman in foul territory. Sumner came through with the two outs, doubling to left field to plate Clark and Jimenez for a 3-0 advantage. An illegal pitch by Stanley advanced Velasquez home for the final run of the frame. It was the first run scored of Velasquez' career.
The hit for Gusman-Brown in the second gave her at least one in each of this year's six games and extended her career-long streak to 10 games, dating back to the end of the 2009 season.
Campbell got on the board in the top of the fourth when Katie Hinton led off with a triple off the top of the wall in right field. It was the Camel's only hit of the contest. Paisley recorded a strikeout but then gave up a sacrifice fly to Taylor McGee that made the score 4-1.
In the top of the fifth, Campbell pushed across another run. Stanley led off with a walk, but a strikeout and lineout left her on first with two down. Paisley then walked the next three batters to force in Sarah Forgacs, who had pinch ran for Stanley.
East Carolina answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the frame, making the advantage four runs at 6-2. Sumner and senior Christina Merrida drew back-to-back walks to start the inning. Following a strikeout, Gusman-Brown was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Clark then hit a ground ball to the third baseman, who misplayed it, allowing all the runners to reach base safely and score Sumner. With the bases still loaded and one out, Jimenez' pop up to the shortstop was lost in the sun and no catch was made. Gusman-Brown and Clark were holding near their bases on the play and were both forced out when the shortstop recovered the ball lying in the grass. Merrida scored on the play, however, as she crossed home before both outs were recorded.
The Pirates added their final run of the contest in the sixth with a walk and two singles. Senior Nicole Jordan recorded a pinch-hit walk and Aona came back in to run. Velasquez moved Aona to third with a single and a Tom single up the middle plated Aona for the game's final tally.
East Carolina resumes action tomorrow afternoon at the Lipton Invitational, playing No. 3 Florida at 2:30 p.m. and Kansas at 7.