TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The East Carolina softball team opened play in the Bama Bash with a 2-1 victory over Wisconsin on Friday afternoon at the Alabama Softball Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Kaui Tom provided the game-winning run as she knocked in Jessica Johnson with a double off the wall in the bottom of the sixth inning. Reigning Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Week Toni Paisley picked up the win, and 10 strikeouts, to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Wisconsin started the scoring in the top of the first as Theresa Boruta walked and scored on a two-out single to centerfield by Nichole Whaley. The Badgers threatened again in the top of the second, putting a runner on second base with just one out, but back-to-back strikeouts by Paisley ended the frame.
In the bottom of the second the Pirates knotted the game at one each without recording a hit. Leading off, Marina Gusman-Brown reached after being hit by a pitch for her team-leading third time. Angel Barrella next worked a walk after falling behind in the count 1-2. A Kaui Tom sacrifice bunt was followed by an RBI fielder’s choice by Cristen Aona as Gusman-Brown slid under the attempted tag at the plate.
Neither team scored again until East Carolina platted a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but it was not due to a lack of opportunities. ECU managed to put the leadoff batter on in both the third and fourth innings, but came away empty. For the Badgers, a double by Livi Abney started the top of the fifth, but she was left stranded at third.
In the bottom of the sixth, Johnson led off the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second and then third on a two wild pitches. Tom then drove in Johnson with a double off the wall in left center.
For the game, Paisley’s 10 strikeouts moved her into sixth place on the ECU career list, passing current teammate Brooke Swann. Paisley has now recorded 269 strikeouts to Swann’s 264 career punch outs.
The Pirates return to the field tomorrow for two more games at the Bash. East Carolina squares off against Notre Dame at noon and clashes with Wisconsin again at 6 p.m.