TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The East Carolina softball team finished the Seminole Classic in Tallahassee, Fla., with a 3-0 victory over UC Riverside on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates’ bats continued to be hot, picking up eight hits. East Carolina moved to 7-5 in 2009 with the win while UC Riverside slipped to 2-8 in the loss.
Senior Brooke Swann relieved Caitlin Wainright in the circle and Swann earned her first victory of the season. With the win, Swann moved into sole possession of ninth-place on the ECU pitching wins in a career list, as she now has 34.
UC Riverside had a chance to score in the top of the first inning when Tiana Towns led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a passed ball. Marissa Alvidrez then drew another walk to put runners on first and third with only one out. A groundout to third base and fly out to center field ended the inning without any runs for the Highlanders.
For the second time in as many games, the Pirates jumped on the opponent for runs in the first inning. Charina Sumner got the offense going with a single through the right side with one out. Jessica Johnson followed with another single, putting runners on the corners. A third-straight single, this one by Angel Barrella, drove in Sumner and put ECU ahead 1-0. Barrella then stole second base, the first of her career-best two steals in the game. Kaui Tom ended the ECU scoring with another single that plated Johnson, giving the Pirates a 2-0 advantage.
The Highlanders had another opportunity to score runs in the top of the second, despite having the first two batters strikeout swinging. Three straight walks loaded the bases with two outs but Swann then came in for Wainright and got Kameryn Hebenton to groundout to Sumner to end the threat.
An error by Sumner allowed the UC Riverside leadoff batter to reach in the top of the third and she moved to second on a groundout. The Highlanders’ first hit of the afternoon then put runners on first and third with one out. A foul out to third base and a pop out to the shortstop ended another UCR inning without a runner crossing the plate.
Cristen Aona got the East Carolina offense going in the bottom of the fourth as her double to right field started the frame. Marina Gusman-Brown followed with a single through the left side, putting runners on first and third with no outs. Two outs later, a wild pitch allowed Aona to score, making the ECU lead 3-0.
For the game, the Highlanders stranded seven runners as Swann allowed just one hit and sent down 15 of the the last 16 batters she faced.
Next up for East Carolina is the Pirate Classic, which will take place in Greenville from Feb. 27 - March 1. ECU opens up play in the home tournament against Towson at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The East Carolina softball team played an early morning game against Indiana on Sunday at the Seminole Classic in Tallahassee, Fla., and walked away 8-3 winners. With the victory, the Pirates moved to 6-5 and the Hoosiers fell to 1-9. Toni Paisley started in the circle for ECU, improved her record to 5-2 this season and tied her career-high in strikeouts with 15.
The Pirates wasted little time getting on the board, batting around, smacking six hits and scoring six runs in the top of the first inning. Prior to the Indiana game, ECU had scored just two runs in the first inning all season and had not totaled six hits in an entire contest since facing Middle Tennessee in the second game of the season.
Christina Merrida started the opening frame with a leadoff walk and moved to second on Charina Sumner’s bunt single. A Jessica Johnson sacrifice bunt advanced both runners a base and Angel Barrella’s double to left center drove in the first two runs. Kaui Tom then singled through the left side, plating Barrella and pushing the lead to 3-0. A single by Cristen Aona put runners on the corners and Marina Gusman-Brown drove in both with a triple down the right field line. Sarah Bibee finished the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center field that drove in Gusman-Brown and put the Pirates ahead 6-0.
Indiana answered immediately in the bottom of the first with a triple followed by a single that made the score 6-1. The Hoosiers then mixed in two walks around two outs to load the bases. Paisley managed to strike out Julie DiNallo, but the ball bounced off Bibee’s glove and went all the way to the backstop, pushing another run across and allowing DiNallo to reach first base. Kristin King then struck out looking to end the frame with the score 6-2 in favor of East Carolina.
Sumner got things going for the Pirates again in the second when she led off with an infield single. Johnson then doubled to right field, driving in Sumner and making the ECU lead 7-2.
The Hoosiers had a chance to add runs of their own in the bottom of the second with a leadoff walk and steal of second base. A bunt single put runners on the corner’s with one out, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.
The bottom of the fourth inning also had Indiana put two runners on base with a walk and a single. Paisley then induced a strikeout swinging and a groundout to third base to keep the Pirate lead at 7-2.
The bottom of the sixth had the final threat by Indiana as pinch hitter Bridget Langan singled to left and scored on Jennifer Glueckert’s second triple of the game, cutting the ECU lead to 7-3.
East Carolina added the final run of the game in the top of the seventh on a single by Sumner and double to left center by Johnson to regain the five-run advantage at 8-3.
For the game, East Carolina collected 12 hits, the first time the Pirates had reached double-digits since April 26, 2008, against Memphis. Individually, Sumner tallied three hits and Johnson and Aona both had two, while Barrella, Gusman-Brown and Johnson had two runs batted in.