ECU softball takes two from Tulsa
Published 1:17 pm Monday, April 6, 2009
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — Playing against the team tied atop the Conference USA standings with East Carolina, the Pirates responded to the challenge and defeated Tulsa 3-1 and 2-1 on Saturday afternoon. The pair of victories pushed East Carolina’s winning streak to 11 consecutive games, the program’s longest since winning 14 straight in March of 2004.
Toni Paisley, 19-4 on the season, struck out 12 batters and Jessica Johnson drove in two runs in game one to lead the Pirates (26-9, 11-3 C-USA) to the 3-1 victory. In the second game, a defensive hold that allowed the Golden Hurricane (21-13, 6-4 C-USA) to score just one run after loading the bases with no outs, gave the Pirates the 2-1 win. Brooke Swann picked up the win in the second contest and improved to 5-1 this season.
Johnson finished her day with two hits, two runs batted in and one home run. Her solo shot in game one was the 30th of her career, putting her in sole possession of second in school history and tied for seventh in Conference USA. The two runs batted in moved her into a tie for eighth in C-USA history and her two hits moved her into a tie for ninth on ECU’s all-time list.
Paisley also moved up the ECU career-record lists as her victory in game one gave her 44 in her career and put her seventh in program history.
In game one, Johnson’s solo home run to left field provided the Pirates with a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
East Carolina added another run in the bottom of the second as Cristen Aona led off with a walk and scored on Paisley’s double to right center.
In the top of the fourth, Tulsa broke through with a run to make the score 2-1. Brooke Smart singled up the middle with two outs and scored on Christian Timmons’ double to left field. The run snapped Paisley’s scoreless innings streak at 22 1/3 frames, and the ECU pitching staff’s streak at 35 frames.
Paisley responded in the top of the fifth by striking out the side in order.
East Carolina had its own two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth to get the run back and take a 3-1 lead. Christina Merrida hit a one-out single and moved to second on Charina Sumner’s groundout. Marina Gusman-Brown was then hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Johnson followed with a bloop single into center field that plated Merrida.
In the second contest, East Carolina got off to a good start with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Sumner led off with a walk, stole second base and moved to third when Merrida reached on an error by the Tulsa second baseman. Merrida then stole second base to put runners on second and third with no outs. Aona’s single through the left side drove in Sumner and Merrida.
Both teams went down quietly until the Golden Hurricane got its offense going in the top of the sixth, scoring a run to make the score 2-1. Stephanie Chomicki started the rally with a double to left field. Swanson then singled to the second baseman and Lindsay walked to load the bases with no outs. Paisley then came in for Swann and gave up a single to Lauren Menke that plated the first run.
Paisley closed it out in the sevneth for her third save of the season.
The Pirates will go for the sweep today with a single game at 12 p.m.