ECU Sweeps Doubleheader; Dash Memphis Shutout Attempt
April 18, 2009
For Immediate Release
Game Two Memphis (20-24, 5-12) 000 001 0 - 1 7 4 East Carolina (33-11, 16-4) 000 000 2 - 2 9 0 W: Paisley (25-6) L: Walle (7-10)
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The University of Memphis came three outs from earning its first shutout of the season in game two of a doubleheader with East Carolina, but the Pirates scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 2-1 victory.
East Carolina (33-11, 16-4) won both games of the doubleheader on Saturday against Memphis (20-24, 5-12) at the ECU Softball Field, winning 2-0 in game one. Seniors Leila Dolfo and Brittany Gooch led the Tigers with three hits in the two games.
Senior Tori Gross knocked in the first run of the second game in the top of the sixth with a single to right field to score Dolfo from third and give Memphis a 1-0 lead. The U of M threatened to increase the damage with runners at second and third with no outs, but game one winner Toni Paisley entered the game in relief and struck out the side.
Several times the Tigers walked out of East Carolina scoring threats unharmed with the Pirates leaving 10 runners on base in the first six innings. Memphis got out of a jam with a runner on third and no outs in the first inning and used a double play to get out of the third inning on a fly ball hit to deep center with the bases loaded and one out.
The Pirates had a runner on third with one out in the fourth inning, but retired the player at home on a fielder's choice tag. ECU then stranded the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
But in the bottom of the seventh, Charina Sumner led off with an infield single and then reached third on a throwing error off a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Johnson. Marina Gusman-Brown tied the game with a single to left field and then Sarah Bibee scored the game-winner with a single to right field.
Junior Vanessa Walle (7-10) pitched six scoreless innings before allowing one earned run in the seventh. She finished with nine hits allowed and struck out two. Paisley (25-6) earned both wins on the day and pitched the final two innings of game two, allowing one hit and striking out four.
Sophomore Janelle Valle held East Carolina to four hits in game one, but the Pirates scored its magic number to win 2-0. ECU improved to 33-1 when scoring two runs or more, but are 0-10 when scoring a run or less.
Memphis put runners on base in each of the first five innings, but failed to get a runner past second in the game. The Tigers never could get the hit it needed with runners in scoring position, despite matching the Pirates in hits, 4-4, and steeling three bases.
The Tigers set a new program record in stolen bases on the season with three in game one and had four in game two to give the team a total of 67 on the year. The previous record of 61 was set in the program's first year of existence in 2006.
East Carolina put the first runs of the game on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring two runs on one hit and an error to take a 2-0 lead. Christina Merrida led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a ground out. Kaui Tom then lined a 3-1 pitch off the glove of Memphis third baseman Maddie McKinley into left field to score Merrida from second.
After the second out was retired on a ground ball that moved Tom to third. Sumna then hit a ground ball to first that was misplayed, allowing Tom to score the second run.
Valle (7-10) pitched a complete game and allowed one earned run on four hits with one strikeout and two walks. It is her third-straight start in which she has allowed four hits or less.
Paisley (24-6) struck out seven and earned her eighth shutout of the season. She allowed four hits and walked one.
The two teams will complete the series on Sunday with a single game at 11:30 a.m.