GREENVILLE - The East Carolina softball team hosts its second straight tournament this weekend in the Pirate Clash from Feb. 15-17 at ECU Softball Stadium.
The Pirates started the 2013 season winning three games at the Pirate Classic under first-year head coach Beth Keylon-Randolph.
The other teams in the field for the Pirate Clash include Georgetown, Saint Joseph's and St. John's. ECU begins the tournament with a contest against St. John's at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 in its lone contest on the first day. The Pirates have a pair of games scheduled for Feb. 16 starting at 2:30 p.m. against Georgetown. It is a quick turnaround with ECU scheduled to rematch with St. John's at 4:30 p.m. later that afternoon. East Carolina wraps up play in the tournament with contests against Saint Joseph's at 11 a.m. and Georgetown at 1 p.m. on Feb. 17.
Gametracker live stats will be available for all 10 games of the Pirate Clash through the tournament central page. Live in-game updates for all East Carolina softball games can be accessed through the ECU Softball Twitter feed (@ECUSoftball). The Pirates will also have live video streaming for all five ECU games over the weekend. Live internet-only audio for East Carolina is set to be run for each of the first three games of the tournament.
Season Opener Split
The Pirates split the team's two games on opening day for the fourth straight season ... ECU defeated Cleveland State by a 5-2 score, but fell in the second game by a 4-3 score to Ohio ... East Carolina is now 42-17-1 all-time on the season's opening day ... Overall, the Pirates have a record of 41-14 (.745) during the first day of home action.
A Familiar Site
The Pirates are 3-2 on the season for the second straight year and fourth time since 2000 ... The program has started with three or more wins in the first five games a total of 11 times since 2000, including a perfect 5-0 record twice.
Offense Stepping Up
East Carolina's offense has had a strong start to the season with a .313 team batting average … The batting average is the highest for the program after five games since 2008 and only the third time that the team average has been over .300 upon completion of the first five games over the last 10 years … The program's nine doubles are also the most after five contests since 2008 … The 41 hits so far, are the most since the 2004 team also had that many … The 60 total bases is the highest number since 2008 and marks only the fourth time with 60 or more total bases in the first five games in the last 10 seasons.
Magic of The Fifth Inning
East Carolina has outscored its opponents 27-16 this season and holds an advantage in scoring in four of the seven innings ... The Pirates have really done damaged in the fifth inning with a positive-run differential of 10 runs (12-2) ... ECU has only been outscored in two innings on the campaign - three runs in the first (5-2) and two tallies in the seventh (2-0).
Wynne Makes Most of Playing Time
After patiently waiting for a chance to play regularly the last two seasons, Abby Wynne finally got the chance to show what she could do in the opening weekend of the season at the Pirate Classic ... Wynne started all five games for the Pirates at three different positions (designated player, catcher and right field) ... The junior had the first multi-hit performance of her career with two hits against Cleveland State ... She also knocked in three runs against the Vikings with a three-run double (the second multiple-RBI game of her career) ... In her next game, against Ohio, she scored a pair of runs ... She continued her strong weekend with a hit against Rider, a walk in the second game against Ohio and another three-RBI game against Towson ... Wynne's six RBI leads the team and are one more than she had combined in her first two seasons in a Pirate uniform ... Her five starts this season are already two more than she had as a sophomore.
The Kid Is Going To Be Alright
Freshman Casey Alcorn didn't let the bright lights of playing in her first collegiate tournament, the Pirate Classic, affect her during the first week of the season ... Alcorn began her career by reaching base safely in each of her first seven plate appearances with four hits and three walks ... She also homered to give the team a run-rule victory over Rider and had three doubles in her initial weekend ... In the five games, Alcorn hit .750 (six-for-eight) with five runs scored, three doubles, a home run, three RBI, four walks, a 1.500 slugging percentage, four walks and an .833 on-base percentage.
An Uncommon Event
Junior Kristi Oshiro had a standout individual effort against Towson ... Oshiro had four hits including a triple against the Tigers ... Her four hits tied her career high (vs. Northern Iowa in 2011) ... The four hits were the most for an ECU player since Jill Jelnick also had four against North Dakota State last season ... Oshiro also crossed the plate four times against Towson, which broke her previous career best ... Her four runs scored against the Tigers is the top mark for an ECU player since Cristen Aona also scored four times in a game nearly three years ago (Feb. 26, 2010) against Delaware.
Like An Ace
Sophomore Sarah Christian was given the ball in the team's first game of the season against Cleveland State, and acted like the ace that the team needed in throwing six innings and allowed only four hits, one walk and one run in a victory against the Vikings ... Christian was then called upon and threw seven innings in relief against Ohio and surrendered five hits and three runs (two earned) ... She completed the week with her best performance of the season in going the distance against previously unbeaten Towson with only five hits allowed and two runs ... Christian also set a career-high with seven strikeouts against the Tigers ... On the season, the Greenville native is 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA and has only allowed two walks in 19 innings worked.
Nice Job, Rook!!!!
Freshman Mary Beth Smith had a pair of noteworthy pitching performances for ECU in the first week of the season ... Smith made her collegiate debut with 3.2 scoreless relief innings against Ohio ... The Elon, N.C. native was then given the ball again and started in the circle against Rider ... Despite surrendering nine hits and loading the bases twice in the first two innings, she escaped unscathed and picked up her first college win with four scoreless innings.
The Pirates, after the first week of softball action, have several players that are ranked highly in Conference USA ... Junior Kristi Oshiro leads the conference in batting average (.500) runs scored (6) and is tied for the conference lead in triples (2) ... She is tied for second in hits (8), third in on-base percentage (.529) and fourth in total bases (12) and slugging percentage (.750) ... Junior Alex Fieldhouseis tied for the league lead in doubles (3) and sacrifice flies (2) ... She is fourth in batting average (.429), sixth in runs driven (4), seventh in slugging percentage (.643) and eighth in total bases (9) ... Junior Jill Jelnick is tied for second in runs scored (5), tied for fifth in stolen bases (2) and sixth in walks (3) ... Freshman Casey Alcorn is tied for the league lead in doubles (3), tied for second in runs scored (5), tied for third in walks (5), tied for fifth in home runs (1) and tied for seventh in hits (6) ... Junior Abby Wynne is tied for second in RBI (6) ... Sophomore Sarah Christian is tied for the league leads in wins (2), tied for fourth in innings pitched (19), fifth in strikeouts (13), sixth in opposing batting average (.200) and seventh in ERA (1.84)
Scouting St. John's
The Red Storm (1-3) began their season at the Eagle Round Robin in Statesboro, Ga. … St. John's split its two games with the host Georgia Southern, but fell to Tennessee Tech and Akron in the first tournament of the season … Ashley Beza won the contest against the Eagles and is 1-1 with 1.70 ERA in 12.1 innings thrown this season … St. John's is coached by Amy Kvilhaug … Kvilhaug just started her seventh year in charge of the program … ECU holds a 6-3 advantage in the all-time series … The last meeting occurred in 2011 with East Carolina earning an 8-0 victory at the Pirate Classic.
The Hoyas (1-4) began their season in Miami, Fla. at a tournament hosted by Florida International last weekend … Georgetown lost to N.C. State, Florida International and Kansas twice in the first two days, before rallying for a 2-0 victory over FIU in the final game … The Hoyas' offense is being led by Shikara Lowe, who has five hits and is one of six different players to drive in a run this season … Georgetown is coached by Pat Conlan … Conlan, who just began her eighth season of leading the program, is the only softball coach the program has ever had … The Hoyas and Pirates have only met twice with each team taking a contest during the 2009 season … ECU does sport an all-time record of 41-31 (.569) against current members of the BIG EAST Conference.
Scouting Saint Joseph's
The Hawks, who will open their season at the Pirate Clash, posted a 22-29-1 overall record and a mark of 9-10-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference a season ago under head coach Terri Adams … Saint Joseph's is picked to place fourth in the league this season … The Hawks' top returning player at the plate is Dana Parks, who hit .333 with 57 hits in 2012 … The Pirates have only faced St. Joe's once prior to this weekend and defeated the Hawks by an 8-2 score all the way back in 1995 … The Pirates are 66-18 (.785) all-time against schools currently playing in the A-10 Conference.
After this weekend's action, the Pirates complete the homestand and plays host to the Pirate Invitational from Feb. 22-24. The opponents in the third home tournament are Fairfield, Lehigh, Liberty and Notre Dame.