GREENVILLE - The East Carolina softball team takes a spring break trip to Hawai'i this week for the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament. The Pirates enter the week's action with an overall record of 8-11.
The other teams in the tournament include Tokyo Women's College of Physical Education, Portland State and No. 21/24 Hawai'i. ECU begins the tournament with an exhibition contest against Tokyo Women's College of Physical Education at 9 p.m. (ET) on March 8 at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium (RWSS). East Carolina also takes on Portland State at 11 p.m. (ET) in the nightcap. The Pirates only have a single game against the host school and No. 21/24 Hawai'i on Saturday, March 9, at 11 p.m. (ET). East Carolina wraps up play in the tournament with games against Portland State at 5 p.m. (ET) and Hawai'i at 7 p.m. (ET) on March 10.
Live stats will be available for the all games against Tokyo Women's College of Physical Education, Portland State and Hawai'i. Live in-game updates for the contests for the five games this week can also be accessed through the ECU Softball Twitter feed (@ECUSoftball).
Pirates Go 2-3 in Wilson/DeMarini Invitational
East Carolina went 2-3 at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational with two of the losses coming to ranked opponents in No. 22/20 Baylor and No. 3/3 Arizona State … The Pirates were able to end a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 extra inning victory over Binghamton on the opening day of the tournament and then closed out three-day event with a shutout of North Dakota by a 6-0 score …Kristi Oshiro continued her hot hitting with eight more hits and four more runs scored in Arizona … Alex Fieldhouse hit .353 with a home run and five RBI … Jordan Lewis also had a strong tournament with a .417 batting average, five hits, a home run, two RBI and three stolen bases.
Offense Continues To Impress
East Carolina's offense has had a strong start to the season with a .293 team batting average … The batting average is the highest for the program after 19 games since 2008, and the fourth time that the team's hitting has been over .290 upon completion of 19 games over the last 10 years … The program's 31 doubles are also tied for the most in that same 10-year span (the 2007 team also had 31 two-baggers) … The 144 hits are the highest total since the 2008 team's 154 … The 227 total bases are the most since 2008 (231 total bases) and marks the fourth time with 220 or more total bases in the first 19 games in the last 10 seasons.
Magic of the Fifth Inning
East Carolina has been outscored by its opponents by 11 runs, 92-81, this season in the overall stats, but still hold an advantage in scoring in three of those innings ... The Pirates have really done damaged though in the fifth inning with a positive run differential of eight runs (23-15).
On A Streak
Jordan Lewis saw her hitting streak reach 11 games before being held hitless against Baylor (3/2) ... The hitting streak is a new career-high for the junior ... Lewis did find a way to reach base against the Bears though, with a walk, and rides a 14-game on-base streak to the action this week.
In the last 10 games, Jordan Lewis is hitting .385 (10-for-26) with two home runs, four RBI, five walks and five stolen bases ... Kristi Oshiro has also been playing well with a .357 batting average (10-for-28), three doubles and three walks ... Meredith Mitchell has picked up her play with a .350 batting average (7-for-20) including a pair of doubles ... Alex Fieldhouse leads the team with her four home runs and 11 RBI to go along with a .344 batting average in the last 10 ... Mary Beth Smith, despite an 0-2 record, has limited opponents to a 1.75 ERA in the team's last 10 contests.
On This Date – Weekend Edition
East Carolina is 33-20 all-time on the dates from March 8-10 ... The program is 12-10 on March 8 and last played on the date in 2009 against Houston ... ECU is only 10-14 on March 9 and last played against Arizona State in 2012 ... The Pirates are 21-6 on March 10 and played against Creighton last season.
East Carolina Versus Ranked Opponents
The Pirates will again play a ranked opponent this weekend with their games against No. 21/24 Hawai'i on Saturday (March 9) and Sunday (March 10) ... ECU is 0-2 against ranked opponents this season after falling to Baylor (5-2) and Arizona State (13-0) last weekend in the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational ... Since 1996, the Pirates have played 73 games against teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll ... In those contests, East Carolina is 9-64, including a mark of 3-32 since 2008 ... Last season, the Pirates played six games against ranked teams.
First Time Opponent
The Pirates will play against Portland State for the first time this weekend and are 1-0 against first-time opponents this season (W, 6-0 vs. North Dakota) ... Since 2006, ECU is 25-17 against first-time opponents ... The team went 2-2 in 2012 and 1-1 in 2011.
News And Notables
Courtney Smith threw her first shutout of the season and the second one of her career in a 6-0 win over North Dakota (3/3) ... Smith surrendered only five hits in the complete-game victory ... After 118 career games playing in the middle infield, Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin made her first-ever appearance in the outfield as a late inning substitution in right field against Baylor (3/2) ... She quickly made her second career outfield appearance in getting the starting nod in right field against North Dakota (3/3) ... Freshman Kelsi Briggs also made her season debut at a new position against North Dakota when she came in and caught from the third through the seventh inning ... ECU's extra inning 3-2 victory against Binghamton (3/1) was the first for the program since defeating SIU Edwardsville 6-5 in 10 innings last February ...The loss to Elon (2/27) was the first for the program since 2004 when the team dropped both games of a doubleheader to the Phoenix ... In the Elon game, Casey Alcorn hit a home run to lead-off the second inning and became the first ECU player to accomplish the feat since Priscilla Velasquez's lead-off home run last March against Tulsa ... Kristi Oshiro (second base), Jill Jelnick (left field) and Alex Fieldhouse (third base) are the only three players on the team to start at the same position in the field in each of the first 19 contests ... Seven different members of the team have already started at either designated player or in right field.
Individual Conference Leaders
The Pirates, through the fourth week of softball action, have several players that are ranked highly in Conference USA ... Junior Kristi Oshiro leads the conference in batting average (.464), triples (4), runs scored (19) and on-base percentage (.523) ... She is second in total bases (43), tied for second in hits (26), third in slugging percentage (.768), fifth in doubles (6) and eighth in sacrifice bunts (3) ... Junior Alex Fieldhouse leads the league in total bases (44), is second in slugging percentage (.800) and runs batted in (18), tied for second in sacrifice flies (2), third in home runs (5), fourth in batting average (.382), tied for fourth in triples (1), tied for fifth in doubles (6), tied for sixth in hits (21), tied for ninth in walks (8) and 10th in on-base percentage (.446) ... Junior Jill Jelnick is fourth in runs scored (13) and tied for fourth in triples (1) ... Junior Jordan Lewis is tied for fourth in triples (1), sixth in batting average (.370), seventh in stolen bases (8) and eighth in hits (20) ... Freshman Casey Alcorn is tied for ninth in walks (8)... Junior Jasmine Robbins is tied for 10th in hit by pitch (2) ... Sophomore Sarah Christian is tied for third in wins (6) and appearances (14) ... She is fourth in innings pitched (64.2) and seventh in strikeouts (43) ... Freshman Mary Beth Smith is fourth in ERA (1.73).
Team Conference Leaders
ECU, as a team, leads the conference in batting average (.293), slugging percentage (.462) and triples (8) ... The program is tied for the lead in home runs (12) and are second in on-base percentage (.363) and doubles (31) ... ECU also ranks third in runs (81) and hits (144) plus fourth in RBI (69) and stolen bases (21).
Need To Keep Them Scoreless in the First
The Pirates have yet to win a game this season when their opponent tallies a score in the opening inning ... ECU is also only 1-8 when its opponent crosses home first ... East Carolina is a perfect 8-0 though when holding opponents to two runs or less.
Scouting Portland State
The Vikings (5-15), just like ECU, were in Arizona last weekend for a tournament … Portland State went 1-4 in Tucson at the Wildcat Invitational … Carly McEachran leads the offensive attack for PSU with her 19 hits, 10 runs, six home runs and 43 total bases … Lauran Bliss is hitting .294 with seven RBI and 15 hits … The pitching staff is anchored Anna Bertrand, who has won a pair of games, completed six contests and leads the team with her 69.2 innings thrown and 53 strikeouts … The Vikings have qualified for the NCAA Tournament four times in the last seven season including last year … Portland State is coached by fifth-year head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk … The Pirates have never faced Portland State, but are 2-0 all-time against current teams in the Big Sky Conference.
Scouting No. 21/24 Hawai'i
The No. 21/24 Rainbow Wahine (13-5) are the tournament hosts and the third-ranked team that East Carolina will be matching up with over the last two weekends … Hawai'i won the 2013 Bank of Hawaii Invitational last weekend with Kai Parnaby earning most valuable pitching honors and Kelly Majam taking home the tournament MVP … Four different members of the team are currently batting over .300 with Keiki Carlos leading the team with her .347 average and eight doubles … Majam has a team-high six home runs, 17 runs scored and 13 walks … Parnaby, who was named the Big West's Pitcher-of-the-Week on Monday, has worked as the primary hurler and is 11-2 with a 1.28 ERA plus 108 strikeouts in 92.2 innings thrown … The Rainbow Wahine have made the NCAA Tournament a total of 10 times in their softball history and advanced all the way to the College World Series in 2010 … Hawai'i is coached by Bob Coolen, who is in his 24th season leading the program, and has accumulated a record of 811-460-1 in his career …The Pirates have only faced Hawai'i twice with both meetings coming during the 2010 season … The Rainbow Wahine won the first contest 10-0 and slipped past ECU 6-4 in the second.
East Carolina continues play on the islands with single games against Syracuse (3/12) and Hawai'i (3/13) before coming back to the mainland and starting conference play against UAB on March 16 in Birmingham, Ala.