East Carolina Softball Preview – Game 14: Elon

East Carolina starts 16-game road swing on Wednesday against the Phoenix

ECU Game Notes | Live ECU Game Updates | Live Stats | Elon and Wilson/DeMarini Preview

GREENVILLE, NC Feb. 26, 2013 - After hosting the first 13 games to start the season, the Pirates will take their first road trip of the campaign with a midweek contest against Elon on Wednesday at the newly-opened Hunt Softball Park at 5 p.m.

ECU Lady Pirates softball

East Carolina, who are 6-7 on the season, are currently on a four-game losing streak after falling in each of the final four contests at the Pirate Invitational last weekend. Junior Kristi Oshiro has led the offensive charge for ECU this season with her .474 batting average, 15 runs, 18 hits, five doubles, four triples, 34 total bases, slugging percentage of .895 and on-base percentage of .523. Sophomore Sarah Christian has won five of the team’s six games this year and leads the staff with her 41.2 innings pitched, two complete games and 31 strikeouts.

Live stats from Elon will be available for the game through ECU’s web page. Live in-game updates for all East Carolina softball games can be accessed through the ECU Softball Twitter feed (@ECUSoftball). No live audio or video will be available for this game.

Pirates Go 1-4 At Pirate Invitational
After winning the first game of the tournament to Liberty by a 12-1 run-shortened margin, East Carolina lost its next four contests to Fairfield, Liberty and Notre Dame (twice) to close out the final home-hosted tournament with a 1-4 record … Senior Kai Clark had a strong tournament for the Pirates with a .538 batting average (7-for-13), three doubles and a slugging percentage of .769 … Christian earned the ECU victory on the week over Liberty in going four innings and only allowing one unearned run on three hits.

A Familiar Sight
The Pirates are 6-7 on the season for the second time in the last four years … The program has started with six or more wins in the first 13 games every season since 2000, including a mark of 12-1 in both 2000 and 2005.

Offense Continues To Impress
East Carolina’s offense has had a strong start to the season with a .291 team batting average … The batting average is the highest for the program after 13 games since 2008 and the fourth time that the team has been over .285 in batting upon the completion of 13 games over the last 10 years … The program’s 23 doubles are also the most in that same 10-year span  … The 95 hits recorded is the highest total since the 2008 team had 102 …The 156 total bases are the highest number since 2005 (169 total bases) and marks the fourth time with 150 or more total bases in the first 13 games in the last 10 seasons.

Magic of The Fifth Inning
East Carolina has outscored its opponents 63-61 this season and holds an advantage in scoring in four of those innings … The Pirates have really done damaged though in the fifth inning with a positive run differential of 16 runs (21-5).

Last Game of Month Looms Large
The Pirates have been fast starters over the years in the month of February with an all-time record of 173-84-1 … The program’s most wins in the month came in 2005 when the team went 18-2 … Since 1997, ECU has only had one losing mark in the month of February (6-7 record in 2010) and with one game to go in this month, against Elon, are trying to avoid the distinction of another.

On This Date
The Pirates have a 17-5 all-time record on the date of Feb. 27 … The team has won seven in a row and hasn’t faced defeat since a game against Cornell in 2004 … ECU has totaled eight shutouts on the date, including a 29-0 victory over Delaware State in 1999.

Oshiro Keeps It Going
Kristi Oshiro continued her hot hitting and went 5-for-13 (.385) at the plate with two doubles, another triple, a home run and six more RBI at the Pirate Invitational … On the season, she is hitting .474 with 18 hits, five doubles, four triples, 34 total bases, a slugging percentage of .895, an on-base percentage of .523 and 15 runs scored … She currently leads the entire conference in batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored and triples.

A Grand (Slam) Time
Kristi Oshiro hit her second career grand slam in the 12-1 victory over Liberty on Friday, Feb. 22 … She was also the last ECU player to hit a grand slam on her previous blast against Creighton last season … Her four-RBI game against the Flames was the first for the Pirates since Suzanne Riggs also drove in four runs against Tulsa last season (3/17/12).

News And Notables
Jill Jelnick hit her first career home run in the game against Liberty … Meredith Mitchell record her first walk in the first contest against Liberty (2/22) and then her first career hit in the second game against the Flames (2/24) … East Carolina’s current four-game losing streak is the longest for the program since it dropped six in row last season (3/31-4/6/12) … The 10 runs that the Pirates allowed in the seventh inning against Fairfield was the most given up in an inning since the program allowed 12 in the second inning to Tulsa (3/17/12) … The 14 runs allowed in the game to Fairfield was the most that the Pirates have given up since New Mexico State scored 14 last season (3/10/12) … ECU saw the program’s shutout-free streak end at 17 games (last six in 2012 and first 11 in 2013) in Notre Dame’s 6-0 win over the Pirates on Sunday, Feb. 24 … It was the longest shutout-free streak since the 2012 team went 28 straight games (2/17-3/31/12) last season without being held scoreless … The Fighting Irish were also able to run-rule the Pirates in the contest on Saturday, Feb. 23, to stop that modest streak of 16 straight games dating back to the end of last year … The Pirates’ 5-4 loss to Liberty was only the fourth time that the Flames have defeated ECU in 40 career games … ECU has already used 10 different starting batting orders in 13 games on the season … 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 13 games of the campaign … Four different members of the team have already started at both designated player and in right field … The Pirates started the season playing the first 13 games at home … The 13 home contests was the longest stretch to start a season in ECU softball history (since 1984) and the longest run of consecutive home games since the 2008 season when the team played 15 straight home contests

Conference Leaders (Individuals)
The Pirates, after the third week of softball action, have several players that are ranked highly in Conference USA …  Junior Kristi Oshiro leads the conference in batting average (.474), triples (4), runs scored (15) and on-base percentage (.523) … She is tied for the lead in total bases (34), second in slugging percentage (.880) and sacrifice bunts (3), third in hits (18) and tied for third in doubles (5) plus 10th in RBI (9)… Junior Alex Fieldhouse is tied for second in the league in sacrifice flies (2), third in slugging percentage (.800), fourth in RBI (12), home runs (3) and total bases (28), tied for fifth in doubles (4), sixth in batting average (.371), on-base percentage (.455) and walks (7) … Junior Jill Jelnick is third in runs scored (12), tied for fourth in triples (1), sixth in stolen bases (5) and tied for 10th in walks (6) … Senior Kai Clark is tied for fifth in doubles (4) … Junior Jordan Lewis is tied for fourth in triples (1), tied for sixth in stolen bases (5) and seventh in batting average (.359) … Freshman Casey Alcorn is tied for 10th in walks (6) … Junior Jasmine Robbins is tied for second in hit by pitch (2) … Sophomore Sarah Christian is tied for second in wins (5), third in appearances (10), seventh in innings pitched (41.2), eighth in ERA (2.52) and ninth in strikeouts (31) … Freshman Mary Beth Smith is tied for third in ERA (1.22).

Conference Leaders (Team)
ECU, as a team, leads the conference in batting average (.291), slugging percentage (.477) and triples (7) … The program is second in doubles (23), total bases (156) and sacrifice bunts (10) … East Carolina also ranks third in on-base percentage (.367), runs scored (63), home runs (8) and RBI (55) plus fourth in stolen bases (17).

Scouting Elon
The Phoenix (5-4) have won four games in a row after sweeping the competition at the Phoenix Clash Tournament last weekend … Elon because of the rain in the area had the rare tripleheader last Saturday and defeated Temple once and Saint Peter’s twice … Tomeka Watson hit .688 with three doubles, five home runs and nine RBIs at last weekend’s tournament … Watson, who also became the school’s all-time leading home run hitter over the weekend, leads the offensive charge for Elon with her .571 batting average, 13 runs, 16 hits, four doubles, seven home runs, 13 RBI and 41 total bases … In the circle, Eve Clausen is 1-0 with a 0.88 ERA and six strikeouts in eight innings … Elon is coached by Kathy Bocock … Bocock is entering her second season leading the program after serving as the interim head coach in 2012 … Elon has already recorded a win over a ranked opponent this season with a 5-2 road victory over then No. 8 Georgia in the second game of the campaign … ECU leads the all-time series by a 14-3-1 count … The last meeting occurred in 2010 with East Carolina sweeping a doubleheader by scores of 1-0 and 8-0.

Up Next
The Pirates travel to Tempe, Ariz. to participate in the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational from March 1-3. ECU is slated to begin the tournament with a noon (ET) contest against Binghamton on the opening day at Mesa Community College (MCC). The Pirates then travel back to the Arizona State campus for a second game later that afternoon against North Carolina at 4 p.m. (ET). ECU has a pair of games against ranked opponents on Saturday, March 2, against No. 22 Baylor at 10:30 a.m. (ET) also at MCC and then back on campus again against No. 3 Arizona State at 6:30 p.m. (ET). East Carolina finishes play in the three-day event with a game against North Dakota at 11 a.m. (ET).

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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