Paisley, Pirates blank Houston, 1-0
No. 5 East Carolina will take on No. 2 Tulsa in Saturday’s title game
Two weeks ago, East Carolina dropped three games at home to Houston.
However, the Pirates were able to turn the tables on the Cougars and capture a 1-0 victory on Friday afternoon at the ECU Softball Stadium. The win propels them into their second consecutive CUSA Tournament Championship game.
Both teams had chances to push in front in the first inning, but were unable to capitalize.
Houston had runners on the corners with one out, but Paisley pitched herself out of the jam.
In the bottom of the frame, Cougars’ starter Amanda Crabtree struggled with her command and walked the bases loaded with two outs. The Pirates didn’t take advantage, though, as Priscilla Velasquez popped out to second.
ECU gave Paisley the only run she would need when freshman Alex Fieldhouse led off the second with a solo shot to center.
The Cougars had another scoring opportunity in the third. Ashleigh Jones led off with an infield single. Jones proceeded to steal second and advanced to third when Holly Anderson singled to left. However, Paisley got Gaber to foul out and Klinkert to pop up to get herself out of the second and third, one out jam.
With Crabtree’s lack of control, Houston opted to insert Diedre Outon into the circle. Outon answered the call, as she surrendered just two hits and struck out nine over the final four frames.
While her performance gave Houston a chance, the Cougars couldn’t produce anything against Paisley. They had first and second with one out in the sixth, but failed to tie the game.
The veteran Pirate hurler scattered six hits—all singles—and improved to 29-11.
Now, the host Pirates will attempt to repeat as Conference USA Tourney Champs on Saturday when they play second-seeded Tulsa (43-12) at 11am. The game will be broadcast at 1 pm—the game’s original start time—on CBS College Sports.
ECU took two of three from Tulsa when the Golden Hurricane visited Greenville earlier in the season.