Pirate softball advances to semifinals with 5-1 win over Memphis
No. 5 East Carolina will face top-seeded Houston on Friday
No. 5 seed and host East Carolina (37-20) scored two runs in the fifth and two in the seventh to pull away for a 5-1 victory over No. 4 Memphis (35-12) on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the CUSA Tourney at the ECU Softball Stadium.
The Pirates opened the scoring in the second.
Jasmine Robbins drew a walk to start the inning. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Jordan Lewis singled to put runners on the corners. Lewis moved up on a pass ball just prior to Priscilla Velasquez’s run-producing groundout.
The score remained 1-0 until the fourth when Jessica Phillips led off the inning with her 15 homer of the season to knot things.
ECU received a leadoff single by Jil Jelnick in the fifth. After Kristi Ochiro bunted her into scoring position, Suzanne Riggs popped up to the pitcher for the second out. However, Robbins would proceed to get hit by a pitch to set up Lewis’ two-run double to left center.
The Pirates tacked on some insurance in the seventh when Velasquez came through with a clutch two-run single with two outs.
Toni Paisley (28-11) went the distance in the circle for ECU. She allowed just three hits and struck out ten.
Tigers’ starter Janelle Valle was pulled with no outs in the second inning. Carly Hummel, her replacement, went five innings during which she allowed two runs on three hits. Hummel gave way to Lauren Carley in the seventh.
With the victory, the Pirates advance to Friday’s semifinals where they will face the tournament’s top seed Houston. The Cougars collected a 4-2 win over No. 8 seed Southern Miss on Thursday.
First-pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. The winner will advance to Saturday’s championship contest to meet either Tulsa or UCF. That game will be televised at 1 p.m. on CBS College Sports.