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The Bradsher Beat
Wednesday, May 17, 2006

By Bethany Bradsher

Women's golf title tops ECU's spring efforts so far


It’s spring, the season when dogwood blossoms, sun-starved schoolchildren and readers of sports Websites all have short attention spans.

And so, a Pirate grab bag, drawn mostly from postseason tournaments featuring various ECU teams:

  • It certainly could have been the year that the Pirate softball team broke out, but in the end they were hobbled by intense competition within the conference. At the Conference USA Tournament in Tulsa the ECU women were eliminated after falling to Houston 7-0.

    The Cougars prevailed despite the presence on the mound of Keli Harrell, the Pirate who was one of the most decorated players in the conference this season. Harrell, who played at Rose High School, has been named the C-USA Pitcher of the Week five times this year, and she has collected 25 victories and pitched 27 complete games this season.

  • Eric Frasure continued to pile on the accolades in the track and field throwing events at the C-USA men’s championships, winning first place in the hammer throw, third in the discus and setting school records in both. He also helped his ECU team to a fourth place finish in the meet.

    The women’s team has also had some standout performances from individual athletes this season but didn’t fare as well in the conference, placing 11th in the meet in El Paso, TX. Senior Terri Davenport, the school record holder in the 200 meters, turned in the fourth place finish in the meet with a personal-best time of 23.78 in that event.

    Davenport’s time was good enough to qualify her for the NCAA regional meet on May 26-27 in Greensboro. She will join a host of Pirate men, including hammer throwers Frasure and Terrance Myers, hurdler Hector Cotto, 100-meter sprinter Jerek Hewett and the 4X100 relay team.

    Hewett, who also plays football for ECU, came in seventh in the conference in the 100 and third as a member of the sprint relay team.

  • ECU’s only C-USA team champion so far this spring was the women’s golf team, led by new coach Kim Lewellen. The Lady Pirates finished their team competition last weekend at the NCAA East Regional in Brown’s Summit, where they placed 19th out of a field of 21 teams.

    The top individual finisher for the team was senior Heidi Helliesen, who carded a four-over par 76 in the tournament to tie for 25th among individuals. The ECU women finished with a total of 916. The tournament champion, Tennessee, shot an even-par 864 to advance to the championship tournament in Columbus, OH.

    The next step for Lewellen, who competed in the Golf Channel’s “Big Break” reality series and made it to the final four contestants, is to play in a series of five tournaments on the Futures Tour in the Midwest this summer, and she said that she has some other upcoming opportunities that have arisen as a result of the show.

  • The Diamond Bucs seemed too hot to fall to Coastal Carolina on Tuesday, but they struggled on the mound and in the infield to lose 9-4 to the Chanticleers and turn up the heat on this weekend’s season-ending series at Memphis.

    The magic number for an NCAA Regional Bid is generally thought to be 35 victories, and coach Billy Godwin has said that a strong finish is just crucial. The Pirates now stand at 32-31 with a three-game series against the Tigers remaining, followed by the Conference USA tournament, which starts Wednesday, May 24, in Houston.

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02/23/2007 01:13:03 AM

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