TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
May 17, 2011
Kee's champs primed for
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Make it back to back
titles for the East Carolina softball program. ECU entered this past
week’s Conference USA tournament at home as the 5th seed, but emerged
with three straight wins and an automatic NCAA regional bid.
If you didn’t get the
chance to watch any of the games last week at the new ECU Softball
Stadium, you missed out on a real treat.
The Pirates played
outstanding softball for three straight days. The play was almost as
good as the stadium that hosted the event. The softball was outstanding,
and it was played in one of the nation’s top facilities.
“We got so many positive
comments about our stadium,” said ECU coach Tracey Kee. “And I really
think the crowd that was in the stadium helped us win this
Friday’s game was the best
of the weekend, when ECU slipped past top seed Houston 1-0.
Pirate ace Toni Paisley
picked up all three wins in the tournament and was especially tough in
that 1-0 game on Friday. She’ll next take the ball in the circle
on Friday night in College Park.
“I’m excited,” said
Paisley. “I don’t think anyone in the room was expecting us to go where
we are going. We’ve been there before so I think we are ready.”
The Pirates have faced
Maryland three times this season. ECU fell to the Terrapins 3-1 in
Athens, GA, Feb. 13, and split a doubleheader on the road with the
Terrapins on March 9th. In that double dip the Pirates won the opener
3-2 and lost in the nightcap 4-2.
No. 11 national seed
Baylor and Lehigh are the other teams in the College Park Regional. ECU
beat Lehigh 8-0 in six innings back in the Pirate Clash in Greenville on
Feb. 26. The Pirates have never played Baylor.
“I like it,” said Coach
Kee when asked about the bracket on Sunday night. “I like the fact that
we’ve already played at the University of Maryland this year. I like the
fact we’ve played them three times already as well as Lehigh. We don’t
know much about Baylor, but we know they are a quality program. We’ve
got a good one to work with.”
Baylor takes on Lehigh to
open the double elimination regional on Friday at 5 p.m. East Carolina
then takes on Maryland in the 7:30 game.
the hands of Pirates
View ECBL Photo Gallery at
Bottom of Article
The East Carolina baseball
team once again hosted the Exceptional Community Baseball League on
Sunday after completing its three-game sweep of Delaware State.
The ECBL is made up of
players with special needs. Games are normally played on Saturdays at
the Sarah Vaughn Field of Dreams at Elm Street Park. Once a year the
players get to play on the “big stage” at Clark-LeClair Stadium as
guests of the Pirates.
“I’ve said this every
year, but this is really our best game of the year,” said Pirate coach
Godwin’s squad served as
“buddies” to the ECBL players, helping them with hitting, fielding and
running the bases.
The Pirates really deserve
a pat on the back for not only hosting the event, but for embracing it
over the years.
ECU first baseman John
Wooten remembered his experience with young Antwan Murphy from last
season. Wooten found his young friend before the game started and stuck
with him for the entire game.
Several of the Pirate
players gathered at home plate after each hit, encouraging the runner
from third to slide in at home plate. Many of the players did just that,
as the Pirates yelled out, “Safe!”
Mother Nature almost
wrecked the party after a thunderstorm moved through about 3:30 p.m.,
just after ECU’s
6-1 win over Delaware State.
The clouds moved out and
the sun came out for the exhibition game.
The clouds returned after
the game. It makes you wonder if the man upstairs was making sure that a
day that meant so much to so many went off without a delay.
It is always a special day
for both the ECBL players and the Pirates.
ECU's Exceptional Guests
East Carolina's baseball
team hosted the players of the Exceptional Community
Baseball League at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Sunday. (Photos: Brian
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05/23/2011 04:40 AM