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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By Brian Bailey

Hosting snub fueled Lady Pirates

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Tracey Kee and her East Carolina softball team battled the top seed in the College Park Regional in two very close games.

Baylor shut out the Lady Pirates in both of those games. Both contests followed ECU wins over Maryland, the host school.

The Lady Pirates would have loved to have hosted the regional. Kee used that fact to help motivate her team.

“It was our chip on our shoulder,” said Kee. “With our facility we thought we could have hosted as the two seed. So we went out and played like it.”

That they did.

ECU senior pitcher Toni Paisley picked up her 117th and 118th career victories in the wins over the Lady Terrapins. Paisley finishes her college career as the all-time Conference USA leader in wins, innings pitched, appearances and strike outs.

Paisley also went toe to toe with the nation’s 11th ranked team.

“The first game with Baylor was just a great pitching performance for both teams,” said Kee.

Kee went on to say that her young team should reap the benefits of the regional experience down the line.

The Lady Pirates were a young team this year, led by one of the nation’s top pitchers.

But who will replace Toni Paisley?

“We were talking about that as a staff," acknowledged Kee. "We’ve got some people coming in and in the program that we think will be fine."

"But I would hate to come in and have to take over for her,” Kee joked.

Pirates plan Mississippi business trip

Billy Godwin and the East Carolina baseball squad take the momentum of a sweep over Tulane into this week’s Conference USA tournament.

The Pirates, the No. 3 seed, are is matched up with Houston, Tulane and Southern Miss in their bracket.

The team with the best record in the bracket advances to Saturday’s championship game.

East Carolina opens the tournament with a game against Houston on Wednesday afternoon. Shawn Armstrong will get the start in the opener.

Armstrong got the series clinching win over the Cougars earlier this season. He went five innings and gave up just two runs and six hits. He struck out eight in the 12-2 victory.

Michael Wright will start on the mound for East Carolina on Thursday against Tulane. Wright and Brad Mincey combined on a two-hitter in the Pirate’s 5-1 series opening win over Tulane last Thursday.

ECU ace Seth Maness will then start against No. 2 seed Southern Miss on Friday. Maness got the victory in the third game of the series with the Golden Eagles. In that game the Pirates built a 7-0 lead, and then held on for the 7-6 victory.

That would leave southpaw Kevin Brandt to start the championship game on Saturday, if the Pirates get that far.

“We don’t really have a lefty out of the pen,” said Godwin. “So you may see him early and things could change. That’s our plan right now.”

Godwin is adamant that his team is in Mississippi this week for only one reason.

“We are here to win a championship,” said Godwin. “I told our players when we got here that we’re not here to improve our position with the NCAA Tournament or anything else. We came here to win the Conference USA championship.”

The Pirates open play on Wednesday at 5 p.m. against Houston.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

05/27/2011 12:25 AM


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