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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports
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From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
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By Brian Bailey

No 'relief' in sight for thin pitching staff

©2005 Bonesville.net

This is the biggest week of the season for East Carolina baseball, with five games in six days.

Unfortunately, the Pirates won’t be at full strength as they run that gauntlet.

Injuries, especially to the pitching staff, have slowed the ECU express all season long.

Tuesday night’s game was no different. North Carolina erupted with an 11-run sixth inning. In a normal situation, Coach Randy Mazey would have tried to stop the bleeding with several different pitchers. In this situation, though, his guys had to try and log innings.

Forget innings, the staff was having problems getting outs. Chris Powell got just one batter out in that disastrous sixth inning. He gave up 7 earned runs in the frame.

Going into the game, Randy Mazey knew what he was up against.

“We’ve just got to hope that our young pitchers can stay out there,” Mazey said. “They’ll have to stay out there. We don’t have a choice with this many games to play.”

The Pirates are back in action tonight, hosting North Carolina State. Memphis comes to town this weekend for a three-game series.

Patience will prove to be a virtue.

This team has several young, outstanding players. Give these guys credit, because they certainly have a shot at the NCAA’s, despite all of the injuries.

Softball Pirates sailing along

East Carolina’s softball team collected the 1,000th win in school history on Sunday.

Fifty of those wins have come this season. This team is playing great softball, coached by former ECU standout Tracy Kee.

Kee has used a national recruiting philosophy with a local eye for talent to build one of the school’s best-ever teams in softball.

Former J.H. Rose stars Kelli Harrell and Mandy Nichols lead an area contingent that also includes former Conley star Paige Baggett.

Harrell is the ace on the mound as a sophomore. She frustrates hitters with a mean rise ball that most batters simply can’t catch up to. Her sunglasses also give her an intimidating look on the hill.

Nichols is a senior, and her power and leadership are paying big dividends in her final season.

Another senior, first baseman Kate Manuse, is putting on some kind of offensive show in a sport that is most known for pitching and defense.

This past week, Manuse was named the Conference USA Co-Hitter of the Week. She shared the weekly honor with Dana Kenney of DePaul.

In a three-game weekend sweep of Louisville, Manuse went 4-for-5 with a pair of home runs, a double and four RBI's. More impressive were the five intentional walks she received.

Two of those walks came in a 1-1 game on Sunday. Baseball (or softball) wisdom says you never intentionally walk a batter to move a running into scoring position. That’s the respect that Kate Manuse received from Louisville, though.

Manuse currently leads Conference USA in five offensive categories including doubles (18) and RBI's (56). She also ranks second in the league in home runs (13) and third in hits (63) and batting average (.377).

East Carolina travels to Chicago this weekend for a battle for first place against DePaul.

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02/23/2007 01:31:45 AM

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