May 21, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas - Senior Marina Gusman-Brown hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, and junior Toni Paisley tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout to lead the East Carolina softball team to a 1-0 victory against No. 12 Texas in an elimination game of the NCAA Austin Regional on Friday night at Red and Charline McCombs Field. East Carolina improved to 44-17, while the host Longhorns, the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, concluded their season with an overall mark of 43-15.

With Friday night's win, East Carolina advances to Saturday's regional championship game at 1 p.m. Central against BYU. The Pirates would need to defeat BYU twice on Saturday to secure the NCAA Austin Regional title, while BYU needs just one win to advance to next week's NCAA Super Regional.

East Carolina plated the only run of the pitching-dominated contest when Gusman-Brown led off the bottom of the sixth by launching a 1-0 pitch over the wall in center field. It marked her team-leading 13th homer of the year.

Paisley (31-10) picked up the victory for the Pirates with her 34th complete-game effort of the season, striking out 10 batters without a walk during the evening.

Blaire Luna (30-10), the Big 12 Conference Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, took the loss for the Longhorns. Luna allowed one run on three hits over her 6.0 innings while striking out 11 and walking four. It marked the 28th complete game of the year for Luna, the fourth-best single-season total in UT history.

Charina Sumner and Cristen Aona joined Gusman-Brown as the only Pirates to record a hit during the contest. UT's lone singles came courtesy of Loryn Johnson in the second inning and Taylor Hoagland in the sixth. The only other Longhorn to reach base on the night was Brittany Chalk, who reached on an error by Paisley in the third.

Post-Game Notes

  • East Carolina advances to Saturday's regional championship game at 1 p.m. Central against BYU. East Carolina would need to defeat BYU twice on Saturday to advance to next week's NCAA Super Regional. BYU needs just one win on Saturday to advance to the NCAA Super Regional.
  • ECU improved to 3-5 all-time in NCAA Tournament play (three appearances).
  • Texas fell to 32-22 all-time in NCAA Tournament play (11 appearances).
  • Toni Paisley registered her 34th complete game of the year (in 38 starts).
  • Marina Gusman-Brown's solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning was her 13th of the season.
  • Blaire Luna recorded her 28th complete game of the season, the fourth-highest single-season total in UT history.
  • Luna's 11 strikeouts marked the 20th time this year that she has reached double figures in strikeouts.
  • With her strikeout of Sissy Jimenez to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning (seventh of the game), Luna recorded her 400th strikeout this season. She became just the second person in UT history to reach the 400-strikeout plateau in a season (finished the year with 404 strikeouts, the fifth-best single-season total in school history). Cat Osterman (2002-03, 05-06) achieved the feat in each of her four seasons in Austin.
  • Taylor Hoagland's steal of second base in the top of the sixth inning was her 17th of the season. This is tied for the 10th-best single-season total in UT history.