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Strong pitching, balanced hitting guides Bucs to split at USF Under Armour Showcase
3/10/2012 | Clearwater, Fla. | Attendance: 0
3/10/2012 | Clearwater, Fla. | Attendance: 0
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Bucs blank Wagner; suffer one-run setback to Temple
CLEARWATER, Fla. (March 10, 2012) – Freshman Whitney Leon (Dandridge, Tenn.) tossed a one-hit shutout and all nine Buccaneer starters recorded a hit, as the ETSU softball team bounced back in a big way to earn split on day two of the USF Under Armour Showcase by blanking Wagner, 12-0, in five innings at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex. Earlier on Saturday, the Blue and Gold suffered their sixth one-run loss of the season when Temple scored the game-winning run on a passed ball in the sixth to defeat the Bucs, 4-3.
After recording six hits against Temple, the Buccaneer offense exploded for 18 hits versus Wagner, including a perfect 4-for-4 performance by freshman Haley Thompson (Nicholson, Ga.). The 18-hit effort against the Seahawks was the second highest hit total by ETSU this season, along with its fifth 10-plus hit game in 2012.
Joining Thompson with a solid afternoon was fellow freshman Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) as she recorded four hits in five at-bats in the two games, while sophomore Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) went 3-for-4 with a double, run scored, and two RBI at the dish. As a team, the Bucs hit .414 (24-58) with four doubles, a triple, and a team-leading sixth home run by sophomore transfer Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.).
With the split, ETSU has won five of its last nine and moved its record to 7-14 on the year.
The Bucs look to cap off the weekend with a winning record when ETSU takes on Long Island on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
The Buccaneer offense pounded out 18 hits, while freshman right-hander Whitney Leon tossed a one-hit shutout as ETSU walloped Wagner, 12-0, in five innings on Saturday afternoon in Clearwater.
Leon – who tossed her first collegiate shutout – retired 16 of the 18 hitters she faced en route securing her team-leading fourth win of the season. Meanwhile, at the plate, all nine of ETSU’s starters recorded a hit, and Casey Horner, Jackie Baird, and Haley Thompson all drove in two runs each.
Horner belted her sixth homer of the season, while Baird and Thompson combined to go 7-for-8 with a double, two runs scored and four RBI. Joining the Buccaneer trio was the solid effort from senior Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) as she went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI.
ETSU scored in all but one of the five innings as the Blue and Gold used a pair of five-run innings to break away from the Seahawks.
The Bucs missed a chance to make a statement in the top of the first as ETSU only scored one run and left the bases loaded. Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) led off with a double to right-center and later scored on Alex Everett’s RBI single to center, but following walks to Horner and Tara Hartnett (Snellville, Ga.), the Blue and Gold couldn’t find the big hit to drive in more runs. Olivia Zwick struck out Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) looking – and after Baird just missed extra bases when her hit down the first base line was called foul – she flied out to right to end the inning.
Fortunately, the Bucs made up for the small inning in the second by capitalizing on a costly Seahawk error en route to plating five runs on six hits to expand their lead to 6-0. Thompson drove in the second run on an RBI single to center – and Horner made the Seahawks pay for an error at first which would’ve ended the inning – as she launched a two-run home run over the fence in left to give the Blue and Gold a four-run advantage. The Bucs weren’t done scoring after Horner’s team-leading sixth homer of the season as Delisa and Baird provided ETSU with RBI singles, giving the Blue and Gold a six-run cushion.
After being held without a run in the third, the Bucs had some fun in the fourth when ETSU brought 10 batters to the plate and saw its lead balloon to 11. ETSU put its first five hitters on to start the inning as Hartnett and Delisa worked back-to-back walks, while Baird’s RBI double to left-center starting the barrage of scoring. From there, Campbell sent a laser right back up the middle to bring in Hartnett, and Thompson’s RBI single through the left side gave the Blue and Gold a nine-run advantage. The Bucs took full use of some control issues by Samantha Bedker in the circle as she hit Horner to load the bases and also plunked Sade Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) on the next at-bat to plate the fourth run of the inning. Hartnett capped off the scoring when her RBI single to left made it 11-0.
Senior Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) wrapped things up when her sac-fly RBI in the fifth scored Campbell, pushing ETSU’s lead to 12-0.
Leon didn’t need the entire allotment of runs her Buccaneer teammates fronted her as she only allowed one single and walked two hitters in the five innings of work.
Wagner’s (0-9) lone hit came from lead-off hitter Kristen Matteoni in the third inning.
Zwick – who was one of three pitchers used in the game – was dealt the loss after issuing six runs (two earned) on eight hits in 1.2 innings of action.
Despite battling from a three-run deficit to pull even at three in the sixth, the Bucs couldn’t get over the hump as Temple plated the game-winning run on a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth to capture the one-run victory, 4-3.
The Owls (5-7) struck for three runs on three hits in the first inning, but after that sophomore right-hander Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) held Temple to the one unearned run on four hits for the remainder of the contest. Unfortunately, Wolff suffered the loss (3-6) as she was tagged for four runs (three earned) on seven hits in seven innings.
Junior outfielder Tara Hartnett provided the big hit for the Blue and Gold when her first collegiate triple in the sixth scored the game-tying runs, while Sam Lower put the Bucs on the board in the third with a RBI double to left-center.
However, after being shutout in their first game against Western Michigan on Saturday morning, the Owls struck for three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first to grab a 3-0 lead. Temple scored its first two runs on Stephanie Pasquale’s bases loaded single to right, while Kayla Cook drove in Sarah Prezioso on a sac-fly RBI to right, giving the Owls a three-run advantage.
Despite getting solid contact on some pitches, the Bucs had nothing to show for it as Jessica Mahoney retired eight consecutive ETSU batters to start the game, until Haley Thompson and Lower laced a pair of two-out doubles in the third, making it a 3-1 game. Thompson began the surge with a two-bagger to right-center, and after Lower battled through the count, she finally smacked a 3-2 pitch to left-center to bring home Thompson. However, Mahoney limited the damage to the one run as she struck out Annie Martin swinging to end the inning.
Temple’s top-notch defense kept the Blue and Gold off the board in the fourth when Alex Everett reached on a one-out single through the right side and would’ve moved to third, but Wolff was robbed of extra bases when Lacey McKeon laid out for a diving catch in right-center for the second out of the inning. From there, Hartnett was hit by a pitch, but the Bucs left two runners stranded when Mahoney forced Marlina Delisa to pop one back to the circle to end the frame.
The Bucs again posted another two-out rally in the sixth courtesy of Hartnett’s triple to left, but the Snellville, Ga. native was left stranded as the go-ahead run when Amy Campbell grounded out to first.
Unfortunately, the game didn’t remain tied for long as the Owls used some fielding miscues and fluke plays to pull ahead, 4-3, in the bottom of the inning. Cook reached on a leadoff fielding error by Lower at short and quickly moved to second as no one was covering the bag. From there, Cook was replaced by pinch runner Alysse Pujol and she advanced to third via a sac-bunt. Temple had runners on the corners after Meaghan Marley singled back to the circle, and Pujol scored the game-winning run on a passed ball when pinch hitter Christina Sykora struck out swinging.
ETSU put the game-tying run on in the seventh after Lower was hit by a pitch, but the Bucs couldn’t cap off the rally.
Mahoney earned the win (2-1) after giving up three runs on six hits in the complete game effort.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.