Johnson City, Tenn. -- The East Tennessee State softball team earned the first three-game sweep in program history as they defeated the Appalachian State Mountaineers, 5-1 in their regular-season finale Sunday from Kiwanis Park.
Buccaneer starter Tiffany Vandergriff earned all three wins in the series after pitching a complete game gem on Sunday. She allowed five hits, no earned runs and struck out four.
The Bucs (14-33) opened the scoring in the bottom of the second after Miranda Byerly struck out, but reached on a wild pitch. Julia Chance came to the plate and hit a double, scoring Byerly. Rhea Holler next stepped up and hit a double to left center, scoring Chance. Appalachian State (13-34) cut the ETSU lead in half after scoring a run in the top of the fourth. Casey Jacobs singled to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a throwing error and subsequently moved to third on a passed ball. She would score on a single by Laura Ammarrell. After the run scored, Vandergriff retired the next three Mountaineers to end the threat.
The Buccaneers immediately responded by scoring a single run in the bottom of the fourth, running their lead to 3-1. Holler reached base on a single to left center and advanced to second on a fielderās choice by April Arnold. Holler would score on a costly error with two outs. The Bucs widened their lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs in the inning, pinch-hitter Andrea Roberts hit an infield single. She would score as Vandergriff scorched a double off of the centerfield fence. Vandergriff would cross the plate as Jessica Hodge would single to center.
After the first two batters reached base in the top of the seventh for Appalachian State, Vandergriff settled down to retire the next three batters on fly balls.
Appalachian State starter Beth McSwain also pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and four earned runs while striking out five. The Buccaneers were led at the plate by Holler, who went 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Ammarrell went 2-3 with an RBI for Appalachian State
With the win, the Buccaneers clinched the No. 5 seed in the Southern Conference Tournament, May 3-6 from Chattanooga, Tenn. The Bucs will play the UNC Greensboro Spartans at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 3.