Johnson City, Tenn. -- The UNC Greensboro Spartans held off a seventh inning charge by East Tennessee State to defeat the Buccaneers 4-2, and sweep the three game series.
The Spartans (26-17) took the lead, 1-0 in the top of the first as Kim Benningfield hit a line drive over the head of ETSU (8-29) centerfielder Rhea Holler. After Holler dove for the ball, Benningfield hustled around the bases and earned an inside-the-park home run.
The score remained 1-0 until the top of the fourth, when UNC Greensboro manufactured a run to take a 2-0 advantage. Penny Thompson led off the inning with a single to right field. Following a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Joy Stogner hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Thompson.
The Spartans would strike again in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs to make the game 4-0. The first run crossed the plate as Thompson scored when Amanda Johnson put down a bunt with the bases loaded that ETSU pitcher Tiffany Vandergriff could not handle. The final Spartan run would score as Andrea Harrison would score on a grounder to second by Jesse Norris.
The Buccaneers would make a spirited comeback in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Melonie Collins doubled to right field and subsequently stole third. She would score as Judith St. Clair hit a double to left field. Then with two outs, Julia Chance hit a single to centerfield, scoring St. Clair. However the rally would come to a close as Holler popped out to first base for the final out of the game.
UNC Greensboro starting pitcher Amy Poole (12-10) had a solid afternoon, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out five. Vandergriff (7-15) pitched her SoCon leading 19th complete game, allowing four runs on eight hits, striking out two.
Thompson, Poole and Norris led the Spartans with two hits each. Chance led the ETSU charge with two hits and an RBI.
The Buccaneers return to action Wednesday at 3 p.m. as they travel to North Carolina A&T.