Johnson City, Tenn. -- The East Tennessee State softball team fell in both games of a doubleheader against defending Southern Conference champions, the Chattanooga Mocs, 3-0 and 6-0 on Saturday afternoon from Kiwanis Park in Johnson City.
The first game turned out to be a pitching duel as both teams went into the tenth inning scoreless.
Chattanooga (17-13) threatened in the top of the fourth as they had the bases loaded, but ETSU (3-14) pitcher Tiffany Vandergriff struck out Chattanooga outfielder Jolene Martin to end the inning.
he Buccaneers best chance was when ETSU shortstop Melonie Collins led off the bottom of the fourth with a double. Chattanooga starting pitcher Beth Alexander was then replaced by Talya Trudell. Trudell proceeded to strike out the next three Buccaneer batters to end the fourth.
The most dramatic play of the game came as Chattanooga had runners on second and third with one out in the top of the fifth. UTC shortstop Leah Tucker came to the plate and lined out to centerfield. ETSU centerfielder Reah Holler fired a strike to the plate to catcher Danielle Richardson after Chattanooga second baseman Dana Reed tagged from third. Richardson lost the handle on the ball, but Reed missed the plate with her slide, and was tagged out by Richardson to end the threat.
The top of the 10th began innocently as Vandergriff got the first two Mocs out, with Trudell (placed on second at the beginning of the inning) advanced just to third. The next batter, first baseman Angela Brewer, hit a slow dribbler to short, where Collins made a strong throw, but Brewer beat it to first and Trudell scored. Catcher Jaci Welsh then came to the plate and hit a triple to right field, scoring April Hudson, who was pinch running for Brewer. Tucker then singled to score Welsh.
Trudell got the Buccaneers in order in the bottom of the tenth to close out the game.
Trudell earned the win with seven innings of shutout relief, allowing just two hits and striking out 11. Vandergriff pitched all 10 innings for ETSU, allowing eight hits and striking out seven.
Collins went 2-for-4 with a single and a double on the afternoon for the Bucs. Outfielder Ashleigh Herman went 1-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases for the Mocs.
Chattanooga came out fast in the second game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second on a grounder by outfielder Teri Herbert that got under Collins glove at short, scoring two runs.
In the bottom of the third, Welsh came to the plate and hit a two-out solo shot over the left field fence to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Mocs.
Chattanooga closed the scoring in the bottom of the fifth when Herbert led off the inning with a triple. She then scored on a single by Martin. Martin was driven home on a triple by Dana Reed. Reed then scored on a sacrifice fly by Brewer.
Chattanooga pitcher Awbrey Winckler dominated the game, earning the win by pitching a complete game, allowing just two hits and striking out seven. April Arnold picked up the loss for the Bucs, pitching four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.
Reed paced the Mocs with a single and a double in three plate appearances and an RBI.
The Buccaneers and Mocs square off again Sunday at 1 p.m. from Kiwanis Park.