Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 5, 2002) -- East Tennessee State freshman centerfielder Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Bucs a dramatic 4-3 victory over UNC Greensboro in game nine of the Southern Conference Softball Championships Sunday afternoon from Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Bucs took a 3-0 lead when they batted around in the bottom of the third. Freshman shortstop Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) singled with one out then stole second. Sophomore leftfielder Tiffany Vandergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.) then walked and both runners advanced a base on a fly out by Spetar. Senior designated player Melanie Collins (Greeneville, Tenn.) then blooped a single down the right field line to score both runners. East Tennessee State would then load the bases on a single by sophomore first baseman Miranda Byerly (Candler, N.C.) and a walk to sophomore rightfielder Rhea Holler (Peoria, Ariz.). Sophomore catcher Sheryl Clark drove in the final run of the inning as she walked to force in Collins.
The Spartans came back with a single run in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Christine Sweeney that drove Penny Thompson home. Thompson had earlier walked and moved to third on a double by Jennifer Aguilar.
UNCG tied the game in the sixth when Aguilar hit another double off the left-center field fence to score Benningfield, who had earlier singled. Sweeney then singled to score Aguilar.
The Bucs came into the final frame of the game tied at three when Spetar came to the plate with one out and belted a 0-1 pitch over the left-center field fence.
The solo shot made a winner out of ETSU freshman starter Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) (12-11) who went the distance, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five. Jessica Vanderploeg (11-8) took the loss for the Spartans in relief of Amber Watson.
Collins and Hazelwood each had two hits for the Bucs in the game. Collins also led the team with two RBI and also scored a run. Aguilar and Sweeney each collected two hits for the Spartans.
East Tennessee State runs their record to 25-31 and continues in the Southern Conference Softball Championships at 5 p.m. against the winner of the Furman-College of Charleston matchup at 2:30 p.m. UNC Greensboro concludes their season with a 35-30-1 record.