Sunday, May 05, 2002Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 5, 2001) -- East Tennessee State made a valiant comeback, scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh, but fell just short as Furman defeated the Bucs 7-6 in game 12 of the Southern Conference Softball Championships from Frost Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn. The loss gives the Bucs a 2-2 record in the tournament, eliminating ETSU from competition. Furman (23-23) held a 7-2 lead in the sixth inning, but ETSU (25-32) rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Bucs had runners at first and third with no outs, but could not push across the tying run. Furman pitcher Rachel Henley (13-11) started and picked up the win, but she had relief in the fifth. Henley came back into the game with ETSU runners at the corners and the game hanging in the balance. Henley struck out the first two batters and coaxed an infield grounder to end the game. The Paladins rapped out 13 hits with LaKerah Barr picking up three. Jessica Matthews, Morrison and Meagen Johnson had two each. Matthews and Johnson both drove in a pair of runs. ETSU senior designated player Melanie Collins (Greeneville, Tenn.) delivered a two-run single in the seventh and sophomore first baseman Miranda Byerly followed with another two-run single. Byerly was 2-for-4 and freshman shortstop Mary Beth Hazlewood (Knoxville, Tenn.) also picked up a pair of hits. Furman scored two in the first inning on an RBI single from Matthews and a sacrifice fly from Morrison. In the third, Morrison's double drove in a run and Johnson's single chased in a run. ETSU answered with single runs in the third and fifth. Sophomore pitcher Tiffany Vndergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.) stroked an RBI double in the third and senior second baseman April Arnold (Mountin City, Tenn.) delivered an RBI double in the fifth. Furman came back in the sixth with three runs when Matthew's single chased in a run and Morrison's single drove in a pair. Vandergriff (8-10) took the loss for East Tennessee State after pitching three innings and allowing four runs on six hits.
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