Johnson City, Tenn. (Apr. 13, 2002) -- Buccaneer freshman pitcher Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) picked up both wins as the East Tennessee State softball team defeated Furman, 5-0 and 5-4, in a Southern Conference doubleheader from Metro-Kiwanis Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
East Tennessee State (18-24, 6-8 Southern Conference) got on the scoreboard early as they scored four runs in the bottom of the first. The Bucs loaded the bases to begin the first on a single by sophomore outfielder Tiffany Vandergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.), freshman outfielder Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) reaching on an error and a single by senior designated player Melanie Collins (Greeneville, Tenn.). Vandergriff scored on a groundout by the next batter, sophomore catcher Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.). Freshman shortstop Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached on a fielder's choice to score Spetar. With two outs in the inning, freshman third baseman Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.) singled to score Collins and sophomore outfielder Rhea Holler (Peoria, Ariz.), who had earlier reached on a fielder's choice.
That four-run outburst was enough for Jenkins, who pitched masterfully in recording her second shutout of the season. Jenkins stranded Furman runners on second and third three times on the afternoon, on two occasions, the runners were there with just one out.
ETSU tacked on their final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth. Hazelwood walked to begin the inning. Sophomore pinch-hitter Julia Chance (Knoxville, Tenn.) singled down the right field line and Hazelwood, hustling all the way, scored from first.
Jenkins picked up her eighth win of the season by scattering six hits and striking out four on the afternoon. Furman's (15-16, 7-7 SoCon) Rachel Henley got the loss (8-6), giving up five hits and two earned runs while striking out four.
Five different Bucs got hits in game one, with Lane leading the team with two RBI. Furman leftfielder Kristin White recorded three hits in a losing effort.
Game two started out similarly as the Bucs jumped out to a 4-0 lead. East Tennessee State again took the lead in the first inning as Spetar reached on an error and scored on a single to center by Clark.
ETSU plated three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Lane singled to lead off the inning, and scored on a single by Collins. Senior second baseman April Arnold (Mountain City, Tenn.), running for Collins, and Spetar scored on a two-out single by Holler.
The Paladins came right back in the top of the sixth and scored four runs to tie the game. With two outs, third baseman Kate Morrison reached on a bunt single. Right fielder Jessica Matthews followed with a double to score Morrison. Matthews came home on a single to centerfield by first baseman Jessica Griffin. After a single by designated player Melissa Hutton, Griffin scored on an error. Hutton crossed the plate to tie the game on a subsequent wild pitch.
The score was still tied at four in the bottom of the seventh when the Bucs would score the deciding run. Collins reached on an error, then was pinch run for by Arnold. Arnold advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Clark. Holler then came to the plate and laced a single to right center to score Arnold and give ETSU the win.
Jenkins came in to pitch the seventh and earned her second win of the day and her team-leading ninth of the season (9-8). Furman's Meagan Johnson (4-6) pitched the first 6.1 innings of the game, and took the loss.
Holler and Hazelwood each recorded two hits for the Bucs, with Holler leading the team with three RBI. Matthews led the Lady Paladins, going 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Buccaneers and Lady Paladins will play the final game of their three-game weekend series Sunday at 1 p.m. from Metro-Kiwanis Park in Johnson City, Tenn.