Johnson City, Tenn. (Mar. 30, 2002) --The East Tennessee State softball team split a rainy doubleheader with College of Charleston, falling 10-8 in game one then winning 3-2 in game two, Saturday afternoon from Metro-Kiwanis Park in Johnson City.
Both team's bats were hot early in game one, with the Cougars (13-19, 3-5 Southern Conference) putting five runs on the board in the top of the second and ETSU (14-16, 4-4 SoCon) responding with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame.
College of Charleston hit five singles in the top of the second and took advantage of a few mistakes in the inning by the Bucs. The biggest blow was the final single of the inning, by Beth Long, that plated two runs making the score 5-0.
But the Bucs came right back, as freshman shortstop Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) homered to left field to lead off ETSU's half of the frame. With two outs, the Bucs rallied to score two runs as freshman outfielder Amy Moore (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled in freshman third baseman Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.) and sophomore outfielder Rhea Holler (Peoria, Ariz.) to cut the Cougar lead to 5-3.
College of Charleston expanded their lead to 6-3 in the top of the fifth when outfielder Melissa Creeger doubled in centerfielder Amanda Cone from second. The Bucs came right back again, plating a run of their own as senior first baseman Melanie Collins (Greeneville, Tenn.) laced a double off of the centerfield wall, scoring sophomore pitcher Tiffany Vandergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.).
ETSU cut the Cougar lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth, after sophomore infielder Julia Chance (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a single, and then scored on a double by Holler.
College of Charleston took a commanding 10-5 lead after scoring four runs with two outs in the top of the seventh. The big blow of the inning was a double to right center by Lindsay Wyont that scored the final three College of Charleston runs. The game seemed in hand for the Cougars, but the Bucs again came right back in the bottom of the seventh.
Vandergriff led off the inning with a homer to left field, making the score 10-6. With two outs, Chance singled to centerfield, scoring Hazelwood and sophomore catcher Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.). With the score 10-8, Holler lined out to shortstop to end the game.
Melissa Echinique picked up the win for College of Charleston, running her record to 8-8 on the season. Vandergriff went the distance for the Bucs, allowing 11 hits and six earned runs while striking out six.
Vandergriff was also one of the stars at the plate for the Bucs, as she was one of four ETSU players to record two hits on the game. Clark, Chance and Holler also had two hits each. Vandergriff and Hazelwood scored two runs each in game one, while Chance drove in two runs.
The bats were much quieter in the second game, as the Bucs pulled out a late-inning victory, 3-2. ETSU took the first advantage, 2-0 in the third inning.
Moore led off the bottom of the third with a homer over the left field fence. With two outs in the frame, Collins singled to center, scoring freshman outfielder Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) from second.
College of Charleston chipped away at the Buccaneer lead, scoring a single run in the fifth, then tying the game with another run in the sixth.
The Bucs took the lead right back, as Spetar was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, scoring Lane.
College of Charleston threatened in the top of the seventh, but ETSU freshman pitcher Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.), shut the door with two Cougars on base to earn the win.
Jenkins (6-5) pitched a complete game, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out eight. Carla Shepherd (1-3) took the loss for College of Charleston, pitching three innings, giving up three hits and one earned run.
Collins, Hazelwood and Moore notched two hits each for the Bucs in game two. The star at the plate for College of Charleston was second baseman Brooke Flowers, who went 3-4 with a run scored and two stolen bases.
With the win in game two, East Tennessee State ties their win total from last year's inaugural season of Buccaneer softball.
The Buccaneers and Cougars are scheduled to play the final game of their weekend series tomorrow at 1 p.m. from Metro-Kiwanis Park in Johnson City.