Greensboro, NC (March 17, 2002) — UNCG third baseman Penny Thompson hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the fifth inning to help UNC Greensboro claim a 7-5 victory over East Tennessee State in Southern Conference softball action this afternoon in Greensboro, NC. The Spartans win the third game in the three-game series, and take their first SoCon victory to move to 18-13-1 overall and 1-2 in the league. ETSU falls to 12-11 and 2-1 in the SoCon.
After scoring just five runs in two games yesterday, UNCG ran off four in the first inning in today's game. The Spartans placed runners on base on a walk, an error, and a hit batter when Christine Sweeney hit a two-run single to left field. The Lady Bucs made a pitching change, bringing in Courtney Jenkings (Knoxville, Tenn.) to replace Marsha Giles (Jonesborough, Tenn.), but the Spartans continued to add runs. Jennifer Moran's two-run double scored Megan Gough and Thompson for a 4-0 advantage.
UNCG added a run on Kim Benningfield's solo homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead. The Lady Bucs got on the scoreboard with a four-run fifth inning, as Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.)hit a two-run double and Rhea Holler (Peoria, Az.) added a two-run home run to make the score 5-4.
Kristy Norton was walked to lead off the fifth inning, and Thompson sent her home with a two-run homer over the centerfield fence, her seventh of the season, which gave UNCG a 7-4 lead. The Lady Bucs had a chance to tie the game in the sixth as they placed runners on first and second with two outs. An error by the Spartan first baseman allowed Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) to reach first and Amy Moore (Jacksonville, Fla.) to score, but Tiffany Vandergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.) tried to advance two bases on the error and was thrown out at third to end the inning.
Amy Poole earned the win for UNCG, allowing four runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings. Amber Watson claimed her first save as she relieved Poole in the fifth and allowed one unearned run in 2.1 innings, and did not give up a hit. Giles took the loss, giving up four runs on one hit in 0.1 innings of action.
Benningfield and Moran both went 2-of-3 to lead UNCG, while Thompson, Sweeney, and Moran all finished with two RBI. Vandergriff was 2-of-3 for ETSU, the only Lady Buc with more than one hit.
The Lady Bucs play a doubleheader against Eastern Kentucky at home starting at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19th.