Johnson City, Tenn. (Mar. 10, 2002) -- East Tennessee State softball completed the Western Kentucky University/Ramada Inn Spring Fling by falling to Bradley, 9-1, and defeating Morehead State, 8-5, Sunday from Bowling Green, Ky.
The Bucs (8-10) finished the weekend tournament with a 3-3 record after defeating Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Morehead State twice and falling to host Western Kentucky and Bradley twice.
In Sunday's morning game, the Bradley (4-6) opened the scoring in the top of the second as a Brittany Mynsbyrge double scored Jessica Conant, who led off the inning by reaching on an error. But East Tennessee State immediately responded by plating a run of their own in the bottom of the frame.
Freshman third baseman Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.) led off the bottom of the second with a walk and was advanced to third on a single by sophomore first baseman Miranda Byerly (Candler, N.C.). Lane would score on an RBI single by sophomore leftfielder Rhea Holler (Peoria, Ariz.). But Bradley starting pitcher Sandra Britt shut down the Bucs for the remainder of the contest as the Braves would score eight unanswered runs to take the game, 9-1.
ETSU senior pitcher Marsha Giles (Jonesborough, Tenn.) went the distance, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits, striking out two. Giles' record is now 3-4 on the season. The Bucs had three hits on the afternoon, singles by Holler, Byerly and sophomore catcher Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.).
In the afternoon session, East Tennessee State and Morehead State (3-11) both jumped out of the gates quickly, each scoring three runs in the first inning. Morehead State's Natalee Owens doubled to right center off of Buccaneer starter Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) to score third baseman Nikki Brock for the first run of the game. After advancing on a passed ball, Owens would score on a triple by centerfielder Toni Orr. Orr scored the third and final run of the top of the first on a bunt single by catcher Kaci Walker.
East Tennessee State then caught fire, scoring the first three of eight unanswered runs in the bottom of the first. After two outs were recorded, Clark walked and senior shortstop Melanie Collins (Greenville, Tenn.) reached on an error. Clark and Collins scored the first runs for the Bucs, crossing the plate on a single through the right side by Holler, who advanced to second on the throw. Holler would score on a single by Lane, who was tagged out after a rundown.
The Bucs scored two more runs in the bottom of the second, with sophomore Julia Chance (Knoxvile, Tenn.) beginning the rally with a one-out double to right center. Chance advanced to third on a single by freshman catcher Amy Moore (Jacksonville, Fla.). Chance and Moore came home on a single by sophomore second baseman Tiffany Vandergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.) and a subsequent throwing error.
ETSU put another run on the board in the bottom of the third. Again with two outs, the Bucs would come through, with Chance singling to left field to score Holler.
East Tennessee State's bats cooled off for the next two innings, but would heat back up in the bottom of the sixth. Chance led the inning off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a walk by Moore, senior second baseman April Arnold (Mountain City, Tenn.), pinch running for Chance, scored scored on a single to centerfield by Vandergriff. With two outs, Collins singled up the middle to plate Moore and make the score 8-3.
Morehead State got on the board again, as they scored two runs in the top of the seventh, but their rally was not enough as the Bucs prevailed, 8-5.
Jenkins (3-3) pitched a complete game, allowing two earned runs on 10 hits, striking out six. Vandergriff, Lane and Chance each had two hits against Morehead State, with Vandergriff and Holler collecting two RBI and Moore and Holler scoring two runs each.
The Bucs return to action on March 14 in a doubleheader against Elon at 2:30 p.m. in Elon College, N.C.