Johnson City, Tenn. (Feb. 23, 2002) -- The East Tennessee softball team won their first two games of the season, defeating Marshall, 6-3, and defeating Southern Conference rival Appalachian State, 7-0, Saturday from the University of Georgia Bulldog Invitational from Athens, Ga.
In game one against Marshall (2-7), the Thundering Herd jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. But in the bottom of the inning, ETSU (2-6) scored a run of their own to tie the game at one. The Bucs continued their hot hitting in the bottom of the second, scoring three more runs to make the score 4-1.
Marshall scored a run in the fifth, but again the Bucs answered, scoring two more runs in the sixth, to make the score 6-2. The Herd tried to make a comeback in the seventh, tacking another run on the board, but 6-3 was as close as they would come.
East Tennessee State wasted no time getting on the board in game two against Appalachian State (1-5). Sophomore Tiffany Vandergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.) singled and, later in the inning, would score on a passed ball. After reaching on an error, freshman Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) scored on another error to make the score 2-0 after the first inning.
The Bucs would strike again in the second as Vandergriff belted her first homerun, plating freshman Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) who singled earlier in the inning. At the end of two innings, ETSU held a 4-0 advantage.
ETSU scored three more runs in the top of the fourth to give them their final margin of victory, 7-0. Vandergriff singled to again score Jenkins, who reached on an error. After stealing second base, Vandergriff was sent home by a double by sophomore Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.). Clark scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Miranda Byerly (Candler, N.C.).
The offensive star of the game was Vandergriff, who went 3-4 with her first home run of the season, three runs scored, three RBI and a stolen base. Senior pitcher Marsha Giles (Jonesborough, Tenn.) pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits, to collect her first career shutout.
The Bucs return to action on Sunday in the final day of the Bulldog Invitational from Athens, Ga. East Tennessee State will face Appalachian State again at Noon and then play host Georgia at 4 p.m.