CHATTANOOGA, TN -- Junior hurler Rachael Stern threw a
complete-game shutout while Leshe Russell and Katie
Ballard combined for five hits and five RBI to lead
second-seeded College of Charleston to a 7-0 victory over
sixth-seeded East Tennessee State in the 2004 SoCon
Stern had the Bucs’ hitters stymied for most of the
afternoon, scattering just two hits while striking out
five. With the win, Stern improved to 21-9 on the year.
The Cougars got on the board first with a pair of runs in
the third inning. Ballard got the inning started with a
single up the middle, and she advanced to second when
Natalie Smith was hit by a pitch. Ballard advanced to
third on a Leshe Russell flyout, and Brooke Flowers then
drove in Ballard for the game’s first run with a
deep foul out to left field. Smith came around to score
from first base on a fielding error on Mary Beth
Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.), the Bucs’ shortstop.
Ballard drove in Charleston’s third run in the top
of the fourth inning. Darcy Johnson reached on a
fielders’ choice and came around to score when
Ballard hit a double to the left-centerfield wall.
Charleston upped its lead in the sixth inning when Ballard
ripped a run-scoring single to right field, bringing home
Johnson. Later in the inning, Russell belted her 10th
home run of the season, a three-run shot that gave the
Cougars their winning margin, 7-0.
Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.) and Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.) each picked up a hit for
the Bucs. Belinda Barrera (Fayetteville, N.C.) was credited with the loss,
falling to 10-15 on the season.
Charleston (42-21, 14-6) advances to play Chattanooga, who
downed Elon 11-1, on Saturday at 3:30. ETSU (29-33, 8-13)
will play Appalachian State at 12:30 in Saturday’s
second elimination game.