JOHNSON CITY, TENN. (May 8, 2004) - The East Tennessee State (27-32, 7-13 SoCon) softball squad hosted Furman University (15-45, 7-12 SoCon) in the final home series of the 2004 regular season in a conference doubleheader at Metro-Kiwanis Park this afternoon. In front of a gathered crowd for senior day festivities, the Lady Bucs and Lady Paladins were scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when ETSU's Tiffany McVay (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.) reached first on an error by the Furman second baseman. After a Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.) sacrifice bunt, senior Julia Chance (Knoxville, Tenn.) sent a ball to the center field fence scoring McVay with the double.
ETSU pitcher McVay kept the Furman bats quiet until the top of the seventh when after a Joni Lockridge walk, and advance to second, Sarah Scott stepped to the plate blasting a one-run double to the center field fence. With two outs in the top half the Lady Paladins forced an ETSU error causing two runs to score as Furman took the 3-1 lead and the win for the first game of the afternoon.
The Lady Bucs Lindsay Lane (Erwin Tenn.) managed two hits for game one, while Kristin White had two hits for the Lady Paladins. Lockridge went 1-1 adding a walk and scored one run in the top of the seventh to tie the contest. McVay allowed six hits in the complete game loss while Paladin pitcher Rachel Henley allowed just four hits and one walk in the win.
After a relatively quiet first game offensively, the Lady Bucs started game two with a fiery start. Dani Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached first on a fielder's choice then found herself in scoring position after a Lane single. Miranda Byerly (Chandler, N.C.) stepped to the plate knocking an RBI single for ETSU's first run while senior Rhea Holler (Peoria, Az.) sent a two-run double into the outfield fence as ETSU took the early 3-0 lead. After a two-run effort for ETSU in the bottom of the second, the Lady Paladins answered in the top of the third scoring three runs to close the Lady Bucs lead at 5-3.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the fourth, Holler sent a high fly ball to the center field fence where Lady Paladin center fielder LaKerah Barr made a diving catch for the second out of the inning saving a sure-run on the play. The Lady Bucs added one run in the bottom of the third, while the Lady Paladins added two runs in the top of the fourth when Megan Jaudon singled scoring White from third. Jessica Matthews faced ETSU pitcher Belinda Barrera (Fayetteville, N.C.) hitting a single scoring Scott for the fifth Furman run.
The Lady Bucs managed to hold the one-run lead winning the second game of the day with a score of 6-5. Both teams will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as they play the final game of the 2004 regular season. Game time is set for 1:00 pm at Metro-Kiwanis Park.