ROCK HILL, S.C. (Mar. 12-14, 2004) -- East Tennessee State softball won its first four contests at last weekend's Ringor Invitational hosted by Winthrop before falling to eventual tournament champion, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
ETSU got off to a thrilling start on Friday, Mar. 12 by coming from behind to defeat Central Florida, 9-5, in the opening game. The Bucs then went on to beat Hartford 10-9 in the bottom of the seventh inning. On Saturday, Mar. 13, the Bucs rallied to knock off Pittsburgh, 5-3. Later that day, ETSU prevailed 6-3 over Towson led by a remarkable performance by sophomore pitcher Belinda Barrera (Fayetteville, N.C.), who set a school record with 15 strikeouts.
The Bucs struggled on Sunday, Mar. 14 against Texas A&M-CC. The Islanders were led by tournament MVP Sarah Pauly, who posted 13 strikeouts in a 3-0 shutout against ETSU. Texas A&M-CC went on to defeat Ohio State, 6-0, in the championship game.
Freshman Stephanie Gaynord (Manassas, Va.) took home all-tournament accolades. Gaynord hit a pair of homeruns and batted .375 with six RBI in five contests. Junior Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the team in batting, hitting a .471 clip, followed by sophomore Jessica Lonsinger (Dale City, Va.) who hit .462 over the weekend.
ETSU will have some time off from playing before this weekend's 2004 Hokie Classic hosted by Virginia Tech. The Buccaneers are set to face the Hokies, along with Marshall, Southern Conference foe Appalachian State, Mt. Saint Mary's, and St. Francis.