JOHNSON CITY, TENN. (April 5, 2005) - The Lady Bucs softball squad hosted the Winthrop Eagles in non-conference action today at Metro Kiwanis Park where the visitors managed 5-3, and 7-4 victories for the afternoon sweep. With the loss, the Bucs fall to 17-23 for the year, while the Eagles improve to 24-17 thus far in 2005. Leading the way for ETSU this afternoon was senior Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) who tallied two RBI and one hit, while freshman Melissa McCall (Kingsport, Tenn.) added two hits for ETSU.
Both teams started game one slow offensively until the top of the fourth inning when the Eagle bats managed to post two runs taking the early advantage. ETSU answered in the bottom of the fifth inning as Lady Bucs left fielder Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.) forced Eagle pitcher Shahna Ashard into a two-out bases-loaded walk nearing the Winthrop lead at 2-1.
The Eagles tallied one run in the top of the sixth, however the ETSU offense found fire as Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.) singled to open the inning and a Stephanie Gaynord (Manassas, Va.) single to center field gave ETSU runners in scoring position with just one out in the bottom of the sixth. After an Eagles past ball, Lane advanced to third and Gaynord to second, a Jessica Lonsinger (Dale City, Va.) sacrifice fly sent Lane home for the Bucs' third run of the game. Freshman Amanda Haverman (Kirkwood, Mo.) smashed a two-out double into the center field fence to score Gaynord and the Bucs evened the score 4-4.
A two-run seventh inning for the visiting Eagles gave them the 5-3, and eventual victory as the Bucs offense was held silent in the bottom of the final inning of game one. McCall tallied two hits in the contest, while Lady Bucs pitcher Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) allowed eight hits with two strikeouts for the day.
The Eagles struck early in game two scoring one run in the top of the first taking the early 1-0 lead. Lady Bucs pitcher Belinda Barrera (Fayetteville, N.C.) and Winthrop pitcher Kjersti Johnson managed to hold the opponents scoreless until the Eagles threatened again in the top of the fourth scoring two runs strengthening their lead at 3-0. After a Sprague walk and advance to second, a Hazelwood single sent Sprague to the plate for ETSU's first run of game two in the bottom of the fifth inning, however a four-run sixth inning for the visitors gave them the 7-1 advantage that would hold the remainder of the contest.
A strong rally by the ETSU bats in the bottom of the seventh wasn't enough, as Winthrop took game two 7-4 and the series sweep. For the Bucs in the second contest of the afternoon, Hazelwood posted two RBI and one single, while Sprague and Lane each tallied one run in the losing effort.
ETSU returns to action when they travel to race Radford this Thursday for the non-conference doubleheader against the Highlanders. Game times are set for 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.