CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (February 24, 2006) - The Lady Bucs softball team fell in a pair of games on Friday, suffering setbacks to Maine, 6-4, and UAB, 13-3, at the Panera Bread Classic, hosted by UT-Chattanooga. ETSU continues to struggle in the early season, dropping its seventh-straight decision to fall to 1-7. Maine moved to 2-0 on the season, while UAB improved to 3-1.
The Lady Bucs started off strong in the top of the first against Maine, scoring one run on two hits, which came off the bats of Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.) and Mary Catherine Vercoe (Signal Mountain, Tenn.).
Rookie Vercoe, who received all-tournament honors at Mississippi State last weekend, continued to shine for ETSU with a 3-for-4 performance against the Black Bears, along with three RBIs. Sprague was also posted a multi-hit outing, going 2-for-4.
Maine quickly silenced the Lady Bucs early lead, plating a pair of runs on three hits in the inning, including a double from Ashley Waters. ETSU wouldn't lead again in the game.
Amy Kuhl lead the Blake Bears at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs on the day. Maine out-hit ETSU 13-9. Jenna Balent got the win, striking out eight and allowing just a pair of earned runs. ETSU's Brittney Lehrschall (Leland, N.C.) to the loss, now standing at 1-2 on the season. The sophomore gave up 13 hits in 28 at bats, while striking out four and walking two.
UAB peppered ETSU with 12 hits and 13 runs in the night cap, to cruise to the 13-3 victory. Amanda Haverman (Kirkwood, Mo.) was the bright spot at the plate for the Lady Bucs, slapping a pair of doubles in her two at bats. ETSU managed seven hits against the Blazers, but made five errors, which lead to five unearned runs.
The Blazers scored three runs in the top of the third and never looked back, plating three in the fifth, three more in the sixth, and four in the seventh.
Andrea Rogers and Leigh Walker paced the Blazer bats, posting three hits apiece, while Walker knocked in a game-high three runs. Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) pushed in two runs for the Lady Bucs.
Brittany Hodge earned her first win of the season on the mound, striking out six and walking two. Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) took the loss for ETSU after 4.1 innings of work, falling to 0-3 on the year.
The Lady Bucs are scheduled for another double dip tomorrow in Chattanooga, taking on Miami (Ohio) at 12:15 p.m., followed by A-Sun foe Belmont at 4:45 p.m.