JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 18, 2009) - When the ETSU softball team takes a look back at Tuesday's doubleheader with North Florida later in the year, the Lady Bucs will know they let two games slip right through their fingertips.
The Lady Bucs left a total of 15 baserunners stranded in two games, and after entering Atlantic Sun play red-hot, the Ospreys quickly cooled ETSU off by sweeping the Lady Bucs out of their newly built ETSU Softball Complex. UNF blanked the Lady Bucs 5-0 in game one and the Ospreys capped off the day by winning a 10-inning thriller, 3-2, in the nightcap.
ETSU, who entered league play winning 15 of its first 20 non-conference games, saw its record drop to 15-7, 0-2 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, UNF remained hot as the Ospreys improved to 13-15, 3-1.
Junior Darci Gilbert (
The Lady Bucs looked like they were ready to bounce back from the loss in game one, as ETSU quickly plated two runs in the first inning of the nightcap. The inning began with four consecutive singles and Trisha Massenzo's (
Once again fielding miscues haunted ETSU in the fifth and the Ospreys tied the game at two, when Nicolette Chimato scored from second on Kara Rutenbar's infield single to short. Chimato was able to score after Hackworth let the ball drop right out of her glove at first and the UNF runner touched home when the ball ricocheted into the grass in right.
ETSU missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the sixth, but the Lady Bucs left the sacks full of baserunners when Shaina Dent struck out Marlina Delisa (
Neither team made any noise in the seventh, but again the Lady Bucs looked to have some rhythm working in the bottom of the eighth.
Then, after both teams were held scoreless in the ninth, the international tie breaker was used to determine the outcome; however, in the end it benefitted UNF. The Ospreys placed Britanie Block on second to start the inning and she was quickly moved over to third on a fielder's choice. With, runners on the corners and no outs, Battaglia made up for her throwing error in the first when her sacrifice fly to center was deep enough to score Block - putting Ospreys ahead 3-2.
ETSU had one more chance in the bottom half of the inning, but Powell's sacrifice attempt failed and Cheniece Cason (
Dent moved her record to 6-4 on the year after going the distance and allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits.
ETSU vs. UNF Game One Recap
Devyn Findley - who was coming off a no-hitter against
The Ospreys received RBI doubles from (Ashley) Battaglia and (Airen) Payne in the first and took an early 2-0 lead.
ETSU had an opportunity to push some runs across the plate in the bottom half of the frame, but with runners on second and third, Findley got (Jessie) Hackworth out swinging to end any scoring threat.
The Lady Bucs had the same situation occur in the third, but again with runners in scoring position and two outs, UNF escaped without any damage when Findley forced (Amy) Campbell to pop out to second.
UNF tacked on one more run in the fifth when Battaglia homered over the fence in left-center - giving the Ospreys a 3-0 lead.
Leaving baserunners stranded was a common theme for ETSU in the game, as the Lady Bucs wasted their third chance to push runs home in the bottom of the fifth. (Annie Martin) reached on an error by (Britanie) Block at short and (Cheniece) Cason singled through the left side on the next at-bat. After the runners moved up a base - (Trisha) Massenzo was hit by a pitch - which loaded the bases with two outs. However, (Marlina) Delisa was called in to pinch hit for
UNF again escaped out of a jam in the sixth and Findley worked a perfect seventh to lead the Ospreys to their second conference win of the season.
Junior Marissa Hardy (
Jett and Massenzo led the Lady Bucs at the plate in both games. Jett went 3-for-6 with a double and run scored, while Massenzo hit .400 (2-5) and finished with one RBI.
ETSU will look to bounce back and get its first conference win of the season on Saturday afternoon when
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