CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 9, 2009) - The Charleston Southern softball team will be seeing nothing but goose eggs in its sleep tonight after Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) and Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) brought their A-game to the circle on Monday afternoon at Buccaneer Field, and tossed back-to-back shutouts, lifting ETSU to a sweep over the Big South Conference foe. Hardy picked up her sixth straight win with a 1-0 victory in game one, and Gilbert led the Lady Bucs to a 5-0 win in the nightcap.
The Lady Bucs have been flying high through their first 15 games of the season, as ETSU moved its record to a program best 11-4 and have won eight of its last nine. Charleston Southern dropped to 11-12 on the season.
Kate Powell (Johnson City) extended her hitting streak to a season-high seven straight games after picking up singles in both games and scoring the game-winner in the opening contest. Meanwhile, sophomore Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) snapped out of an early season slump after going 2-for-4 on the day, and drove home Powell with her single in the top of the seventh in the first game. Freshman outfielder Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) also shined for the Lady Bucs today, as she hit .500 (2-4) with a double and a run scored.
After being limited to only three hits in game one, ETSU woke up with nine hits and five runs in the nightcap.
ETSU received all the offense they needed after scoring three runs in the top of third. Martin began the inning with a double to right and Powell - who was attempting to sacrifice her teammate over to third with a bunt - reached when first baseman Megan Hall committed an error. Hall continued to have trouble with the ball at first and led to the Lady Bucs' first run of the game, as she muffed a throw on a Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) grounder, which plated Martin. Then, a third error by Charleston Southern brought home two more Lady Buccaneer runners. Jamie Wellons suffered the error after she tried to gun down Powell at home, but after a low throw home ended up going in the dugout, McCoy was given two bases and scored the third Lady Buccaneer run from second.
With Gilbert cruising in the circle, the Lady Bucs added two more insurance runs in the seventh thanks to Jessie Hackworth's (Clinton, Tenn.) two-out double to left, which scored Jett and Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.).
Gilbert's stellar pitching held up after she retired three of the four Charleston Southern hitters she faced to end the seventh and helped guide the Lady Bucs to a sweep. The junior right-hander moved her mark to 4-2 after scattering three hits and striking out two.
Sondra Vetter was tagged for five runs (three earned) on nine hits and dropped to 4-3 on the season.
ETSU at Charleston Southern Game One Recap
After both teams put up goose eggs for the first six innings the Lady Bucs came through when it mattered most, as Katie Henderson's RBI single to right proved the game-winner - giving the Lady Bucs a 1-0 victory.
The game was a classic pitchers duel with only seven total hits being recorded by both teams. However, Marissa Hardy found herself on the winning side for the sixth straight time after tossing her second shutout of the season. The Rocklin, Calif. native limited the Bucs to only four hits, while tying a season high with 10 strikeouts and issuing zero walks. Hardy moved her record to 6-1 on the season. Jamie Wellons, who allowed only one run on three hits, suffered the loss and dropped to 7-8 on the season.
The Lady Buccaneer offense was held in check for the majority of the game until the ETSU bats woke up in the final inning.
Junior Katy Jett's (Talbott, Tenn.) leadoff single to left-center in the top of the first was the Lady Bucs' only hit (and base runner) until Kate Powell extended her hitting streak after leading off with a single to right in the seventh. After Powell stole second, she advanced to third on Wellons' third wild pitch of the season. Then, with no outs and Powell on third, Henderson found the right time to drive in her first run of the year, as her single to right plated Powell - giving the Lady Bucs the 1-0 lead and eventually the victory.
ETSU now heads down to the Florida sun to take part of the 2009 Under Armour Invitational this weekend. The Lady Bucs open play against George Washington at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 13.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.