JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 18, 2008) - The "Gold Rush" has finally ended.
After being dealt back-to-back losses the past two seasons, the Blue Team bounced back and grounded Gold, 3-2, in the fourth annual ETSU Fall Softball Classic Saturday afternoon at Metro-Kiwanis Park.
The Blue Team was led by the strong arm of junior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) and the hot bat of freshman slugger Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.). Hardy tossed a complete game (8.0 IP), and allowed two runs while fanning six Gold hitters. Delisa, a Tucson, Ariz. native, did not let the cool weather affect her play, as she went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs; including the game winner.
"I am extremely proud of the Blue Team for overcoming a lot of obstacles today and getting the job done," commented honorary Blue coach and Assistant Director for Athletic Media Relations Kevin Brown. "Both Marlina and Marissa came through with some clutch plays and the entire team contributed to this win."
The Gold squad worked out of a first inning jam when freshman right-hander Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) induced Delisa to ground out with runners on first and second. Gold used the momentum to its advantage in the bottom half of the frame as freshman short stop Chelsea O'Connor (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the inning with a walk and scored the first run of the game on a Whitney Socha (Houston, Texas) walk with the bases loaded. However, Hardy did an excellent job and buckled down to hold Gold to the lone run.
In the top of the fourth, Blue finally gained some confidence and found an answer to Morris' pitching. After being blanked by the Mt. Juliet, Tenn. native, the first time through the order, junior catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) came through with the team's first hit of the game when she found a hold in the right side of the field. Then, with one out and Massenzo on first, Delisa evened the game at one when she doubled off the fence in center.
With Hardy dealing in the circle, Blue finally attacked again in the sixth to grab a 3-1 advantage. Hardy helped her cause by leading off the inning with a double up the middle, and scored on Katy Jett's (Talbott, Tenn.) double to right-center. After Massenzo did a great job moving Jett over to third, Delisa came through again, when she drove in her second run of the day by doubling to left.
Gold tried to rally late as junior pitcher Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) flexed her muscles and stunned Hardy and the Blue team, by blasting a solo shot over the fence in left, cutting the lead to one, 3-2. Fortunately, Hardy regrouped and shut down Gold to walk away with the victory.
The Gold squad was led by Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance, Kirsten Clark, as her team suffered their first loss under her helm.
Saturday's game marked the end of a productive fall season, as well as an end to a seven year run at Metro-Kiwanis Park. The Lady Buccaneers will move into their new stadium this season, which is located behind the Kroger Shopping Center off Greenwood Drive.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.