Lady Buccaneer pitching staff has record-breaking year
DeLAND, Fla. (May 7, 2009) - Senior Cat Zyskowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.) tied the game at 2-all with a two-run scoring single in the fourth inning, but it was Nicole Peltz's two-out walk-off single in the seventh that carried Stetson to a 3-2 victory, eliminating the Lady Bucs from the Atlantic Sun Championship Thursday afternoon from Patricia Wilson Field.
The loss ended ETSU's season, as the Lady Bucs finished the 2009 campaign at 27-28. Stetson - who survived to see another day - saw its mark improve to 23-30.
Despite out-hitting the Hatters, 9-6, and having an opportunity to take the lead in the top half of the seventh, ETSU couldn't pick up the clutch RBI, which led to Peltz coming through at the right time to post her second hit of the season. Her bloop single to short left-center plated Megan Voeller - who worked a leadoff walk earlier.
Junior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) - who only lasted 1.1 innings in the first game of the day - gave the Lady Bucs everything she had, but the Florida heat took a toll on the righty late in the game. The Rocklin, Calif. native tossed 182 pitches total today (129 against Stetson) and worked out of numerous jams; however, the leadoff walk to Voeller proved to be critical. Hardy was taken out after the walk and suffered the loss (17-17) after allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out six and walking six (three intentionally to Andrea Migliori). Stetson's Amanda Lindsey entered in relief to start the fifth and earned the win (12-14) by tossing three scoreless innings of three-hit ball.
The Lady Bucs shouldn't be discouraged about their pitching performances, as the ETSU hurlers set six new program marks in 2009. Led by the ace of the staff, Hardy, and Lady Buccaneer pitching coach Ariel Beus, ETSU broke the single-season records in ERA (2.23), shutouts (15), hits (337), runs (153), earned runs (119), and opponent batting average (.240). Over the last two seasons the Lady Bucs have broke nine single-season pitching records - including wins (30), strikeouts (353), and appearances (63).
Stetson struck early when the hot bat of Migliori again lifted the Hatters, as she belted her third home run of the day (first of the game) over the left-center fence, putting the host team ahead, 2-0, in the bottom of the first. Migliori's bomb was her 15th of the season and 57th of her career.
The Lady Bucs threatened in the third, but after picking up consecutive one-out singles by Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) and Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.), Stetson silenced any kind of an ETSU rally. With one out and runners on the corners, junior Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) hit a slow roller to first; however, Migliori scooped up the ball and got McCoy out at the plate on the fielder's choice. Then, with Lady Buccaneers on second and third, Demers induced freshman Amy Campbell (Hixson, Tenn.) into an inning-ending fly out to deep center.
ETSU escaped a major jam in the bottom of the third. After Amy Joyce led off with an infield single, the Lady Bucs took the bat out of Migliori's hands by issuing an intentional walk. Hardy got Katie Lawrence to line out to left, but the Hatters loaded the bases when Amanda Bailey reached on a fielder's choice back to the circle. Then, with one out and the bases loaded, Hardy retired the next two Stetson hitters and escaped the inning without any harm.
Finally, ETSU broke through in the A-Sun Tournament when Zyskowski singled home a pair of Lady Buccaneer runs in the top of the fourth, snapping a 10-inning scoreless streak in DeLand and tying the game at 2-all. Junior catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) led off the frame with her second hit of the game by singling through the right side of the infield. Massenzo advanced to second on Jessie Hackworth's (Clinton, Tenn.) ground out to second - and after Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) walked - freshman outfielder Chelsea O'Connor (Knoxville) beat out an infield single to load the bases. The Lady Bucs were able to even up the game at 2-all, when Zyskowski hit a laser under the glove of Chelsea Trotto at short - leading to Massenzo and Martin coming in to score.
The Lady Bucs continued to play with fire in the bottom half of the inning, but again, walking Migliori to load the bases paid off. After the free pass, Hardy forced Lawrence to hit a 3-2 pitch into a fielder's choice at short to keep the game knotted at, 2-2.
For the third time of the game Hardy and the Lady Bucs escaped another bases loaded situation. Once again a free pass to Migliori was in play, but with the sacks full of Hatters, Hardy went from 3-0 to 3-2 on Lokeinsky - and on her 124th pitch of the game - the Rocklin, Calif. native finally forced her to fly out to Jett in short right to end the sixth.
ETSU had its scoring opportunity in the top of the seventh, but with McCoy on third and Jett on second, pinch hitter Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) hit a soft tap back to the circle to end the inning.
Stetson came through with the clutch two-out hit in the bottom half of the seventh to pull off the walk-off victory.
Jett, Massenzo and McCoy all posted two-hit games and Zyskowski recorded the RBIs for ETSU.
The 2009 season came to an end with the loss and seniors Jessie Hackworth, Vicki McCoy, Kate Powell and Cat Zyskowski all finished their Lady Buccaneer careers on Thursday evening.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.