JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 9, 2010) - The ETSU softball team was looking to improve its positioning in the conference standings on Friday night, but Jacksonville had other plans in store by taking two from the Lady Bucs in the River City.
The Dolphins took advantage of seven ETSU walks in game one and went on to take the opener, 4-2. Then in the nightcap, Jacksonville got a three-run homer from Katie Kellly in the second inning and the Dolphins went on to sweep the Lady Bucs, 8-2.
With the pair of losses, ETSU has now lost six straight and dipped to 14-26, 3-7; while Jacksonville improved to 25-15, 4-6.
GAME ONE RECAP
The Lady Buccaneer pitching staff recorded seven walks - including five straight in the fifth inning - and the Dolphins trotted by ETSU with a 4-2 victory in game one.
ETSU received RBI singles from Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) and Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.), but it wasn't enough offense to power the Lady Bucs past Jacksonville.
ETSU found itself in a hole early as Darci Gilbert's (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) throwing error with two outs in the first led to Jacksonville taking a 2-0 lead. With two outs and runners first and second, Kayla Shavers hit one back to Gilbert in the circle, but the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native missed the target at first, leading to Amanda Schmidt scoring the first run of the game. The Dolphins plated their second run when Olivia Kline singled through the left side.
In third, the Lady Bucs got out of a jam thanks to Amy Campbell's (Chattanooga, Tenn.) great grab on Sarah Simon's liner to third, which doubled up Kayla Ouellet as she broke home on the play. Gilbert worked out of the inning by getting Shavers to ground out.
After leaving a runner stranded in each of the first three innings, ETSU finally broke through in the fourth. Senior Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) was the first of three consecutive Lady Buccaneer players to reach base by singling up the middle - and after Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) was safe on a fielder's choice sac-bunt - Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) was plunked in the knee to load the bases. Unfortunately, the Lady Bucs were only held to one run as Delisa scored Massenzo on an RBI single through the right side - making it a 2-1 game. However, ETSU gave the Dolphins a huge break with a base running blunder, as Henderson broke home on Campbell's short fly out to center, but the junior catcher was tagged out in a rundown - giving Jacksonville the double play. Then, with runners on second and third, Ashley Iveson left the Lady Bucs stranded by striking out Arielle Garner (Buchanan, Ga.) to end the inning.
ETSU made up for the blunder an inning later and tied the game at two when Jett blasted an RBI single to center - scoring Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.).
The game wasn't tied for long; though, as Jacksonville capitalized on some control issues by the Lady Buccaneer pitchers. ETSU tossed five consecutive walks and the Dolphins plated two runs on no hits to grab a 4-2 lead after five innings.
Kline entered in relief and retired the final six hitters she faced to record the save. Iveson improved to 11-6 on the year after allowing two runs on seven hits in five innings of work. Gilbert suffered the loss (4-5) after surrendering all four runs (two earned) in 4.1 innings.
GAME TWO RECAP
After not tacking on runs early, Jacksonville made the Lady Bucs pay as Katie Kelly's three-run homer proved to be the game-winning hit and the Dolphins capped off a sweep with the 8-2 victory.
ETSU wasted a chance to grab an early lead after leaving runners on second and third in the first. Cheniece Cason and Lucy Schneider (Dade City, Fla.) both reached base to begin the game, but after moving into scoring position, Sarah Sigrest retired the next three Lady Buccaneer hitters to get out of the jam unscathed.
The same couldn't be said for the Dolphins in the bottom half of the inning as Jacksonville plated two runs on two hits to take a quick 2-0 lead.
Once again the Lady Bucs let a scoring opportunity go by the wayside as Katie Henderson led off the inning with a double to left and moved over to third on a wild pitch. However, Sigrest sent down the next three hitters to keep ETSU off the board.
Jacksonville broke the game open in the second when Katie Kelly cleared the bases and gave the Dolphins a 5-0 cushion with a three-run homer to left.
The Lady Bucs finally got on the board in the third when Schneider doubled home Cason and Marlina Delisa's RBI ground out drove in Schneider - cutting the Dolphin lead to 5-2.
The Dolphins added to their lead in the fifth by pushing three runs home to take an 8-2 advantage.
ETSU was held scoreless for the final four frames and the Dolphins cruised to the six-run victory.
Sophomore right-hander Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) saw her record drop to 1-6 after allowing five runs on three hits and three walks in 1.2 innings. After earning her first collegiate save in game one, Olivia Kline entered in relief to pick up the win (7-4). Kline tossed five innings of two-hit ball and kept the Lady Bucs scoreless in seven total innings on Friday.
The Lady Bucs look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon when ETSU faces North Florida. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 1 p.m.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.