JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 3, 2010) - Junior Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) gave the Lady Bucs a three-run lead with her three-run homer in the fourth, but Florida Gulf Coast's Hayley O'Mara belted a pair of two-run homers - including the game-winning shot in the seventh - as the Eagles rallied to a 5-4 victory in game one. The Eagles capped off the sweep by scoring nine runs in the first two innings and FGCU held off a Lady Buccaneer comeback with an 11-7 win in the nightcap.
The two losses snapped ETSU's four-game winning streak and the Lady Bucs dipped to 14-22, 3-5 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, after being swept by USC Upstate on Friday, the Eagles bounced back and improved to 17-23, 6-4.
Freshman Whitley Hensley (Erwin, Tenn.) found her stroke at the plate after entering as pinch-hitter in the fourth inning of game one. Hensley went 4-for-5 (.800) with two runs scored and a RBI on the day. Henderson also fueled the Lady Bucs' offense as she hit .429 (3-7) with two home runs, three runs scored and five RBI.
GAME ONE RECAP
Katie Henderson belted her first home run of the season with a three-run bomb in the fourth, but Florida Gulf Coast came back on Hayley O'Mara's two-run home run in the seventh to cap off the 5-4 rally.
Senior right-hander Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) had her two-game winning streak snapped as she suffered the loss (4-3). Gilbert allowed the two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings of work. FGCU's Catherine McDaniel earned the win by going all seven innings and issuing four runs on seven hits.
The Lady Bucs grabbed a 1-0 lead when Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) drove in Lucy Schneider (Dade City, Fla.) with an RBI single to short.
Florida Gulf Coast quickly responded with a run of its own in the top of the second on Tiffani Upchurch's RBI double to left. The Eagles were prime for a big inning as they chased starter Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) from the circle after Duncan hit Nicole Boswell with one out in the inning. However, senior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) entered and did an excellent job keeping the game tied at one. Hardy forced the next to Eagle hitters to fly out to end the inning.
From there, Hardy kept the Lady Bucs in the contest and Henderson rewarded the Rocklin, Calif. native with the three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth - putting the Eagles in a debacle as ETSU led 4-1.
However, with the wind howling out to left-center, the Eagles took advantage of the gusts as O'Mara belted the first of two, two-run homers in the fifth inning - making it a 4-3 contest. Hardy's day was done following the bomb and Gilbert entered in relief. Gilbert retired the first to FGCU hitters she faced to get out of the fifth.
Gilbert was in line to get her first save of the season but with one out and a runner on second, O'Mara found a 2-0 pitch to her liking - and this time - sent a rocket flying over the fence in right-center - giving FGCU its first lead at 5-4.
McDaniel retired five of the last six ETSU hitters she faced to record the win for the Eagles.
GAME TWO RECAP
After trailing for most of the game in the opener, FGCU plated nine runs in the first two innings and the Eagles held off a late Lady Buccaneer comeback with an 11-7 victory.
The Eagles capitalized on some Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) control issues in the first, as the sophomore hurler hit three of the first four Eagle hitters she faced. After Morris hit the third batter and FGCU led 1-0, the Mt. Juliet, Tenn. native was pulled and Marissa Hardy entered in relief. Unfortunately, Hardy didn't have better luck as Mariah Fernandez sent the first pitch from Hardy over the fence in right to put FGCU up, 5-0.
Florida Gulf Coast continued adding runs on the board the next inning as the Eagles plated four runs on four hits - extending its lead to 9-0. The Eagles scored three runs on a Courtney Platt home run and Fernandez connected on her second dinger two plays later.
In the fourth, FGCU scored its final two runs to take an 11-1 advantage.
After scoring their first run on a passed ball in the first, ETSU responded with a three-run fourth to make it an 11-4 contest.
Senior righty Darci Gilbert tossed 3.2 innings of one-hit ball to keep Florida Gulf Coast from winning via the run rule.
ETSU never let down and Katie Henderson's two-run homer in the seventh made it 11-6. Eventually the Lady Bucs tacked on their seventh and final run on Arielle Garner's (Buchanan, Ga.) RBI single to right - scoring Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) from second.
Morris, who didn't record an out, suffered the loss (1-5) after being tagged for four runs on one hit. Kelci Breaux earned the win (6-7) after allowing six runs (four earned) on 11 hits in 6.1 innings.
The Lady Bucs return to action on Tuesday evening when ETSU travels to Blacksburg for a doubleheader with Virginia Tech. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.