JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 16, 2010) - Despite belting four home runs on the day, the ETSU softball team still couldn't power itself past Liberty, as the Lady Flames spoiled the Lady Bucs' home-opener Tuesday afternoon at the ETSU Softball Complex.
Senior Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) smashed her team-leading fourth homer of the year and sophomore Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) recorded her first of the season; however, Liberty defeated ETSU 6-3 in game one. Then, in the nightcap, freshman Lucy Schneider (Dade City, Fla.) posted two solo home runs, but the Lady Bucs had their rally cut short and the Lady Flames picked up the sweep with a 6-4 win in game two.
ETSU, who has lost four straight and 11 of its last 13, saw its record drop to 9-15. With the wins, Liberty improved to 12-6 on the year.
Game One Recap
Liberty scored two runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth as the Lady Flames knocked off ETSU, 6-3.
Both pitchers were dealing through the first four innings, but junior newcomer Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) hit a road block with two outs in the fifth. After keeping the Lady Flames cold through early and often, Duncan looked to have the same momentum in the fifth; however, a two-out walk proved to be too costly. Following the free pass to Jenna Eatmon, Kaylee West made Duncan pay for the extra at-bat, as she sent one flying over the fence in left-center - putting Liberty up 2-0.
The Lady Bucs, who missed out on a scoring chance in the first, cut the deficit in half thanks to Delisa's first homer of the season in the bottom half of the inning.
However, a four-run sixth broke the game open as Liberty took a 6-1 lead.
Massenzo, who was coming off all-tournament team honors at the Bayer CropScience Classic last weekend, continued to keep her bat hot. With two outs and Schneider standing on first, Massenzo found a pitch in her zone and sent the ball sailing over the center field fence - making it a 6-3 Liberty advantage.
Unfortunately, ETSU couldn't inch any closer as Katie Warrington retired four of the last five Lady Buccaneer she faced en route to improving to 5-1 on the year. Warrington was charged for all three runs on six hits. Duncan suffered the loss (5-4) after allowing six runs on five hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Game Two Recap
After being held in check early in game one, Liberty jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and hung over for a 6-4 win in the nightcap.
Trisha Massenzo extended her hitting streak to six straight games after going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Lucy Schneider also enjoyed a big afternoon by posting three hits - two home runs - while scoring three runs and driving in two.
The Lady Flames did all their damage with two outs in the first, as Jenny Law scored the first run on Kelly Strickland's RBI single to second. Strickland eventually scored the second run of the inning when Keely McMillon singled up the middle - giving Liberty the early advantage.
ETSU responded in its half of the inning when Schneider went lift off on Tiffani Smith for the first time in the game - making it 2-1.
Schneider single-handedly kept the Lady Bucs in the game, as she went yard for the second time to tie the game at two in the bottom of the third.
Just like they did late in game one, Liberty plated four runs in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead.
The Lady Bucs didn't go down without a fight, as they scored two runs in the seventh on Massenzo's two-run scoring double; however, Law made a game-ending and saving catch to give her Liberty squad the sweep. With Massenzo on second and Marlina Delisa standing as the game-tying run at the plate, the sophomore slugger looked to have found the gap in right-center. But Law's diving leap in robbed Delisa of a hit and RBI - giving the Lady Flames a two-run victory.
Senior right-hander Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) was dealt the loss (1-6) after going 4.1 innings and surrendering six runs (three earned) on eight hits. Smith earned the win and improved to 6-3. The Liberty hurler was charged for all four runs on eight hits.
The Lady Bucs return to the diamond on Saturday afternoon when ETSU hosts Presbyterian. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 3 p.m. at the ETSU Softball Complex.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.