CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 27, 2010) - Junior Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) has been a huge addition to the Lady Bucs' softball team through the early stages of the season.
On Saturday afternoon, the Ooltewah, Tenn. native continued her winning ways in the circle, as she tossed six scoreless innings and senior catcher Trisha Massenzo's (Russellville, Tenn.) RBI single in the first was all the offense ETSU would need - lifting the Lady Bucs past Rutgers 5-0 from the Frost Classic in Chattanooga. Earlier in the day, the Lady Bucs came up short against UT-Martin, 5-2.
Senior slugger Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) led the Lady Bucs in the two games on Saturday with a .500 batting average (3-6) and scored one run. Sophomore Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd, as the Chattanooga, Tenn. native went 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and run scored.
The Lady Bucs have won three of their four games in the three-day Classic and improved to 7-4 on the year.
ETSU vs. Rutgers Recap
The Lady Bucs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to Massenzo's two-out RBI single up the middle - scoring freshman Lucy Schneider (Dade City. Fla.) from second.
After Duncan struck out two of the first Scarlet Knight hitters in the bottom half of the frame, ETSU tacked on another run in the second. A leadoff walk by Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) came around to haunt Rutgers, as fellow sophomore Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) brought in the Tucson, Ariz. native with her one-out RBI double to left-center - making it a 2-0 ballgame.
With Duncan keeping the Rutgers' (0-8) hitters off the bases, the two runs were more than enough support for the junior right-hander. Duncan took a no-hitter into the fourth, but with one out, Ashley Bragg singled up the middle. Then, with Bragg on first, Duncan plunked Brittney Lindey - putting runners on first and second with one out. The Ooltewah, Tenn. native remained calm in the circle by getting Mandy Craig to hit into a fielder's choice and forced Lindsey Curran to end the inning with a fly out to left.
Duncan then worked out of a minor two-out jam in the fifth, as she gave up a pair of singles, but with runners on second and third she got Mikelyn Messina to end the inning with a pop out to second - keeping the Scarlet Knights scoreless.
ETSU plated three runs in the sixth, as the Lady Bucs took full use of an error by Rutgers at third. The Lady Bucs scored two runs on the miscue and Cheniece Cason's (Moreno Valley, Calif.) triple to right made it 5-0 when Campbell trotted home.
Sophomore Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) entered in relief to toss one perfect inning, as the Lady Bucs defeated the BIG EAST foe.
Duncan moved to 4-1 on the year after tossing six scoreless innings and allowing five hits; while striking out three and issuing zero walks. The Ooltewah, Tenn. native has now tossed 18 straight innings of allowing no earned runs (three unearned).
ETSU vs. UT-Martin Recap
Laura Lindow's two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth proved to be the difference maker, as UT-Martin pulled away with a 5-2 victory on Saturday morning.
Senior right-hander Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) suffered her first loss of the season (2-1) after allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings of work.
As a team, the Lady Bucs were held to only four hits and couldn't capitalize on three errors by the Skyhawks.
Once again ETSU struck first after taking advantage of some UT-Martin fielding miscues. Cheniece Cason led off the game with a walk and advanced to third on a fielding error by the Skyhawks' second baseman - putting Lucy Schneider (Dade City, Fla.) on first. After Schneider stole second, Katy Jett reached on a fielding error at first - scoring Cason and giving the Lady Bucs a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, ETSU tried a double steal, but UT-Martin gunned Schneider out at home and struck out Arielle Garner (Buchanan, Ga.) for the final out of the inning.
The Skyhawks (8-0) evened the game at one in the bottom half of the inning on Kenny Bain's RBI double to center. Gilbert kept the game tied and Bain stranded at second by getting the next two hitters to ground out.
The Lady Bucs missed out in the third, as ETSU had runners on first and third and no outs. However, with Amy Campbell on third and Cason at first, Schneider laid down a bunt and Skyhawk pitcher Kate Vanderham caught Campbell at third for the first out of the frame. Vanderham got the next two Lady Buccaneer hitters out, keeping the game tied at one.
After allowing the game-tying run in the first, Gilbert continued to do a solid job in the circle by facing one over the minimum through the next three innings.
Unfortunately, Gilbert made one mistake in the fifth as Laura Lindow connected on a two-run homer to left, putting UT-Martin up 3-1. The Murfreesboro, Tenn. native remained collective in the circle and sent the next three hitters down to keep it a two-run game.
ETSU made it 3-2 on Jett's sac-fly RBI in the sixth, but the Skyhawks plated a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 5-2 lead, and eventually walked away with the three-run final.
Vanderham improved to 3-0 after allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits.
ETSU wraps up play at the Frost Classic on Sunday when the Lady Bucs take on Tennessee Tech. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.