Hardy, Duncan extend ETSU's winning streak to three straight
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 26, 2010) - Dominate pitching efforts from Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) and Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) carried the Lady Bucs to a pair of wins on day one of the Frost Classic on Friday in Chattanooga.
Hardy began the day tossing a one-hit, five-inning shutout over Central Connecticut State, and ETSU cruised to an 8-0 win. Then, Duncan followed that up with a one-run complete game effort in the Lady Bucs' 2-1 victory over Ball State in the afternoon.
ETSU's pitchers combined for one unearned run on eight hits; while striking out eight and walking none in 12 innings of work. Also, the right-handers held the opposition to a .186 batting average.
With the sweep, ETSU has now won three straight and improved to 6-3 on the year.
ETSU vs. Ball State Recap
Jessica Duncan was stellar once again and Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) scored the game-winning run in the sixth, as ETSU defeated Ball State, 2-1.
Cason scored both runs against the Cardinals (2-4) and the first came in the opening inning, as ETSU executed its small-ball tactics to perfection. Cason led off the inning with a single to left and advanced to second on the throw. From there, freshman Lucy Schneider (Dade City, Fla.) laid down a bunt, which moved Cason over to third - leading to Katy Jett's (Talbott, Tenn.) RBI at-bat. With one out and Cason on third, Jett sent one flying deep to left and scored the speedy senior from third on the sac-fly - putting the Lady Bucs ahead 1-0.
With Duncan doing her job keeping Ball State off the board, the one run looked like it would be enough offense to lead ETSU to victory.
However, after ETSU's defense turned two double plays - one with Schneider gunning down the tying run at the plate from left - and the other with Duncan flashing some leather in the second. With one out and Ball State runners on second and third, Alyssa Freiling lined out to Duncan and the junior right-hander quickly turned two after getting Amanda Montalto out at third as she broke home on the play.
ETSU pushed its second run home in the sixth, as Cason once again used her speed to manufacture the Lady Bucs' second run of the game. Cason led off the inning with a single to short - and like they did in the first - Schneider moved the Moreno Valley, Calif. into scoring position with a sac-bunt. After Jett singled through the left side, Cason moved to third, and she came in to score when Jett stole second. With Jett taking off for second, the Cardinals made the move to try to gun down the "Jettster;" however, the call backfired as Cason broke to the plate and scored - making it a 2-0 ETSU advantage.
Duncan looked to make quick work of Ball State in the bottom half of the inning, as she quickly retired the first two Cardinal hitters. However, Jessie Ware reached on an error and scored Ball State's only run of the game on Montalto's RBI double to cut the deficit in half. Fortunately, Duncan left Montalto stranded on second by forcing Kate Wilczynski to fly out to left and end the inning.
Then, Ooltewah, Tenn. native sent Ball State down in order in the seventh to earn her team-leading third victory of the year. Duncan (3-1) scattered seven hits and struck out two batters in seven innings. Audra Sanders was dealt with her second loss after allowing two runs on four hits while striking out seven.
ETSU vs. Central Connecticut State
Senior right-hander Marissa Hardy dominated with five innings of one-hit ball and freshman Arielle Garner (Buchanan, Ga.) went 2-for-3 with two doubles and four RBI, as the Lady Bucs cruised past Central Connecticut State 8-0 in their opening game at the Frost Classic.
Hardy fanned six and allowed a one-out single in the fifth for the Blue Devils' only hit of the morning, as the Rocklin, Calif. native earned her first win of the season. Meanwhile, Garner gave Hardy the only offense she would need, as the Buchanan, Ga. native's double in the bottom of the first plated Lucy Schneider - giving ETSU the 1-0 lead.
With Hardy dealing in the circle, ETSU scored one run in the third and shortened the game with a six-run fifth.
Sophomore outfielder Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) began the fun with a leadoff single to right. Martin would eventually come around to score when Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) doubled to center - making it 3-0. From there, Central Connecticut (0-1) got sloppy in the field, as Cheniece Cason and Schneider reached on back-to-back errors. With no outs and runners on first and second, Katy Jett reached on a fielder's choice, when pitcher Liz Montemurro threw the ball away trying to get Cason out at third. Then, with the bases juiced, Garner cleared the bags with her second double of the morning - giving ETSU a seven-run cushion. The Lady Bucs ended the game on Katie Henderson's (Jackson, Tenn.) RBI single up the middle, which gave ETSU the 8-0 victory.
Hardy (1-1) retired the first 13 hitters she faced, but Sara Budrick spoiled her perfect game bid with the single in the fifth. However, Hardy struck out the last two Central Connecticut State hitters she faced to earn the win. In total, Hardy sat down 15 of the 16 batters in the game.
Montemurro suffered the loss after allowing eight runs (three earned) on nine hits.
The Lady Bucs return to action on Saturday when ETSU faces UT-Martin (10 a.m.) and Rutgers (3 p.m.).
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.