CHARLESTON, S.C., (Feb. 18, 2011) - After fighting back to tie the game at three against Akron, the Zips scored three unanswered runs to defeat the ETSU softball team, 6-3, Saturday morning at the Cougar Classic. The Bucs dropped another close contest in the nightcap as host College of Charleston handed the Blue and Gold a 3-1 setback from the Patriots Point Sports Complex.
The Bucs dropped to 1-4 after suffering the pair of losses; however, three of ETSU's four losses have been decided by three runs or less.
Freshman Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) has now hit safely in all five games this season and is hitting a team-leading .462 (6-13) with two doubles on the year. Junior outfielder Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) has a hit in all four games this weekend, while senior Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) is hitting .417 (5-12).
After scoring three runs in the third to tie the game at three, Akron plated three unanswered runs to defeat the Bucs, 6-3.
Once again Katie Henderson produced most of the scoring for the Blue and Gold as she went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Nicole Fox registered a pair of hits and scored a run.
Akron (5-3) grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the first inning when Alissa Birkhimer hit the first of three home runs for the Zips by blasting a two-run homer over the fence in left-center. The Zips tacked another run on the board in the second when Sara Stromack scored on a double steal, making it a 3-0 contest.
However, the Bucs fought back to tie the game at three after scoring three runs on four hits in the third, but ETSU missed a chance to push more runs across the plate after leaving the bases loaded in the inning. With the bases loaded and only one out, Henderson drove in a pair of Bucs with a single to right, and Lower tied the game at three with a sacrifice fly to center in the following at-bat. After Jackie Baird singled, Akron made a pitching change, but with runners on first and second Whitley Hensley (Erwin, Tenn.) worked a two-out walk to load the bases. Unfortunately, Birkhimer continued to give ETSU fits as she struck out Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) to end the inning, leaving the three Buccaneer runners stranded.
The long-ball put Akron back ahead 4-3, courtesy of a solo home run by Olivia Hegedus to lead off the fourth inning. The Zips extended their lead to 6-3 in the fifth when Alex Feltes led off the inning with a home run and Katie Green scored on a Lower throwing error later in the frame.
ETSU threatened in the sixth when two of its first three hitters reached base, but with Campbell at second and pinch runner Mikayla Treadway (Unicoi, Tenn.) standing at third, sophomore Tara Hartnett (Snellville, Ga.) was called out on strikes leaving the Buccaneer runners stranded.
Birkhimer retired three of the final four hitters she faced in the seventh lifting Akron to the three-run win.
Birkhimer earned the win (1-0) after tossing 4.1 innings of two-hit ball. Junior righty Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) suffered the loss (1-1) after allowing four runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
College of Charleston Recap
Despite out-hitting the Cougars, 7-4, the Blue and Gold still couldn't come up with enough offense to knock off Charleston as the host team defeated ETSU 3-1 Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars scored one run in the first and plated their final two runs in the second to hold off the Bucs.
Charleston (2-3) took 1-0 lead after taking advantage of a throwing error by Amy Campbell at short. Carley Corthell led off the inning with a single back to the circle, stole second and advanced to third on ground out. Corthell eventually scored when Kristi Woodall popped out to short and Campbell's throw to the plate was off the mark.
Once again the Cougars scored their two second-inning runs without a hit, as Charleston scored its first run on a bases loaded walk, and took a 3-0 lead on Corthell's sac-fly RBI to center.
Despite holding Charleston scoreless for the final four innings, the Bucs weren't able to muster enough offense to post a rally. ETSU scored its lone run in the sixth when Campbell brought in Jackie Baird on a RBI ground out to second, but the Bucs ran out of time to mount a comeback win.
Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) was tabbed with the loss (0-2) despite issuing no earned runs on three hits. Stephanie Saylors improved to 1-2 after allowing one run on seven hits in seven innings of work.
The Bucs wrap up play at the Cougar Classic Sunday morning when ETSU takes on Canisius at 10 a.m.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.