Tuesday’s doubleheader with Liberty postponed
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 4, 2013) – Starting pitchers Sam Harrell (Okeechobee, Fla.) and Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) gave the ETSU softball team 14 quality innings of work, earning the Buccaneers a split with Bowling Green on Monday afternoon from Betty Basler Field.
Harrell (4-3) earned the complete-game shutout in game one, allowing three hits, walking four and striking out four to lift ETSU (7-7) past the Falcons, 5-0, and above .500 for the time being. Wolff (2-3) pitched a complete game as well, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out five, but the Buccaneers could not plate a run against BGSU starter Paris Imholz (3-0) who struck out seven en route to her complete-game shutout.
“The shutout was a good bounce back for Sam after last weekend,” ETSU head coach Brad Irwin said. “She definitely needed that.
“Katie really settled down after the first couple of innings and held [BGSU] to just one run, which is really impressive. She definitely gave us a chance to win. I wish we could have put some runs across, but it was good to see her throw well and keep them off balance.”
ETSU helped Harrell with five runs in the first game, plating the first two in the first inning against the Falcons’ game-one starter, Jamie Kertes. Harrell worked her way through a few jams in the middle innings and the Buccaneers made her more comfortable with one in the fifth and two more in the sixth courtesy of an RBI single from Tara Hartnett (Snellville, Ga.) and a BGSU throwing error on the play.
Wolff could have used a couple of the runs the Buccaneer offense supplied for Harrell. Bowling Green’s Chloe Giordano scored Imholz – pinch running for Shelby Fink – on a double over the head of Hartnett in the second inning, which was all the Falcons needed to split the day. Imholz went the rest of the way and left ETSU’s tying run stranded on third base in the final inning, striking out Bethany Cowart (Ringgold, Ga.) to end the game.
ETSU was scheduled to play a doubleheader against Liberty on Tuesday, but that has been postponed due to the threat of rain expected to affect the Tri-Cities throughout most of the day. The Bucs’ next game will be Saturday, when it begins Atlantic Sun action in Macon, Ga., with a three-game series against Mercer.
Game 1 – ETSU 5, Bowling Green 0
Harrell was the story in game one, tossing her fifth complete game of the season and holding Bowling Green off the scoreboard for her second shutout. The freshman hurler was backed up by her offense, which put up two runs right from the beginning and added three more along the way to create some breathing room. Five different Buccaneers combined for ETSU’s five hits in the game.
The ETSU bats picked up right where they left off last weekend against Siena. After Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) led off the game getting hit by a pitch, Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) reached on an infield single and Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) sent a pitch back up the middle to score Lower and put the Buccaneers on the board. Fox later came around to score on a groundout from Wolff.
The ETSU defense backed up Harrell all game as well, beginning in the second. Harrell got the first two Falcons to ground out, but walked Erika Stratton before Shelby Fink hit a single to right. Stratton attempted to go from first to third on the hit and was gunned down by Everett who made a one-hop throw to Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) to end the inning.
In the fourth, BGSU’s Andrea Arney worked a leadoff walk and Paige Berger doubled to right center to give the Falcons runners on second and third with nobody out. After Harrell got the next two outs, Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.) made a great play on a pop out near the visiting dugout, reaching over near the fence and falling down to make the inning-ending catch and help her pitcher get out of a jam.
Though not credited with an RBI, the speed of Fox put ETSU on top, 3-0, in the fifth. With freshman Sam Carpenter (Forest City, N.C.) on second base, Fox hit a dribbler back to Kertes in the circle, who hurried to pick the ball up and attempt to throw out the ETSU speedster racing down the line. Kertes’ rushed attempt forced her throw well high and into right field, scoring Carpenter to extend the lead.
Two more in the sixth inning all but sealed the win, as a single off the bat of Hartnett into centerfield scored pinch runners Jennine Duncan (Jonesborough, Tenn.) and Mikayla Treadway (Unicoi, Tenn.). Duncan came around from second and Treadway crossed home on a throwing error from Kertes trying to throw out Treadway advancing to third. The throw went high and Treadway trotted home for the fifth and final run.
Game 2 – Bowling Green 1, ETSU 0
Game two was an old-fashioned pitching duel, which Imholz eventually won to earn the Falcons a split. Imholz and Wolff each went the complete game, but Wolff allowed the one run while Imholz improved her record to 3-0 with a complete-game shutout.
BGSU’s run came in the second and was scored by Imholz. The Bowling Green pitcher pinch ran for Fink after the leadoff batter was hit by a pitch and was put in scoring position when Shook put down a sacrifice bunt. A single through the left side off the bat of Stratton put runners at the corners and Giordano knocked in the only run of the game with a double over the head of Hartnett and off the wall in left.
While Imholz was in control most of the game, ETSU had its chances to score. In the first inning, Fox singled, stole second and advanced to third on a fly out, but was stranded to end the inning. The Buccaneers also put the first two on in the fourth inning, but Baird popped out, Hartnett struck out and Horner went down swinging to end the threat.
BGSU had opportunities to put more runs on the board, but was limited by Wolff who settled down after giving up the run in the second. The Falcons put two on the in third inning and advanced them to second and third with two down, but Wolff got Shook to fly out to left to prevent the Falcons from opening up a comfortable lead.
With both pitchers in control, Bowling Green sparked some momentum with a leadoff single in the sixth. A pitch later, that runner was cleared as the Falcons were called for leaving the bag early for the second time on the day.
ETSU’s final hope came in the seventh, looking for its fourth come-from-behind victory of the season. A one-out double from Horner seemed to get the momentum going and brought up Whitley Hensley (Erwin, Tenn.), who homered to begin ETSU’s latest comeback last weekend against Siena. Hensley made solid contact, but had her line drive chased down in center, advancing Horner’s pinch runner, Lily Robins (Collierville, Tenn.) to third.
With the tying run 60 feet away Cowart stepped up to pinch hit for Carpenter, worked the count to 3-1, but was sent down swinging as Imholz completed her shutout and ETSU’s four-game winning streak came to an end.
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