ETSU to host Mercer Sunday, March 9 at 1:00 p.m. for rubber game
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 8, 2014) – Exhibiting the grit and perseverance that has come to be expected amongst the ETSU softball program, the Buccaneers bounced back from a one-sided loss earlier in the day to win game two of Saturday's conference-opening double-header versus Mercer, 11-8.
Playing host to Mercer and its high-powered offense, ETSU began Atlantic Sun play in nightmarish fashion, allowing the Bears to score a season-high 18 runs during the day's first game.
"There is no way to sugarcoat it," ETSU head coach Brad Irwin said. "They came after us in that first game."
The Buccaneers (10-7) failed to plate a run for the first time this season, recording five hits in the 18-0 loss.
Game One may have been a nightmare for ETSU; however, the Bucs were wide awake in the second game of the day, manufacturing 11 runs on a season-best 13 hits.
"I am proud of the way the girls responded," Irwin said. "Coming back and winning the second game was huge."
Junior Latosha Rectenwald (Whitesburg, Tenn.) announced ETSU's intentions loud and clear in the second inning, slugging a grand slam over the left field fence to give the Bucs the early 4-0 advantage.
The Bucs pieced together another four-run inning in the third to take extend their lead to 8-2.
Mercer used a four-run inning of its own to cut its deficit to 9-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning; however a two-run Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) home run helped the Bucs seal the 11-8 victory.
Baird is just one home run shy of matching Stephanie Gaynord's single-season record of 11 homers, and two home long balls shy of joing Gaynord atop ETSU's all-time list (25).
Junior pitcher Whitney Leon (Dandridge, Tenn.) earned her first win of the season with the decision, striking out three batters. Through her first five and one-third innings of work, Leon allowed just two earned runs.
With its 11-run effort in Game Two, ETSU became just the second team this season to score 10 or more runs against the Bears (15-7).
Tomorrow's rubber game will begin at 1:00 p.m.
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