Johnson City, Tenn. -- The East Tennessee State softball team won two games in their final at bat, 4-3 and 8-7, in sweeping a doubleheader from fellow Southern Conference newcomers Appalachian State on Saturday afternoon from Kiwanis Park.
The Mountaineers (12-33) took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Amber Joyner scored the first run for Appalachian State, coming home on a groundout by Casey Jacobs. Anne Parsons next singled to right field, driving in Amber Handy. The final run of the inning would score on a groundout by Lael Rorie as Laura Ammarrell would cross the plate.
After a rocky first inning, Buccaneer starter Tiffany Vandergriff (10-17) would settle down, pitching the next six innings without allowing a hit. Only two batters would reach base in the remainder of the game, one on an error, and one as a batter was hit by a pitch.
The Bucs (13-33) would chip away at Appalachian Stateās lead, scoring two runs in the second and the tying run in the fifth. The two runs scored in the second as Shawnda Cole hit a line-drive double to the wall in right, scoring Rhea Holler and Julia Chance. The tying run came home in the fifth as Judith St. Clair, scoring Vandergriff.
The game was tied 3-3 going into the bottom of the seventh when ETSU scored the deciding run. Jessica Hodge hit a triple to center, followed immediately by a single to right field by Melonie Collins.
Vandergriff pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits and two earned runs while striking out six. Appalachian State starter Jordan Arnold (9-12) also pitched a complete game, allowing three earned runs on 11 hits.
Collins led the Buccaneers, going 3-4 at the plate with an RBI. Jacobs and Parsons had RBI for Appalachian State.
ETSU took a 1-0 lead in game two after the first inning as Vandergriff scored on a groundout by St. Clair.
The Mountaineers scored two runs in each of the next three innings to take a seemingly commanding 6-1 lead. However, Vandergriff would enter the game to pitch in the fourth and ETSU would score seven runs in the last four innings to take the game in dramatic fashion.
After ETSU tied the game at six in the fifth, Appalachian State would score the tie-breaking run in the seventh on a triple by Jacobs.
The Bucs would score the tying run on a single by Miranda Byerly, driving home Collins. With two outs in the inning, April Arnold came to the plate and singled to left field, scoring Byerly and ending the game.
Vandergriff, after relieving starter Marsha Giles, went 3.2 innings, allowing six hits and one run to collect the victory. Arnold received the loss for Appalachian State, allowing four runs in 2.2 innings pitched.
Hodge went 3-4 from the plate for ETSU, and Byerly led the team with 2 RBI. Five players had two hits for the Mountaineers. Wendy Lewis led ASU with two RBI in game two.
The Buccaneers and Mountaineers square off again Sunday at 1 p.m. from Kiwanis Park.