Johnson City, Tenn. -- The East Tennessee State softball team used timely hitting and two complete games from pitcher Tiffany Vandergriff to sweep the Georgia Southern Eagles, 6-0 and 3-2, Saturday afternoon from Kiwanis Park.
The first game went scoreless through the first two and a half innings until the Buccaneers (8-17, 4-4 SoCon) put two runs on the board in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Vandergriff singled, followed by a Jessica Hodge walk. Melonie Collins came to the plate and hit a double to center field, scoring both baserunners.
The bottom of the fifth played out similarly for the Bucs as Vandergriff reached on a walk and Hodge singled. Collins again doubled, driving in both baserunners to make the score 4-0.
The Buccaneers put two more runs on the board in the sixth. Judith St. Clair led off the inning with a double, followed two batters later by a April Arnold walk. Two batters later, Andrea Roberts drove in the two baserunners with a single.
Vandergriff turned in a sparkling performance for the Bucs, pitching a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits, one in the first and one in the seventh. Vandergriff also struck out five Eagles. At one point, she retired 14 consecutive batters. Janice Savage (6-9) received the loss for Georgia Southern (13-24, 4-4 SoCon), pitching five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits.
At the plate, Vandergriff went 2-3 with two runs scored. Collins went 2-3 with four RBI.
In game two, Georgia Southern jumped out to an early lead, putting one run on the board in the top of the first. The second batter of the game, Julie Peel, singled to right field. Following a double by Stacy Cooper, Shannan Hoobin singled Peel in from third.
The Eagles added another run in the fourth as Hoobin led off the inning with a double and Aimee Littlejohn singled her in from second. The inning could have been much worse, but Vandergriff pitched her way out of a bases loaded jam after a hit batsman and a walk.
The Buccaneers cut the Eagle lead in half in the bottom of the fourth, after St. Clair doubled in Hodge from third with two outs.
ETSU took the lead after there were two outs in the fifth. Roberts and Vandergriff hit back-to-back singles and scored on a triple to left field by Hodge. Those two runs would provide the margin of victory, 3-2.
Vandergriff (7-7) pitched another complete game in the nightcap. She scattered nine hits, allowing two runs and striking out five. Littlejohn (4-9) pitched well, but picked up the loss, allowing three runs on 10 hits, striking out six.
Collins was perfect at the plate in the second game, going 3-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Vandergriff and St. Clair each had two hits for the Bucs.
With the wins, the Buccaneers have won four of their last five games. Vandergriff has won her last five decisions and has gotten the decision in the last five ETSU victories.
The Buccaneers and Eagles play on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the last game of the series from Kiwanis Park.