Johnson City, Tenn. (Apr. 9, 2002) -- The East Tennessee State softball team snapped a six-game losing streak by sweeping North Carolina A&T, 3-2 and 21-0, in a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon from Metro-Kiwanis Park in Johnson City.
Game one proved to be a pitchers' duel between Buccaneer starter Tiffany Vandergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.) and Aggie starter Cheretta Stevenson.
All of the scoring in game one came in the third inning. The Aggies (7-25) scored two runs in the top of the inning, to take a 2-0 lead. North Carolina A&T first baseman Adrienne Shuler led off the frame with a walk and scored on a double by Cheretta Stephenson. Stephenson would then cross the plate on a double by third baseman Sibol Loftin.
The Bucs (16-22) responded quickly by scoring three runs of their own to take the lead. Sophomore catcher Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.) led off the bottom of the third and, following a walk to senior Melanie Collins (Greeneville, Tenn.), scored on a single up the middle by sophomore first baseman Miranda Byerly (Candler, N.C.). The other two runs of the inning would come as a double by sophomore outfielder Rhea Holler (Peoria, Ariz.) scored Collins and the subsequent error scored Byerly.
Vandergriff (4-6) did the rest, limiting the Aggies to no runs and two hits over the final four innings. She went the distance, allowing two earned runs on six hits, striking out five. North Carolina A&T starter Charetta Stevenson (5-8) took the loss, allowing two earned runs on nine hits, striking out two.
The Buccaneer bats awakened in game two, as their 21 runs broke the team record and their 16 hits tied the team record set on Apr. 21, 2001 against UNC Wilmington.
East Tennessee State got to Aggie starter Ebony Stevenson (0-4) early, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning. Vandergriff doubled to lead off the frame and scored on a double by the next batter, freshman center fielder Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.).
The Buccaneers blew open the game in the second inning, sending 18 batters to the plate and scoring 14 runs. The big hit of the inning was a grand-slam home run by freshman third baseman Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.). Holler and Spetar also homered in the frame for ETSU. The Bucs also got the benefit of seven walks in the inning.
ETSU freshman shortstop Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, and advanced to third on an error. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Byerly to make the score 16-0.
The Bucs scored five more runs in the bottom of the fourth to provide the final margin of victory. Freshman outfielder Nikki Johnson (Johnson City, Tenn.) scored Clark with a single to center. Johnson scored on a double by sophomore infielder Julia Chance (Knoxville, Tenn.). Freshman outfielder Amy Moore was the next batter, and hit her fourth home run of the season. The final run scored as Lane doubled in Collins.
Every Buccaneer player that came to the plate had at least one hit. Clark had three doubles and Lane drove in a team-high six runs.
Buccaneer freshman starter Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) (7-7) was almost flawless, pitching a complete game, allowing just two hits and striking out eight. Ebony Stevenson got the loss, allowing 16 hits and nine earned runs in four innings of work.
The Bucs return to action on Thursday at 2 p.m. as they travel to face Gardner-Webb in a non-conference doubleheader.