CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 8, 2003) - Game one of the 2003 Southern Conference Softball Championships at Frost Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., began Thursday morning as the sun appeared in Chattanooga for the first time in several days. Game one pitted the East Tennessee State Bucs against the Eagles of Georgia Southern, where ETSU emerged with a 4-2 victory.
ETSU got off to quick start as lead-off hitter, freshman Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.), converted a double into the first run of the game. The Bucs loaded the bases, but Eagle pitcher Tiffany Urena escaped the inning with only one run scored. ETSU tallied two hits on the inning. The Eagles answered the challenge in the bottom of the first by loading the bases, but were unable to score in the inning.
Clutch hitting scored the second run for the Bucs, as Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) scored on a Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) triple in the top of the second inning. Sheryl Clark (Bradenton, Fla.) knocked in the third run in the third inning for the Bucs, as ETSU stretched its lead to 3-0. In the top of the fifth inning, The Bucs struck again as Lindsay Lane hit a solo shot off of Eagle pitcher A.J. Street.
Georgia Southern scored their first runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with one out, as two runs scored on a Julie Peel triple. East Tennesee State was able to limit the Georgia Southern run total to two, as ETSU pitcher Jennifer Fraser (Chattanooga, Tenn.) was able to retire the following two GSU batters. In the bottom of the seventh inning, with no outs, Georgia Southern's Sam Steiner hit a double to deep centerfield, which prompted an ETSU pitching change, as junior Tiffany McVay (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.) entered the game. McVay was able to save a run on a past ball stopping Carolynn Chin at the plate. With two outs, Christi Aiken flied out to left field to end the inning.
ETSU had seven hits while GSU had ten. Fraser earned the wins for the Bucs, while Georgia Southern's Tiffany Urena was saddled with the loss.
ETSU advances to play the winner of the College of Charleston-Appalachian State game Friday at 10 a.m. and the Eagles will face the loser in the 7:00 game on Thursday.