Sprague's home run in Game Two gives Lady Bucs split with Appy State

Saturday, March 27, 2004

BOONE, N.C. (March 27, 2004) -- Appalachian State University's softball team scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to support Jordan Arnold's bid at a complete game and take a 7-2 victory over East Tennessee State in Game One of a Southern Conference doubleheader. In Game Two, both sides put together three-run innings, but it was a solo home run by ETSU's Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.) in the top of the seventh that won the nightcap, 4-3. Arnold (5-4) spread four hits and three walks over seven innings en route to the win in Game One. Leadoff hitter Amber Handy went 2-for-4 and scored three runs to key the Mountaineer offense. In the bottom of the first inning of Game One, it was a two-out single by Christa Hicks that allowed leadoff batter Amber Handy to score and give the Mountaineers an early 1-0 lead. Handy opened the inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. East Tennessee State (18-15, 1-4 SoCon) generated a pair of unearned runs and overtook the lead, at 2-1, in the top of the third. With two away, Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) singled and Sprague reached on an error in the outfield to put runners in scoring position for Tiffany McVay (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.), who doubled to right-center field to plate both Buccaneers. In the bottom half of third, Appalachian (11-19, 1-4 SoCon) knotted the score at 2-2, and once again it was Handy who served as the catalyst. Handy reached base via an error and quickly stole second base. After moving to third on another ETSU error, Handy scored on Diana Cook's sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the sixth, Buccaneer starting pitcher Belinda Barrera (Fayetteville, N.C.) (8-5) loaded the bases and then walked Wendy Lewis to force Lindsay Glover home from third to put the Apps in front, 3-2. Buc reliever McVay allowed Handy a single to right field that scored two runs. Candace Shelton followed with a two-run single of her own to set the final score at 7-2. In the second game, Appalachian struck for three runs in the first inning. Glover's two-run single up the middle plated Shelton and Hicks. A double by Sarah Gough brought home Glove to set the advantage, at 3-0. With ETSU starting pitcher Julia McChain (Dale City, Va.) chased from the circle, Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) entered and closed the door on Appalachian. In the third, the Bucs got on the score board with three runs of their own. After Sprague reached base via an error, McVay doubled her home to get the visitors on the board. Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) followed with a two-run home run to even the score, at 3-3. The Mountaineers' Marie Watson (2-6) entered the game as a relief pitcher and stopped a scoring threat in the fourth, but Jenkins was equal to the task for the Bucs. With one gone in the top of the seventh, Sprague connected for a solo blast over the right field fence off of Watson to give the Bucs their first lead of the game, 4-3. Jenkins continued her impressive performance by sitting the Apps down in order in the bottom of the seventh for the win. Jenkins (2-5) struck out four in six and a third innings of relief. She yielded three hits and hit a batter, but held on for her second win of the year. Appalachian and East Tennessee State wrap up their SoCon series on Sunday, with a single game beginning at 1 p.m.
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