BLACKSBURG, Va. (March 20, 2004) - The East Tennessee State softball team rallied from a tough opening day at the Hokie Fastpitch Club Classic, picking up a pair of victories Saturday over Appalachian State and Mount St. Mary's. The team will play one final game in the tournament Sunday against St. Francis.
Behind the solid pitching sophomore Belinda Barrera (Fayetteville, N.C.) and senior Tiffany McVay (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.), the Lady Bucs picked up a 5-4 victory over Appalachian State and a 7-0 victory over Mount St. Mary's. With the wins, ETSU (16-14 overall) is now 2-2 at the tournament after dropping a pair of hard-fought contests on Friday - a 2-0 loss to Marshall and a 6-4 defeat at the hands of host team Virginia Tech.
"Our pitching was really good today," said ETSU head coach Amy Fuller. "It was good to come back and win a couple of games after yesterday. Belinda pitched a great game today and she pitched a great game against Marshall, too. Against Virginia Tech we were behind 6-0 and battled back. It just wasn't enough."
But the Lady Bucs' pitching was more than enough on Saturday.
Berrera, who improved to 7-4 on the season, pitched six innings and allowed just one run on one hit while striking out six Lady Mountaineers. Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) worked one inning of relief and was able to withstand a late rally in the bottom of the seventh. Offensively, McVay led the way with a 2-for-3 effort and two RBIs, while senior Rhea Holler also added a pair of RBIs and was 1-for-3 at the plate. Every other Lady Buc to go to the plate had one hit.
Against Mount St. Mary's, ETSU rolled to victory. While McVay (8-5) pitched seven scoreless innings allowing just seven hits and striking out three batters, the Lady Buc offense did the job as well. ETSU took an early 2-0 lead after two innings, and added five insurance runs in the final two frames.
Offensively, sophomore Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.) enjoyed a nice day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Along with Sprague, Holler and junior Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.) each had two RBIs on two hits, while senior Sheryl Clark, (Bradenton, Fla.) and junior Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) also collected a pair of hits.