MARIETTA, Ga. (March 3, 2006) - Up 5-0 in the top of the sixth, the ETSU softball team fended off a late charge by Austin Peay, thanks to a walk-off two-run homerun from Amanda Haverman (Kirkwood, Mo.) in the bottom of the seventh, to earn the 7-6 win, Friday at the Atlanta Marriot Buzz Classic in Marietta, Ga. The Lady Bucs luck ran out later in the day, however, as the club suffered an 11-2 loss at the hands of host Georgia Tech. After Friday's split, ETSU is 3-11 on the season.
Senior Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.) put the Lady Bucs on the board in the bottom of the third, leading of the inning with a solo homerun to left center. The blast was Sprague's second on the season. Stephanie Gaynord (Manassas, Va.) kept the inning going, slapping triple to right center. Gaynord would score the Lady Bucs' second run of the inning on a ground out by Haverman.
ETSU extended its lead in the fifth, plating three runs to take the 5-0 advantage. Sprague got the inning started once again, nailing a lead-off single and advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Gaynord. Brittany Richardson (Knoxville, Tenn.) then singled to left, sending Sprague to third.
Haverman then sent a single through the left side, scoring Sprague and advancing Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.), who pinch ran for Richardson, to third. A sacrifice fly from Mary Catherine Vercoe (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) would score Hackworth, and an Austin Peay fielding error would plate Haverman for ETSU's final run of the inning.
Austin Peay exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth, slapping three hits and capitalizing on two ETSU errors. The Governors continued to put the pressure on top of the seventh, tacking on another run and taking their first lead of the game at 6-5.
Haverman then slammed her first homerun of the season, scoring Hackworth, and securing the 7-6 win for the Lady Bucs. Haverman had a stellar game at the plate, recording a 3-for-4 showing, while driving in four RBIs and scoring two runs on her own.
Brittany Lehrschall (Leland, N.C.) got the win on the mound, moving to 2-2 on the season. Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) threw 5.2 innings in the game, giving up six hits while striking out five.
Georgia Tech jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in the Lady Bucs' second game, piling on seven runs in the first inning alone, eventually downing ETSU, 11-2, in five innings. Gaynord accounted for two of the Lady Bucs' six hits, while Vercoe, one of four ETSU pitchers to take the mound, was tagged with the loss, falling to 0-5 on the season.
The Lady Bucs continue play at the Buzz Classic Saturday morning, taking on Marshall at 9 a.m. ETSU is also scheduled to face Big East foe Uconn at 6 p.m., in Marietta, Ga.