BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. (April. 21, 2007) - ETSU's chances to pick the number one seed in next month's Atlantic Sun Tournament took a huge spill Saturday as Gardner-Webb swept the Bucs in a critical conference battle at Varsity Field. The Runnin' Bulldogs scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to secure a 5-2 victory in game one, and Alison Coffey tossed a three-hit shutout to lead Gardner-Webb to a 4-0 win in game two.
ETSU (23-25-9-7) entered Saturday only a game behind Stetson for the number one seed; however Gardner-Webb (31-21-1, 9-4-1) moved into the second slot after handing the Bucs their third straight loss. The Bucs now hold the third seed, while
In game one, Gardner-Webb plated the first run when Melody Harrell's double to center drove in Jessi Polk from first; however Amanda Haverman (
The Bucs took their first lead of the game, 2-1, in the fourth thanks to Briana Knight's (Brier,
Gardner-Webb quickly rallied back as Harrell recorded her second double of the afternoon to lead off the bottom half of the inning, and eventually scored the tying run on Lindsey Whitfield's RBI single to right. An inning later Gardner-Webb tagged Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) for three runs on three hits to take the 5-2 lead. Harrell continued to be a thorn in ETSU's side as she posted her third double, which scored the final two runs of the game.
ETSU had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth, but they could not push any runs across the plate.
Hardy had her four-game win streak snapped and suffered her first collegiate loss after allowing five runs on six hits. The freshman tied her season-high with eight strikeouts, but Taryn Beck got outs when she needed them and improved to 17-8.
Just like in game one Gardner-Webb scored first, but this time they would not lose the lead as Coffey limited the Bucs to three hits in the 4-0 win in game two. Darci Gilbert (
After allowing a one-out hit to Katy Jett (Talbot, Tenn.) in the first, Coffey retired 11 straight ETSU hitters until Vercoe's leadoff single in the fifth ended the run. The single did not affect Coffey as she escaped the inning without allowing any more hits.
Gilbert did an excellent job working out of another jam in the fourth inning as she allowed only one run after loading the bases with one out. The Runnin' Bulldogs pushed its lead to 2-0 on Polk's RBI single.
The Bucs missed a golden opportunity in the sixth as Dez Franklin (
Gardner-Webb plated two more runs in the sixth to come away with the 4-0 victory. Gilbert (9-12) allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits, while Coffey (7-7) did not issue a walk and struck out seven.
ETSU will return to action next Wednesday, April 25 when they travel to take on