RADFORD, Va. (April 18, 2007) - Radford scored five runs on five hits in the first two innings, while their pitching staff limited the Bucs to only three hits all afternoon as the Highlanders blanked ETSU, 6-0, Wednesday at Dedmon Center Field.
The Highlanders jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a sacrifice fly from Sarah Himan, and a fielding error by Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) led to Radford's second run of the inning. Alex Roderick led off the second for the Highlanders with a single to center, and she scored two plays later when Michelle Carlson homered to right, giving Radford a four-run advantage. The home run ended Mary Catherine Vercoe's (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) afternoon as she allowed four runs (three earned) in 1.1 IP. Last night's hero, Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.), entered in relief but could not get out of the inning without allowing a run, as Cassie Rhodes' single to left scored Ashley Carlson.
ETSU (23-23) had trouble with Ashley Taylor's pitching all afternoon as she retired the first 11 batters she faced, until Jessie Hackworth's (Clinton, Tenn.) two-out double broke up the no-hit bid in the fourth. However, Taylor forced Vercoe to ground out to short, ending the inning and her afternoon. Felix entered in relief and continued to keep the Bucs off the bases as she sent down the first six batters she faced, including four on strikeouts.
Radford (34-20) plated its final run in the fourth when Rhodes drove in her second run of the afternoon with a double to center. The run was Hardy's first earned run allowed in 13.2 IP, giving the Highlanders their 6-0 margin of victory.
Senior Allison Burnette (Ten Mile, Tenn.) kept her perfect pinch hitting streak in tact (3-for-3) as she led off the seventh with a single to right. After Hackworth popped out, Vercoe singled up the middle which put runners on first and second for the Bucs; however, Felix left the runners stranded as she got the final two outs to end the game.
Vercoe suffered the loss and fell to 10-11 on the season, while Taylor (18-11) and Felix combined for the shutout and struck out 11 ETSU hitters. Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) tossed two scoreless innings for the Bucs.
In remembrance of the victims at Virginia Tech, both teams honored them with a moment of silence before the game. Also, the ETSU players wore maroon and burnt orange ribbons, while Radford players painted VT logos on their faces.
The Bucs will be back in action this Saturday when they travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. for a critical A-Sun doubleheader with Gardner-Webb. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. at Varsity Field.