Bucs winning streak snapped at six, Ospreys sweep ETSU
Saturday, April 14, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 14, 2007) - The ETSU softball team saw its season-best six game winning streak come to an end Saturday afternoon as North Florida swept the Bucs at the UNF Softball Complex. The Ospreys took game one 3-1 and rallied past ETSU in the nightcap, 13-5.


In game one, the Ospreys did all their damage with two outs in the first when Devyn Findlay's single drove in two runs. Kelli Rutenbar, who led off the game with a single, scored easily from third; however, Ashley Parenteau came around to score from first on Kate Powell's (Johnson City) error in center, giving the Ospreys an early 2-0 lead. The two run advantage was all UNF needed, because the Bucs could not get anything going off Findley as they were limited to only one hit through the first four innings.


The Bucs had an opportunity to push a run across the plate in the fifth, but Powell was called out at home after trying to score from second on Caitlin Zyskowski's (Grand Rapids, Mich.) single. More base running errors continued to haunt ETSU an inning later, when Stephanie Gaynord (Manassas, Va.) led off with a single, but was caught stealing as she tried to move into scoring position, hurting the Bucs' chances to start a rally as Katy Jett (Talbot, Tenn.) drew a walk on the next play.


With ETSU trailing 3-0, they looked to have something brewing in the seventh as they had the bases loaded and only one out. Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) finally put the Bucs on the board with her RBI single, which quickly led to an Ospreys  pitching change. Katie Brosky entered in relief and worked out of the jam by retiring the next two ETSU batters.


Mary Catherine Vercoe (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) suffered her 10th loss of the season as she worked 3.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits. Findlay improved to 14-3 as she held the Bucs to one run on six hits and nine strikeouts.


            The Bucs began game two in good fashion by taking an early 1-0 lead. The first four ETSU hitters reached base and Amanda Haverman's (Kirkwood, Mo.) bases loaded walk brought in the run; however, the Bucs left the sacks full when Brosky retired the next three hitters to end the inning. Leaving runners stranded in the first would hurt the Bucs, because the Ospreys scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning, when Elizabeth Howell's two-out double drove in the first run, and back-to-back RBI singles by Findlay and Heather Hyde gave UNF a 3-1 advantage.


            ETSU rallied back in the second by recording three consecutive two-out hits and recaptured the lead, 4-3. Cason started the hit parade with a single to left, and Jett drove her in with her double to left center. Last night's hero, Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.), put the Bucs ahead as she belted her third home run of the season over the left field wall. The Bucs were not in control for long, because the Ospreys plated three more runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 6-4 lead. Gwen Williams doubled to left center, scoring Rutenbar and Amy Higgs, and Findlay's RBI single to center capped off the scoring for UNF.


ETSU would pull to within a run, 6-5, when Powell picked up her first RBI of the season with a single to third, scoring Zyskowski; however, the Buccaneer pitching could not keep the Ospreys off the board. North Florida got the run back in the bottom of the third, and pushed five runs across the plate in the fourth and added one more in the fifth, which ended the game with the mercy rule.


Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) fell to 9-11, after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits in 2.2 innings, while Joanna Kurycki earned her first collegiate win for the Ospreys.


With the sweep, the Bucs fall back to .500 (22-22, 9-5), while North Florida improved to 28-19, 6-6 in the Atlantic Sun.


The Bucs will take on ACC foe Virginia Tech on Tuesday night in the State Line Classic, which will be held in Bristol, Tenn. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.