Bucs split with old SoCon foe Appalachian State Wednesday afternoon

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 28, 2007) - After picking up two important wins over Campbell last night in Buies Creek, N.C., the ETSU softball team did not have much time to relax as they split with old SoCon foe Appalachian State Wednesday afternoon at Metro-Kiwanis Park. The Bucs dropped game one, 5-1, but bounced back nicely and took game two, 2-1.


            ETSU has won six of its last eight games and stands at 16-16 overall, while Appalachian State moves to 9-21.


            The second game featured a pitchers duel as freshman Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) battled with the Mountaineers' Keri Blackwelder. Both hurlers went the distance; however, Gilbert had more in the tank on Wednesday as she allowed only one run and scattered seven hits in seven innings of work. The Bucs were able to push two runs across the plate against Blackwelder as she allowed only four hits over the six innings.


            After three and a half scoreless innings, ETSU's bats made some noise as they plated its only two runs in the fourth. Freshman Katy Jett (Talbot, Tenn.) led off the inning with a single to center, and advanced to third on Amanda Haverman's (Kirkwood, Mo.) two out double to left center. Junior Briana Knight (Brier, Wash.) came through in the clutch as her two out double scored Jett and Hackworth, putting ETSU up 2-0.


            The Mountaineers would cut the lead in half in the top of the fifth, when Diana Cook's two out double scored Lindsay Glover from second. However, Glover ended up being the eighth stranded Appalachian State runner in the game after Gilbert forced Kristyn Hurt to fly out to right. From there Gilbert cruised to her third straight win as she retired five of the last six batters she faced. With the win, Gilbert improved to 7-9 in her rookie season, and she has allowed only three runs over her last 19.0 innings. Appalachian State left nine runners stranded in the loss, by leaving the left the bases loaded in the second and fourth.


            In game one, Appalachian State took advantage of two Stephanie Gaynord (Manassas, Va.) errors and scored four unearned runs in the first inning, which was all they needed to secure the victory. The Bucs thought they had the Mountaineers out of the inning without any damage being done, but with two outs Gaynord could not handle Cook's grounder, leading to the first run of the game and prolonging in the inning for the visitors. Mary Catherine Vercoe (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) allowed back-to-back doubles, which led to three more runs for the Mountaineers, giving them a 4-0 lead before the Bucs had a chance to hit.


            Appalachian State pushed one more across the plate in the fifth, and led to Vercoe's departure as freshman Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) entered in relief. Hardy did an excellent job keeping the Mountaineers off the board, by working four scoreless innings and allowed only two hits while striking out four. However, the Bucs' offense was only able to muster four hits and one run against Yancy Moose. ETSU's lone run came in the sixth when Haverman's two out double scored Vercoe from second.


            Vercoe suffered only her second loss in her last eight starts as she allowed five runs (one earned) on nine hits over 3.0 innings, while Moose went the distance for her sixth win of the season.


            The Bucs will now have one day off before heading to Knoxville, to take on No. 1-ranked Tennessee on Friday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Tyson Park.

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