The win moved ETSU's record to 29-31 - which tied the school record for most wins in a single season. The Lady Bucs accomplished the feat back in 2004; while Mercer fell to 31-26 on the campaign.
Junior Vicki McCoy (
ETSU's defense helped Hardy in the third as Amanda Santa Maria's liner to right held up long enough for McCoy to charge in and make a stellar catch. Then, on the following at-bat, Holly Oglesbee hit one to the deepest part of the park, but Katy Jett (
The Softball Bucs were able to carry the momentum into the top of the fourth as McCoy reached for the second time of the game by working a one-out walk. After Trisha Massenzo (
Hardy worked out of a little jam in the bottom half of the frame. Her powerful pitching and dominant defense kept the Bears off the board. Mercer's Page Raynor led off the inning with a single to left and advanced to second on Jena Ellis' two-out single up the middle; however, the runners were left stranded after Hackworth made a solid defensive grab in foul territory at third to end any threat. Hardy fanned Madruga for the second time of the morning and Ashley Anderson in between plays - moving her game total to five punch outs.
ETSU missed a chance to break the game open in the fifth after Kate Powell (Johnson City) reached on a bunt single and senior second baseman Briana Knight (Brier, Wash.) moved Powell over to second and also reached after Madrgua mishandled a sacrifice bunt at first. Unfortunately, Jenni Holtz struck out Cheniece Cason (
Once again defensive plays continued to help Hardy in the circle. Mercer's Crystal Condra laid down a bunt down the first base line to lead off the bottom of the fifth, but Amanda Haverman (
The Lady Bucs plated an insurance run in the seventh. Hardy helped her caused with a one-out double to fence in left-center. Hardy was replaced by pinch-runner Cat Zyskowski (
Hardy sent the Bear batters down 1-2-3 in the seventh to tab her fifth shutout of the season and improved her record to 18-13. The Rocklin,
Powell posted two of the five ETSU hits and her stolen base marked the Lady Bucs' 92nd theft of the season - which is two away of setting a new program record.
ETSU resumes to action at 8 p.m. when they face the winner of Stetson/Campbell. The Hatters and Camels square off at 1 p.m.
Fans unable to make the trip to DeLand, can view all the action by visiting, http://asun.playonsports.tv/ or click the link above.
Stay tuned to www.ETSUBucs.com for more information regarding the conference tournament and all other Buccaneer athletic news.