SPARTANBURG, S.C. (March 24, 2008) - After being shutout by USC Upstate 6-0 in game one, the ETSU softball team forced a split by exploding for four runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth en route to a 13-6 victory in the nightcap Monday evening from Cyrill Field.
With the split, the Lady Buccaneers have now won five of their last six games and ETSU moved its record to 14-18, 3-3 in Atlantic Sun play; while the Spartans' record goes to 17-8, 3-3.
ETSU looked to have scored its first run in the second game on a Katy Jett (
Freshman Ashley Boyd (
Despite posting one hit Upstate took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. The Spartans tied the game at one after Melissa Lockey scored on a passed ball by Boyd, and a sac bunt by Tiffany Pitcher made it 2-1.
The Softball Bucs made sure Upstate's lead would not last long as ETSU scored four runs in the top of the fifth. Hardy began the fun-filled frame with a single to center and junior Vicki McCoy (
Upstate regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning thanks to Kim Brasil's first collegiate home run and runs scored by Shay Slater and Heidi Gibbs. Brasil's two-run homer cut the deficit to one, but two unearned runs put the Spartans back ahead, 6-5.
The sea-saw affair continued as ETSU jumped back in front, 10-6, in the sixth. Zyskowski's started the scoring when her sharp liner over the shortstop's glove plated pinch runner Jessie Hackworth (
ETSU continued with its scoring barrage in the seventh as Hardy's one-out double scored
Jett drove in a career-high five runs and Hardy became the ninth Lady Buccaneer player in program history to belt four hits in a single game. She joins Hackworth as the only other player to accomplish the feat this season. Hardy was a perfect 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Boyd has now won back-to-back starts for the first time in her ETSU career and pushed her record to 4-3 on the season. The
In game one, the Spartans plated their first three runs after taking advantage of a couple ETSU errors in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Shay Slater reached on a Cheniece Cason throwing error and scored on a miscue from Briana Knight (Brier, Wash.) at second three plays later. The error occurred when pinch runner Courtney Tate stole second and Knight dropped the throw from catcher Katie Henderson. Then, a double to left-center and a single to right plated two more unearned runs for Upstate. Sophomore Marissa Hardy ended and any more scoring opportunities by leaving two runners in scoring position as she struck out Ana Mitchell.
The Spartans' bats continued to stay alive in the third. Tiffany Pitcher's second double of the game scored a pair of runners, making it 5-0. However, ETSU finally caught some luck and lifted Hardy out of a jam. Upstate had runners on first and second, but Melissa Lockey was called out after leaving early and Ana Mitchell ended the frame as she was thrown out by
Unfortunately, the Lady Bucs could not catch any breaks in the top of the sixth. After Cason stretched a blooper into a double to lead off the inning, pinch hitter Caitlin Zyskowski and (Katy) Jett both could not reach as their shots just missed staying fair down the left field line. Upstate's hurler Morgan Childers then recorded her seventh strike out on Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.), leaving Cason at second.
Upstate made it 6-0 when Kim Brasil scored on a wild pitch from Marissa Hardy in the sixth.
After earning both wins against Gardner-Webb on Friday, Hardy was tagged with the loss. The right-hander allowed six runs (three earned) on 11 hits, while striking out five. Childers posted her fifth shutout of the season and moved her mark to 14-3.
ETSU will begin a six-game home stand on Wednesday afternoon when the Lady Bucs host
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.