CLEARWATER, Fla. (March 15, 2009) - Earlier in the season the ETSU softball team found themselves on the wrong end of two one-run ball games; however, things have quickly turned in the right direction for the Lady Bucs as they have now won their last six one-run contests, including a 3-2 victory over Ball State on Sunday morning at the Under Armour Invitational.
ETSU, whose last three games have been decided by one run, won four of its five games in the tournament and improved to a program best 15-5 after the win over the Cardinals. This marks the best 20-game start for the Lady Bucs since ETSU began the 2003 season 12-8.
The Lady Bucs pounded out 10 hits on the day and the hot arm of Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) carried the way for ETSU, as she allowed two runs on two hits while striking out three Ball State hitters. Hardy improved to 8-2 on the season and went 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA on the weekend.
ETSU put up a three spot in the first inning and that was all the damage needed on Sunday morning at the Eddie Moore Field. Kate Powell (Johnson City) and Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) started the fun with back-to-back one-out singles, and Powell eventually scored from second on Amy Campbell's (Hixson, Tenn.) two-out base nock to second. Hardy then helped her cause with a RBI single to center, and Vicki McCoy's (Ringgold, Ga.) bunt hit plated Campbell - giving ETSU the 3-0 lead.
Hardy faced some troubles in the second and third innings and Ball State made it a one-run game, 3-2. The Rocklin, Calif. native walked two Cardinal batters in the second and Kathryn Wilczynski's two-out single to center scored Jackie Durment - making it a 3-1 contest. The Cardinals led off the bottom of the third with a Lisa Rozanksi three-bagger to center, and she cut the ETSU advantage to 3-2 when she scored on Alicia Barkley's grounder to second. However, Hardy was in the zone after the Cardinal runner crossed the plate, as she retired 13 of the final 14 Ball State batters and secured the Lady Bucs their 15th win of the season.
Powell had her sixth multi-hit game of the season by finishing 3-for-4 with a run scored - marking her first three-hit day of the year. Hardy also got things done at the plate - going 2-for-3 with a RBI.
Ball State dropped to 8-12 on the year and Laura Masch saw her record fall to 2-2 after issuing three runs on seven hits.
After being away from Johnson City for nearly three weeks, ETSU finally returns home to open conference play on Wednesday, March 18 against North Florida. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. inside the ETSU Softball Complex.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.