Massenzo's "grand" day helps Lady Bucs top Temple, 12-2
Sunday, February 21, 2010

Russellville, Tenn. native belts grand slam and drives in career-high five runs versus Owls


ATLANTA, Ga. (Feb. 21, 2010) - Senior catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) went 3-for-4 with a grand slam, two runs scored and career-high five RBI, and the Lady Buccaneer softball team bounced back to top Temple, 12-2 (in five innings), in the third-place game of the Panther Invitational on Sunday afternoon. ETSU missed out on the championship after dropping an 8-7 nine-inning heartbreaker to Georgia State at Bob Heck Field.


For the day, the Lady Buccaneer offense surged their way to 19 runs, 21 hits, five doubles, a triple and a home run. Freshman infielder Arielle Garner (Buchanan, Ga.) led the charge with her blistering .667 batting average (4-6) and scored two runs; while Massenzo and sophomore Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) each drove in five runs apiece. The Lady Buccaneer tandem combined to go 6-of-12 with two doubles, a home run, and four runs scored.


After coming away with another split, ETSU moved its record to 4-3 overall.


ETSU had payback on its mind when they saw Temple again in the consolation game. After having their rally fall short in a 6-4 loss to the Owls on Saturday, the Lady Bucs struck for three runs in the second and four runs in the third to take a quick 7-0 lead.


Massenzo got things rolling with a one-out double in the second and scored the games' first run on a wild pitch. Then with two outs, last night's hero Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) tripled to right-center - scoring Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) from first after she singled to center in the previous at-bat. Cason scored the third run of the inning on Lucy Schneider's (Dade City, Fla.) single to short - making it a 3-0 ballgame.


Senior-right hander Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) sent the Owls down in order in the second and Massenzo continued to be a thorn in Temple's side in the top of the third. After the first three ETSU hitters reached base, the Russellville, Tenn. native zoned in on a pitch to her liking and cleared the bases with her grand slam - giving the Lady Bucs a seven-run advantage.


The Lady Bucs plated one run in the fourth on Massenzo's RBI single to center, and a four-run fifth put ETSU ahead, 12-0.


Temple (1-3) spoiled Gilbert's shutout bid when Ali Robinson smashed a two-run homer to left. Fortunately, Gilbert bounced back and induced Kayla Cook into a game-ending double play, as ETSU walked away with the 10-run win in five innings.


Gilbert, who improved to 2-0 with the complete game win, allowed two runs on four hits. The Murfreesboro, Tenn. native also fanned two, but walked three Owl hitters.


The Owls' Crystal Nyman suffered her third straight loss, as she was roughed up for seven runs on eight hits in only 2.2 innings.


ETSU at Georgia State Recap

Despite holding a five-run lead, ETSU was unable to hang on and defeat host Georgia State, as the Panthers took advantage of a critical error in the ninth and defeated the Lady Bucs, 8-7, on Sunday afternoon.


Marlina Delisa stepped up in a big way against Georgia State, going 3-for-4 with four RBI and junior catcher Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) scored two runs and drove in one of ETSU's seven runs. As a team, the Lady Bucs pounded out eight hits; however, four errors and 13 issued walks proved to be too costly for the Blue and Gold.


Junior newcomer Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) tossed five strong innings in relief; unfortunately, she suffered the loss (2-1) after allowing two unearned runs on two hits.


The Lady Bucs wasted little time making a dent in the scoreboard after plating five first-inning runs. Delisa's three-run double to right was the key hit in the frame, while ETSU capitalized on a poor pitching outing from Heath Lowry. Lowry walked in two runs as Henderson picked up a bases loaded RBI, along with Arielle Garner.


However, ETSU's offense went stagnant over the next three innings and the Panthers took full advantage by grabbing a 6-5 lead. Georgia State scored three runs in the third and three more in the fourth.


Rachel Cunningham's three-run blast over the left field fence cut the Georgia State deficit to two, 5-3. Then, the Panthers took full use of some ETSU fielding and pitching miscues in the fourth and led for the first time of the afternoon. An error by Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) at second prolonged the inning for the Panthers - and with two outs and runners on second and third - Dan Roddy came through with an RBI single to second. Then, Georgia State scored the game-tying and go-ahead runs without punching out a hit, as senior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) walked three consecutive batters. After the third walk, Hardy was pulled and Duncan did a great job keeping it a one-run game, as she struck out Rebecca Roles to end the inning with the bases full of Panther runners.


ETSU didn't trail for long, because Delisa came through again with an RBI single to right, tying the game at six.


The Lady Bucs wasted a prime scoring opportunity in the sixth after leaving the bags full of runners, and Duncan's strong pitching continued to keep the game tied as the Panthers left two runners aboard in the fifth and sixth innings.


With the game heading into extra frames, Cason was placed on second to start the top half of the eighth inning - and the Moreno Calif. native came in to score on Lucy Schneider's RBI single to left - putting ETSU up, 7-6.


However, the Panthers responded with a run in the eighth - and after a questionable call ended the Lady Buccaneer ninth - Georgia State scored the game-winning run when Lower booted a routine grounder at second. ETSU looked to have scored its eighth run of the game when Massenzo touched home plate on Lower's blooper to left-center, but the Lady Bucs were snake-bitten by the umpires. The umps ruled Lower's ball was caught before it hit the ground in the left-center, and Massenzo made the third out after she was said to have left early from third.


Ala Thomas earned her first win of the season after tossing nine innings of relief. Thomas issued three runs (two earned) on seven hits; while recording five strikeouts and five walk.


The Lady Bucs return to action on Friday, Feb. 26 when ETSU takes on Central Connecticut in the Frost Classic in Chattanooga.


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