Gilbert's strong pitching performance not enough to hold off Virginia Tech
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Senior righty limits Hokies to two runs in 8.1 innings


BLACKSBURG, Va. (April 6, 2010) - Senior Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) was the lone Lady Buccaneer pitcher to keep the Virginia Tech hitters in check; however, the ETSU offense was held in limbo for most of the day and the Hokies swept ETSU on Tuesday night at the Tech Softball Complex.


In the opener, Virginia Tech scored a pair of runs in the first two innings and Misty Hall's three-run scoring double in the fourth proved to be the game-winner as the Hokies held off a late Lady Buccaneer comeback, 7-4. Then, in the nightcap, junior Kenzie Roark outlasted Gilbert and Virginia Tech capped off the sweep with a 2-1 victory.


The Lady Bucs have now lost four straight and dropped to 14-24, while Virginia Tech snapped its six-game losing streak and improved to 15-23.


In the two games, Gilbert allowed only two runs in 8.1innings pitched.   



One small slip may have cost Darci Gilbert and the Lady Bucs a chance at knocking off ACC foe Virginia Tech.


With two outs and runners on first and third, freshman Mikayla Treadway (Unicoi, Tenn.) came through with an RBI single to right, cutting the deficit to one, but Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) - the game-tying run - was tagged out at third when her hand slipped off the bag and the Hokies held on for the 2-1 victory.


Virginia Tech threatened in the first, but Darci Gilbert did a solid job working out of a bases loaded jam. With one out and the sacks full, Gilbert forced the next two Hokie hitters to pop out, leaving three runners stranded and keeping the game scoreless.


Once again the Hokies left the bases loaded in the top of the second, but it wasn't before Virginia Tech could take a 1-0 lead. Virginia Tech took full use of an Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) throwing error, which led to Kristen Graham scoring the run on Bkaye Smith's single - giving the Hokies the one-run advantage. However, after Gilbert plunked her second batter, the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native left three runners stranded by freezing Kristen Froehlich to end the inning.


For the third straight inning Gilbert would load the bases, but the senior righty didn't back down from the challenge. Again with one out and the sacks full, Gilbert struck out a pair of Virginia Tech hitters to get out of the third inning unscathed.


However, things didn't follow the same format in the bottom of the fourth as Virginia Tech struck for a solo run, increasing its lead to 2-0. Courtney Liddle drove a one-out pitch down the right field line for a triple and trotted home on Misty Hall's two-out single up the middle.


After retiring 11 straight hitters since Lucy Schneider's (Dade City, Fla.) single in the first, Lower ended the streak with a leadoff single in the fifth. Lower was tagged out when Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) reached on a fielder's choice, but Jett became the first Lady Buccaneer runner to reach second on her 12th stolen base of the season. Unfortunately, with Jett in scoring position, Kenzie Roark struck out Treadway and induced Campbell to hit into an inning-ending grounder to first.  


Just like in game one, ETSU got its offense going in the seventh, but one small slip cost the Lady Bucs a chance at a come-from-behind win over the Hokies. With one out, junior Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) reached on a fielding error by the Virginia Tech second baseman - and after she threw the ball away - Henderson advanced to second. Henderson quickly moved over to third when Lower singled back to the pitcher, and the Jackson, Tenn. native crossed the plate on Treadway's single to right - making it a 2-1 contest. However, Lower tried taking an extra base on Treadway's single and the move looked to be a good one, but after Lower beat the throw, her hand came off the base and she was tagged out by Kristina Cruz at third to end the game.


After showcasing a gutsy effort in the circle, Gilbert was tagged with the loss (4-4) after issuing two runs on 11 hits and fanning five. Roark improved to 4-13 after allowing one unearned run on five hits.



The Hokies scored two runs in the first and second innings, while Misty Hall's three-run scoring double in the fourth broke the game open and Virginia Tech held off a late Lady Buccaneer comeback, 7-4.


Virginia Tech's Ashton Ward went the distance allowing four runs (one earned) on eight hits to earn the win (3-0), while the Lady Bucs' Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) couldn't work out of the first inning and suffered the loss 6-7. Duncan allowed two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning.


Virginia Tech quickly jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom first. The Hokies' Richelle McGarva tripled to left-center and crossed the plate on a passed ball. Then, with two outs, Kristen Froehlich took a 2-1 pitch from Duncan out of the park - expanding the Virginia Tech advantage to 2-0. Following Froehlich's homer, Hall doubled to left-center, and Duncan's day was complete as Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) entered in relief. Hardy kept Hall stranded at second by getting Kristin Graham to end the inning with a pop fly to left.


The Hokies continued using the long ball to their advantage in the second when Kristina Cruz made it 3-0 with a solo homer to left-center. Eventually Virginia Tech added another run when McGarva doubled home Bkaye Smith to make it 4-0 for the host team.


The Lady Bucs put the leadoff runner on in three of the first four innings, but Ward shut down the ETSU attack - keeping the Blue and Gold off the board.


After working out of a minor jam in the third, the same result couldn't hold for Hardy in the fourth as Hall's two-out, three-run scoring double put the game out of reach as the Hokies led, 7-0.


ETSU finally took advantage of a leadoff hit in the sixth, as Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) - who began the inning with a single to left - scored two plays later on Trisha Massenzo's (Russellville, Tenn.) RBI double, making it 7-1.


The Blue and Gold made it respectable by plating three runs on two hits and one error in the seventh, but Ward got Massenzo to end the game with a pop out to right. The brief rally began when pinch-hitter Tara Hartnett (Snellville, Ga.) reached on a one-error and she advanced to second on an Amy Campbell walk. After freshman second baseman Sam Lower drove in Hartnett with an RBI single, both she and Campbell moved into scoring position on a passed ball. From there, Cason scored Campbell on her RBI ground out to second, while Lucy Schneider capped off the scoring with a RBI double to left - cutting the deficit to three.  


The Lady Bucs look to bounce back when they travel to Florida and take on Jacksonville on Friday, April 9. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 5 p.m. and will be broadcast on ASun.TV.    


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