West coast swing goes south for Lady Bucs
Saturday, March 13, 2010

Massenzo named to All-Tournament Team


FRESNO, Calif. (March 13, 2010) - Heading into the 10-game, 11-day California road swing, the ETSU softball team won four of its last six games and were sitting two games above .500. However, after dropping eight out of ten out west - including two on Saturday at the Bayer CropScience Classic - the Lady Bucs will head home and look to regroup before their home opener on Tuesday.


The Lady Bucs began the day dropping a 4-3 nine-inning heartbreaker to Colorado State, and ETSU wrapped up tournament play with a 9-0 setback to Mississippi State at Fresno State's Bulldog Diamond.


After playing their first 22 games away from Johnson City, the Lady Bucs stand 9-13 on the year.  


Senior catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) was named to the all-tournament team after hitting .500 (8-16) with two doubles, two home runs, three runs scored and seven RBI in five games at the Classic. The Russellville, Tenn. native also hit safely in each of the five games in Fresno.


ETSU vs. Colorado State Recap

For the third straight game, ETSU found itself in a one-run contest; however, for the second time in as many days, the Lady Bucs were on the wrong end as Colorado State defeated the Blue and Gold, 4-3, in nine innings.


Trisha Massenzo went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI; while junior newcomer Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) was solid in relief despite being hit with the loss.  


Colorado State (14-8) took full advantage of some ETSU pitching problems in the first inning, as for the second time on this west coast swing, senior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) couldn't make it out of the first inning. Hardy only retired one CSU hitter, walked three and issued a two-run scoring single to Allis Majam, and the Rams jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Hardy's day was done after the single and Duncan entered in the circle. Duncan did a solid job keeping Colorado State from extending its lead as she retired the next two Ram hitters and left a pair of runners stranded on first and second.


 The Lady Bucs cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the first as ETSU's small-ball tactics paid off. After Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) worked a leadoff walk, she stole second and advanced to third on Katy Jett's (Talbott, Tenn.) sac-fly to center. Then, with two outs and Cason on third, Massenzo continued to produce, as her double to left-center scored Cason - making it a 2-1 contest.


ETSU threatened in the third, but after putting the tying run on third and the go-ahead run at second, Colorado State made a pitching change to keep momentum on its side. Cason began the charge by working her second walk of the afternoon - and after Lucy Schneider (Dade City, Fla.) doubled - Kelsey Jo O'Brien saw her afternoon come to a halt in the circle. However, Rebecca Penland entered in relief to retire Jett and Massenzo, keeping the Rams' lead intact, 2-1.


For the second straight inning, the Lady Bucs missed out on a scoring opportunity as ETSU had runners on second and third with two outs, but Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) hit into an inning-ending grounder back to the pitcher.


After flirting with tying the game in the previous two innings, Massenzo's hot bat continued to come through for the Blue and Gold. With two outs and Cason standing out second, Massenzo singled to center and tied the game at two.


Meanwhile, with Duncan keeping the Rams scoreless for the next 7.2 innings, the Lady Bucs were prime to win it in the bottom of the eighth after flashing some leather in the top half of the inning. With one out and a CSU runner on third, Majam flied out to Schneider in left. The freshman standout fired a bullet home to get Ivory Allen out at the plate - keeping the game tied at two. In the Lady Buccaneer eighth, Jett was standing on third with one out; however, Arielle Garner (Buchanan, Ga.) struck out and Delisa ended the inning with a pop out to right.


Colorado State finally broke its scoreless drought by plating two runs in the top of the ninth, and after the Lady Bucs scored one run in the bottom of the frame on an error, Kelli Eubanks left a pair of ETSU runners standing on first and second when she got Schneider out looking to end the game.


Despite allowing only one earned run (two runs) in 8.2 innings, Duncan suffered the loss and saw her record dip to 5-3. Eubanks earned the win and improved to 10-5 after issuing one unearned run on four hits in four innings of relief.  


ETSU vs. Mississippi State Recap

Mississippi State scored four runs in the second and tacked on three more in the fourth, as the Bulldogs cruised past the Lady Bucs, 9-0.


ETSU committed four errors in the game - all coming in the second inning - and the Lady Bucs also left five runners on base.


After earning her first collegiate win on Friday, sophomore Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) was tagged with the loss (1-3), allowing nine runs (five earned) on 10 hits in five innings of work. Morris also struck out six and walked two.


Morris looked to be cruising after retiring five of the first six hitters she faced to start the game; however, the flood gates opened when Cheniece Cason was charged with an error at short with two outs in the second. From there, the Bulldogs score four unearned runs, as the Lady Bucs were charged with three more errors in the frame and Mississippi State led, 4-0.


Mississippi State (16-9) tacked on one more run in the third on Ali Bainbridge's two-out RBI double to right-center - and after plating three runs on four hits in the fourth - the Bulldogs went up 8-0.


The Lady Bucs had runners on in each of the first four innings; however, ETSU couldn't muster enough offense to push any runs across the dish. ETSU missed its best opportunity in the fourth when the Lady Bucs had runners on first and second and one out, but Kylie Vry struck out Marlina Delisa and forced Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) to line out to short.


The Bulldogs scored one more run in the fifth to come away with the nine-run victory.


Vry earned her fifth win of the season (5-3) after tossing five innings of six-hit ball.


Cason extended her hitting streak to six straight games with her single in the first; while Trisha Massenzo has now hit safely in five straight after recording a single in the fourth.


The Lady Bucs finally return back to Johnson City for their home-opener on Tuesday, March 16 when ETSU hosts Liberty. First pitch of the double-header is slated for 2 p.m. from the ETSU Softball Complex.


For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.