FRESNO, Calif. (March 11, 2010) - Senior catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) blasted a two-run home run in the top of the third, but it was not enough offense to carry the Lady Bucs past Fresno State, as the Bulldogs defeated ETSU, 7-2, on Thursday night in the opening game of the Bayer CropScience Classic.
Senior right-hander Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.), who was pitching in front of her home crowd for the first time as a Lady Buccaneer, suffered the loss (1-5) after allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits in four innings of work. Fresno State's Mackenzie Oakes entered in relief to earn the win (5-3) after limiting ETSU to one hit in the final 4.1 innings. Michelle Moses started in the circle for Fresno, but allowed two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings.
The Lady Bucs have now lost five of their six games out west and dipped to 8-10 on the year. Meanwhile, Fresno State, who is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll, improved to 12-8.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after the first two innings. Moses helped her cause in the circle by belting a solo homer down the right field line with two outs in the first - and some control issues by Hardy led to a pair of Bulldog runs in the bottom of the second. After the Rocklin, Calif. native issued two walks to start the frame; Fresno State's Rebecca Walker advanced the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Then, with one out and runners on second and third, Diane Runge singled to left - scoring Caitlin Stiglich and moving Nicole Angene over to third. Following Jody Badorine reaching on an error, Angene scored on Haley Gilleland's sac-fly RBI - putting Fresno up 3-0.
ETSU finally cut into the lead when Massenzo flexed her muscles and belted her second home run of season - making it a 3-2 game as she and Lucy Schneider (Dade City, Fla.) trotted home on the bomb in the third.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs got those two runs back in the bottom half of the inning when Stiglich's two-run home run put Fresno State back up three runs, 5-2.
From there, Oakes silenced the Lady Bucs' offense and the Bulldogs broke the game open by plating two runs in the fifth - putting the Fresno State ahead 7-2.
ETSU returns to action on Friday afternoon when the Lady Bucs face Cal State Northridge (2:30 p.m.) and Georgetown (5 p.m.).
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.