Baird, Henderson named to all-tournament team as ETSU splits on final day of Buccaneer Challenge
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 13, 2011) - After being shutout against BIG EAST foe Pittsburgh earlier in the day, the ETSU softball team unleashed its anger on North Carolina A&T as the Bucs pounded out a school-record 21 hits - including Marlina Delisa's (Tucson, Ariz.) career-best 4-for-6 effort - while the Blue and Gold enjoyed a lop-sided 16-2 victory over the Aggies on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the Buccaneer Challenge at Betty Basler Field.
Delisa's four-hit effort marked a career-high for the Tucson, Ariz. native, and she also joined an elite group of 10 other Buccaneer standouts to register four-plus hits in a single game - becoming the first player to accomplish the feat since Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) recorded four hits against Western Carolina back on April 29, 2009.
Overall, freshman Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) and senior Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) enjoyed a successful weekend as the Buccaneer duo were named to the all-tournament team after guiding the Blue and Gold to a 4-2 mark on the weekend - moving their seasonal record to 8-14. During the three-day, six-game tournament format, Baird went 10-for-21 (.476) with two doubles, three home runs, eight runs scored and 13 RBI; while Henderson lead the team with a .526 average (10-19). The Jackson, Tenn. native also tallied two doubles, two home runs (one grand slam), eight RBI, and eight runs scored.
North Carolina A&T Recap
Jackie Baird belted two round-trippers and Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) jumped started the high octane offensive attack with a two-run homer in the first, and ETSU came away with the 16-2 win over North Carolina A&T in the final game of the Buccaneer Challenge Sunday afternoon.
Baird and Lower each mounted three hits apiece, while Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) earned the win (4-6) in the circle after allowing two runs and striking out eight hitters.
The Blue and Gold - who was the designated visiting team - looked to have set the tone early by plating three runs on three hits in the top of the first to take the lead after a half inning of play. Baird brought home the first run when her single to left scored Marlina Delisa, while Lower's blast made it a 3-0 game when she sent a bomb over the fence in left for a two-run homer.
After Duncan retired the side in the bottom of the first, the Bucs squandered a scoring opportunity as Mikayla Treadway (Unicoi, Tenn.) and Sade Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) each posted one-out singles, but Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) was called out for obstruction and Delisa ended the threat with a pop out to first.
The Aggies (3-11) got on board in the bottom of the second when Lauren Clement was hit on the hand with the bases loaded, but after the questionable call, Duncan bounced back in a big way. The senior righty kept the sacks full of Aggie runners as she punched out the final two batters - marking her fourth and fifth strike outs of the game and kept the Bucs' lead intact, 3-1.
From there, Morgan Chappell pulled North Carolina A&T within a run (3-2) when her two-out home run barely cleared the fence in left-center.
However, the Buccaneer offense stepped up and Duncan kept the Aggies off the board for the remainder of the game.
ETSU showcased some clutch two-out hitting in the fourth as the Bucs pounded out three hits and extended their lead to 4-2 after Delisa's RBI single to shallow center scored Johnson - who began the hit parade with a single to left. Just after Katie Henderson got hit in the back to load the bases, Baird missed breaking the game wide open as she connected on the first pitch she saw, but the ball soared to the other side of the foul pole in the left making it a very long strike. Unfortunately, the bases were left loaded full of Bucs as Baird flied out to left to end the inning.
Baird redeemed herself by smashing a pair of two-run homers in the sixth and seventh innings as the Blue and Gold used an eight-run seventh frame to break things wide open. The Ooltewah, Tenn. native became the ninth player in program history to record multiple homers in a game.
Hope Fletcher suffered the loss after allowing 16 runs on 21 hits in seven innings of work.
Karlyn Jones tossed a two-hit shutout and four Panther hitters went yard as Pittsburgh capped off a perfect record at the Buccaneer Challenge after cruising to a 12-0 five-inning victory over ETSU Sunday afternoon.
Three Buccaneer players reached base as Katie Henderson and Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) each registered hits, while Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) reached on an error, unfortunately, the Pitt offense and pitching was too difficult for ETSU to overcome.
Jones earned her seventh victory of the year after striking out eight in five innings of work, while the Panthers recorded their fifth straight game of plating at least ten runs.
The Bucs began the game by making two solid defensive plays for outs, but Pittsburgh took advantage of Wolff's second walk of the inning as Kelly Hmiel doubled home Holly Stevens from first and Hmiel scored on Niki Cognigni's two-out RBI double to right-center, putting the Panthers up 2-0 before ETSU could even come up to bat.
The Panthers struck again in the third when Stevens' two-run home run over the fence in right-center gave Pittsburgh a four-run cushion, 4-0.
Jones, who retired the first six Buccaneer batters, had her no-hit bid broken up by Wolff after she led off the third with a double to left; however, Jones recorded three straight outs leaving Wolff stranded at second. With two outs, freshman Nicole Fox just missed a RBI opportunity as her liner to short was snagged by Cognigni.
Pitt (13-5) used the long-ball again in the fourth as Yvette Bravo led the frame off with a homer to dead center and Hmiel belted her sixth dinger of the weekend to put the Panthers ahead, 10-0. Again, the Panthers left the park in the fifth when Kristen Cheesebrew recorded a two-out, two-run homer to make it a 12-0 contest.
Click here a full recap of tournament scores.
The Bucs return to action Thursday afternoon when ETSU travels to Clinton, S.C. to face Presbyterian in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.