KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (March 2, 2012) – Sophomore first baseman Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.) produced in a big way for the Bucs as her hot bat carried the ETSU softball team past Boston University, 7-3, on Friday morning at the Tennessee Softball Classic from Lee Softball Stadium.
Horner – who went 2-for-3 at the plate – put the Blue and Gold on the board with a three-run home run in the third and drove in her fourth run of the game with a RBI double in the sixth, while the pitching combo of sophomore Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) and senior Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) held Boston U. to three runs (two earned) on nine hits. Wolff won her third straight decision (3-2) after allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work, while Morris tossed 1.1 innings of perfect ball to earn her first save since April 2, 2010.
Along with Horner, senior catcher Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) also had a two-hit game, while fellow senior Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and was hit by a pitch.
With the win, the Bucs have now posted victories in three of their last four games to improve to 4-10 on the year, while Boston U. – who has won the last three America East Championships and was picked as the favorite in 2012 – dropped to 3-3 on the season.
Despite seeing the Terriers score the first two runs of the game, ETSU wasn’t fazed by the setback – and after rallying past the Dutch National Team on Thursday – the Bucs carried their never die attitude into Friday’s affair.
The Terriers scored first as Jayme Mask led off the bottom of the first with a triple down the line in right and later scored on Megan Volpano’s one-out RBI single to left, giving Boston U. the early 1-0 lead. Wolff worked out of some trouble in the inning as the Terriers had runners on second and third with two outs, but the sophomore hurler forced Emily Roesch to pop out to second on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.
Once again in the second, Boston U. tacked on another run, but Wolff and the Bucs did a solid job limiting the Terriers to the lone run, making it a two-run cushion for BU. A leadoff walk to Emily Felbaum came back to haunt the Blue and Gold as she scored when Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) was charged with a fielding error on Melanie Delgado’s single to right-center. However, after Delgado advanced to third on a sac-bunt, the Terriers laid down the bunt again, but couldn’t execute the squeeze as Mask was out at first and Delgado was left standing at third. Then, with Delgado still at third, Chelsea O’Connor fouled out to Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) at third to end the inning.
After strong pitching and defense kept the Blue and Gold within striking distance, Horner gave the Bucs a 3-2 lead in the top of the third when her three-run blast carried over the wall in left, marking her third round-tripper of the year.
Boston U. threatened in the third, but yet again the Bucs rose to the challenge, keeping their one-run lead intact. The Terriers put their first two runners aboard to start the bottom half of the inning, but Wolff remained calm and received some help from her defense. The LaGrange, Texas native forced Brittany Clendenny to line out to Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at short for the first out of the inning, while Baird retrieved a pop fly off the bat of Roesch for the second out. With the game-tying run at second, Wolff picked the right time to record her first strikeout as she got Felbaum out swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Bucs capitalized on a pitching change and a throwing error in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to three, 5-2. ETSU loaded the bases courtesy of singles by Baird, Martin and Sade Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) – and following the single by Johnson – Boston U. made a pitching change as Horner stepped into the batter’s box. Erin Schuppert saw her day come to an end and junior Whitney Tuthill was greeted with a roller back to the circle and couldn’t handle the play. Tuthill’s throw to first was offline, giving the Bucs the opportunity to send Baird and Martin home to move the Blue and Gold’s advantage to three runs.
The Terriers got one of their runs back in the bottom half of the inning when O’Connor’s two-out double to left brought in Erica Casacci from second, making it a 5-3 ball game.
However, after both teams were held scoreless in the fifth, Horner put the Bucs up 6-3 in the sixth, courtesy of a clutch two-out RBI double, which scored Fox from second.
Things got shaky for the Blue and Gold in the bottom half of the inning when Boston U. had runners on the corners with two outs, but Morris entered in relief and kept the Terriers from crossing the plate as she forced Volpano to ground out to second.
ETSU put the game away in the seventh when Baird’s RBI ground out to short made it a 7-3 contest as pinch runner Mikayla Treadway (Unicoi, Tenn.) crossed the dish on the play.
Schuppert suffered the loss (0-2) as she was tagged for five runs (two earned) in 3.2 innings, while O’Connor and Valpano combined to go 4-for-8 with with a double and two RBI.
Martin extended her hitting streak to six straight games after ripping a single up the middle in the fourth, and Horner pushed her team-leading total of multi-hit games on the season to six.
The Bucs return to action on Saturday afternoon when ETSU takes on No. 8 Tennessee at 3 p.m. from the Lee Softball Stadium.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.