NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 9, 2014) – Four ETSU players recorded multiple hits, including a perfect 4-for-4 performance by freshman shortstop Kelsey Chernak (Ooltewah, Tenn.), as the ETSU softball team cruised to victory over Detroit, 6-2, Sunday afternoon at the Music City Classic in Nashville.
The Buccaneers (2-2) plated the game’s first run in the fourth inning and never looked back, scoring in each of the next three innings.
“Today’s game was a good all around game,” ETSU head coach Brad Irwin said. “We got good pitching, we hit well, and we played good defense. The girls executed well as far as moving runners and driving in runs.”
A two-out double by Chernak in the top of the fourth inning drove in Kelsie Moore (Fellsmere, Fla.) to give ETSU a 1-0 lead over the Titans (1-3). In the very next frame, a fly ball hit by junior right fielder Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) allowed Brooke Baxter (Jasper, Tenn.) to score, doubling the Bucs lead to 2-0.
In 10 at-bats this season, Chernak has recorded seven hits, including a pair of doubles. Chernak and Everett have each recorded hits in three of the Bucs’ four games.
ETSU extended its lead even more in the sixth inning, scoring three times thanks to a two-RBI triple by Danielle Knoetze (San Diego, Calif.) followed by a double by freshman pitcher Taylor Carter (Brazil, Ind.).
On the mound, Carter flourished, pitching five and two-thirds scoreless innings before allowing two runs in the sixth and retiring 15 of the 21 batters she faced. In her three appearances this season, opponents are batting just .193 against Carter, including a dismal .125 mark by leadoff hitters.
Senior catcher Jackie Baird homered in the seventh inning to put the finishing touches on the Bucs’ 6-2 win. Baird also hit a home run in ETSU’s 8-2 win over Belmont Saturday, Feb. 8.
Junior pitcher Whitney Leon (Dandridge, Tenn.) earned the save for ETSU, pitching one and two-thirds scoreless innings to seal the Bucs’ second win of the season.
The Buccaneers will look to continue their winning ways next weekend in Atlanta when they take part in the Panther Invitational at Georgia State.
ETSU will take on Bowling Green and Indiana Saturday, Feb. 15 before facing off against UT-Martin and Georgia State Sunday, Feb. 16.