|February 10, 2017||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|North Carolina A&T||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||5||1|
|Win: Madison Ogle (1-0)||5.0||3||1||0||0||2|
|Loss: HEADEN (0-1)||7.0||10||6||5||2||3|
|Nikki Grupp (ETSU)||4||0||3||2||0||0|
|February 10, 2017||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||R||H||E|
|Win: THOMPSON (1-1)||2.0||2||1||1||1||0|
|Loss: Tiffany Laughren (0-1)||0.1||1||1||0||0||0|
|Taylor Carter (ETSU)||4||2||3||1||0||0|
|Tiffany Laughren (ETSU)||4||1||3||2||0||0|
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. (Feb. 10, 2017) – The ETSU softball team split on opening day of the Gardner-Webb Tournament on Friday from Brinkley Stadium. The Bucs began the day with a 6-1 win over North Carolina A&T, before falling to Gardner-Webb, 8-7, in eight innings in the nightcap.
With the split, ETSU sits 1-1 on the season.
NORTH CAROLINA A&T RECAP
ETSU plated a run in the first and tacked on three more in the third as the Buccaneers cruised to a 6-1 victory over North Carolina in their season opener on Friday.
Junior Madison Ogle (Maryville, Tenn.) earned the win (1-0) as she allowed one unearned run on four hits, while striking out two and walking none in five innings of work. Senior outfielder Danielle Knoetze (San Diego, Calif.) reached base in all four plate appearances as she went 2-for-2 with three runs scored, one walk and was hit by a pitch, while freshman Nikki Grupp (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 3-for-4 with two RBI in her collegiate debut. Sophomore Tiffany Laughren (Erwin, Tenn.) also posted a multi-hit game as she went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Bucs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Knoetze led off the game with a double to left-center and scored on Kelsey Chernak’s (Ooltewah, Tenn.) RBI single to left.
ETSU extended its lead in the third as the Blue and Gold pushed across three runs in the frame to go ahead, 4-0. Laughren and Mykeah Johnson (Cohutta, Ga.) led off the inning with back-to-back singles, while Knoetze worked a walk to load the bases. From there, Laughren scored when Aggie catcher Nathaly Pacheco tried to pick her off third, but the throw was offline and the Buccaneer sophomore scored on the error. From there, both ETSU runners moved up on the play and Johnson scored on an RBI ground out by Chernak, while Grupp’s first collegiate hit resulted in an RBI single as Knoetze scored on the play.
North Carolina A&T scratched across its run in the bottom of the fourth when Knoetze committed a two-out error in right, which allowed Jillian Nobles to score from first, making it a 4-1 score.
The Bucs got some insurance runs in the top of the fifth on a two-RBI double from Grupp, while Ogle and Sharlene Godoy (La Puente, Calif.) combined to shutout the Aggies over the final three innings to secure the win.
Mohagony Headen suffered the loss (0-1) for NC A&T as she was charged with five runs on 10 hits in seven innings, while Pacheco and Stephanie Williams combined for four of the Aggies’ six hits.
NC A&T – who defeated Alabama A&M earlier in the morning – moved to 1-1 on the season.
Despite posting a pair of rallies – including one in the top of the seventh inning – the Bucs were unable to complete the comeback as Megan Champion’s one-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted Gardner-Webb to an 8-7 victory in the nightcap.
The Bucs out-hit GWU, 10-7, as Taylor Carter (Brazil, Ind.) and Tiffany Laughren both finished with three hits each. Laughren went 3-for-4 with three doubles, a run scored and two RBI, while Carter – who scored the tying run in the seventh – went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Senior Rebecca Wahrmund (Morrilton, Ark.) got the start but allowed two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings, while fellow senior Lindsey Fadnek (Coalfield, Tenn.) tossed 4.2 innings out of the bullpen. Fadnek issued five runs (four earned) on four hits and struck out five. Freshman Kelly Schmidt (Norcross, Ga.) tossed two scoreless innings her collegiate debut, while Laughren suffered the loss (0-1) after allowing the walk-off hit to Champion.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs struck first with two runs in the top of the second, but after being held scoreless for the first three innings, ETSU responded with a three-run fourth to take a 3-2 lead. The first four Buccaneer hitters reached safely to start the fourth inning as Kelsey Chernak led off with a double, while Nikki Grupp was hit by a pitch and Cassi Pickett (Chattanooga, Tenn.) singled to load the bases. With no outs and the bases full of Bucs, Carter ripped an RBI single to plate Chernak, while Kelsey Smith’s (Tucson, Ariz.) sacrifice fly RBI to center scored Grupp to tie up the game. From there, Laughren doubled home Pickett to give ETSU its first lead of the night.
From there it became seesaw affair as the Runnin’ Bulldogs regained a 5-3 lead after scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth, before the Blue and Gold charged back with another three-spot in the top of the sixth to regain a 6-5 advantage. Mykeah Johnson, Danielle Knoetze and Grupp all plated in runs in that sixth inning.
Unfortunately, the Bucs couldn’t keep Gardner-Webb at bay as they pushed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to go back ahead, 7-6. ETSU continued to battle as the Blue and Gold pulled even at seven in the top of the seventh when Carter led off with a single and charged home on Laughren’s third double of the night. However, with one out and runners on the corners, Johnson hit into a double play as Laughren was gunned down at the plate when she tired to score on the fly out to left.
The storyline continued in the top of the eighth as Johnson was placed on second to start the inning, but after Knoetze moved her over with a sac bunt, Chernak flew into a double play as Johnson was tagged out at home on the fly out to center.
After being unable to gain momentum, Gardner-Webb answered in the bottom of the eighth when Champion laced a one-out single up the middle to cap off the wild game in extras.
Champion paced Gardner-Webb with three hits, while she scored two runs and drove in three. Mackenzie Thompson earned the win (1-1) in the circle as she allowed one run on two hits in the final two innings.
Gardner-Webb – who defeated Alabama A&M earlier in the day – improved to 2-2 on the season.
The Bucs have a quick turnaround as ETSU takes on Alabama A&M at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the softball page.