NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 2, 2018) – The ETSU softball team dropped its opening game of the Purple/Gold Classic on Friday afternoon, as the Buccaneers were edged by Indiana State, 4-3, from Lipscomb’s Draper Diamond.
Both teams finished with seven hits each, but it was a two-out bases loaded walk in the top of the seventh that plated the game-winning run for the Sycamores.
Sophomore Kylie Toler (Bradenton, Fla.) reached base in all three plate appearances as she went 2-for-2 with two doubles, a walk and drove in the tying run in the bottom of the sixth, while freshman Julia Fritz (Glen Allen, Va.) belted her second home run of the year to give ETSU a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Junior Vanessa Elliott (Johnson City, Tenn.) pushed across the first run of the game when her fourth-inning single scored Tiffany Laughren (Erwin, Tenn.) from second, however, the Blue and Gold were unable to do further damage as Elliott and pinch runner Demi Coleman (Maryville, Tenn.) were doubled up on the play at second and third.
Senior Madison Ogle (Maryville, Tenn.) got the start for the Blue and Gold and suffered the loss (3-4) as she issued four runs (three earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. Sophomore Kelly Schmidt (Norcross, Ga.) tossed the final inning and walked in the winning run in the seventh. Schmidt – who entered with two on and no outs in the seventh – nearly got out of the inning unscathed as she struck out two of the first three hitters she faced. However, with two outs and nowhere to put Amanda Guercio, the Buccaneer hurler got ahead 0-2, but eventually walked in the winning run.
The Sycamores evened the game at one when centerfielder Kelly Warren (Mechanicsville, Va.) committed a two-out error in the fifth, while Shaye Barton’s two-out, two-RBI double in the sixth gave Indiana State a 3-2 lead.
Barton’s double was her lone hit of the game, while Rebecca Gibbs went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Arielle Blankenship earned the win (4-1) in relief as she held the Bucs to one run on two hits with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Kylie Stober started for the Sycamores and was charged with two runs on five hits and three walks in 4.2 innings.
The Bucs have now lost four straight games and dipped to 4-8, while Indiana State improved to 8-4.
ETSU is back in action Friday when ETSU takes on host Lipscomb at 1:30 p.m. and Indiana State at 6:30. Please note, times are listed in EST.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the softball page.