JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 9, 2019) – The ETSU Bucs concluded day one of the Buccaneer Classic with a bang, defeating Siena by the final score of 11-5 in what served as the home opener for ETSU. With the win, ETSU improved to 11-7-2 on the season, snapping a three-game slide. The Saints fall to 3-9, dropping both contests on the day.
ETSU started off the game with one run coming in the home half of the opening inning as Jordan Durbin (Mechanicsville, Va.) drew a bases-loaded walk for the early 1-0 lead. However, the lead was short lived as Siena scored three unanswered runs over the next two innings for the 3-1 lead.
The Bucs battled back after surrendering the advantage, scoring four runs on five hits in the bottom half of the third inning. The first two runs came off Vanessa Elliott’s (Johnson City, Tenn.) two-run double to left center, knotting the game at three apiece. ETSU recaptured the lead on the very next at bat as Kelsey Brown (Advance, N.C.) unloaded for her first collegiate home run, a two-run shot to deep left field for the 5-3 lead.
After the Saints drew even in the fourth inning, ETSU retaliated with three runs in the home half of the fifth inning, sparked by Andrea Sarhatt’s (Knoxville, Tenn.) double to center field to plate Kelly Warren (Mechanicsville, Va.) for the 6-5 lead. The Bucs scored two runs on the next at bat as Nikki Grupp (Jacksonville, Fla.) reached on a bloop single, scoring Lauren Lee (Cleveland, Tenn.) and a throwing error by Siena brought in Sarhatt from second.
The Bucs added three more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, capped off by Grupp’s two-run double to plate Warren and Demi Coleman (Maryville, Tenn.) for the 11-5 final score. Prior to Grupp’s record-tying fifth hit of the ball game, Anissa Avila (Black Mountain, N.C.) was responsible for the ninth ETSU run of the game, scoring on a passed ball.
Taylor Boling (Jasper, Ga.) earned her fourth win of the season, throwing four and two-thirds innings, allowing four hits and two unearned runs. Boling also struck out a season-high four batters, a mark that she matched in seven innings of work against Detroit Mercy on Feb. 16.
Pitchers of Record
» Win: Taylor Boling (4-1)
» Loss: Sarah Dowalo (0-2)
Stat of the Game
ETSU snapped its three-game losing skid with 11 runs on 15 hits against the Saints on Saturday afternoon. The Bucs’ 15 hits were the second most this season and the eighth time this year that ETSU eclipsed double-digit hits.
Player of the Game
Nikki Grupp finished a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate, tying a program record for most hits in a single game. The junior infielder also plated three runs and scored once herself.
» With the win, ETSU claimed its second consecutive home opener and improves to 4-1 in home openers in the last five seasons.
» Nikki Grupp tied Haley Thompson for the most hits in a single game in program history with five. Thompson reached the milestone against Western Carolina on Feb. 12, 2012.
» ETSU tallied 15 hits, eclipsing double-digit hits for the first time in seven games.
» Kelly Warren and Kelsey Brown each tallied two hits, including Brown’s first collegiate long ball.
» Kelly Schmidt (Norcross, Ga.) started the game in the circle, throwing two and one-thirds innings, allowing three runs on six hits.
» With the win, ETSU improves to 7-1 all-time against the Saints.
» ETSU: 11-7-2
» Siena: 3-9
The Bucs will return to action tomorrow for a doubleheader at Betty Basler Field. ETSU’s first game will be at 1 p.m. when the Bucs host Rutgers. The Blue & Gold will then square off with Evansville at approximately 3 p.m.
Keeping up with the Bucs
For complete information on ETSU softball, follow the program via social media on Twitter (@ETSUSoftball), Instagram (@etsubucssoftball) and Facebook (@BucSoftball). For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the softball link.