Statesboro, Ga. (Apr. 6, 2002) - East Tennessee State fell in both ends of a Southern Conference softball doubleheader, 5-1 and 11-3, Saturday afternoon from Eagle Field in Statesboro, Ga.
Georgia Southern (17-23, 9-2 SoCon) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the third inning. Christi Aitken drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Julie Peel. Cooper took the very next pitch over the left center field wall to give the Eagles a two-run advantage.
East Tennessee State (14-21, 4-7 SoCon) answered with a run in the top of the fourth on freshman outflelder Danielle Spetar's (Knoxville, Tenn.) fourth home run of the season. The Bucs loaded the bases, but Aimee Littlejohn struck out freshman third baseman Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.) to end the ETSU fourth-inning rally.
GSU added a run in the bottom of the fourth and bottom of the fifth. Kim Griffin led off the fourth with a double and moved to third on Crystal Crews' fly out to the warning track in center. Littlejohn followed by lifting a sacrifice fly to left, and Griffin beat the throw with a head-first dive. With one out in the fifth, Cooper hit her second home run in as many at-bats, a solo shot to left field.
The Eagles closed out the scoring in the top of the sixth, when Griffin scored on a ground ball fielder's choice off the bat of Littlejohn.
Four Buccaneers recorded one hit each, with Spetar's homer accounting for all the scoring. Freshman pitcher Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) went the distance on the mound, allowing five runs on five hits, striking out three.
ETSU tallied first in game two, pushing across a run in the top of the second. Freshman outfielder Amy Moore (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled home freshman shortstop Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) to put the Buccaneers ahead 1-0.
The Eagles answered in the bottom of the fourth with nine runs and three more home runs. Cooper hit her third home run of the afternoon, a solo shot to left, to lead off the inning. Meghan Correia followed with a walk, and Kelly Blazi hit her second home run of the season to give GSU a 3-1 lead. After a pop out, Crystal Crews hit her sixth home run of the season, a new single-season record. The Eagles added five more runs in the inning, completing the scoring on Crews' base hit that scored Correia.
Five Buccaneers picked up one hit each in the game to lead the team. Senior pitcher Marsha Giles picked up the loss for ETSU, pitching 3.1 innings, allowing four runs on three hits, striking out two.
East Tennessee State and Georgia Southern conclude their three-game series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Eagle Field in statesboro, Ga.