Bucs offense explodes for second straight day; Sweeps Lipscomb
Saturday, April 7, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 7, 2007) - After tallying 23 runs on 22 hits on Friday, the ETSU softball team improved those numbers by recording 25 runs on 25 hits in a critical Atlantic Sun sweep over Lipscomb Saturday afternoon. The Bucs took game one, 12-0, as seniors Stephanie Gaynord (Manassas, Va.) and Allison Burnette (Ten Mile, Tenn.) each recorded a home run on Senior Day, and ETSU won the nightcap, 13-1, as they pushed runs across the plate in all four innings.

The Bucs have now won four straight games as they have scored 48 runs on 47 hits over this stretch, and improved to 20-20, 7-3 in the Atlantic Sun; however, more importantly they knocked Lipscomb (22-18-1, 7-4-1) out of first place and trail Kennesaw State by only a half game in the conference standings. ETSU set a new school records by posting 48 runs and 47 hits during the four-game stretch.


With the frigid temperatures rolling across the region the Bucs wanted to make quick work of their opponent and that is exactly what they did as they scored 10 runs in the third, and pushed two more across the plate an inning later in game one.


Freshman Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) led off the third with a single to left and quickly scored when Gaynord recorded her third home run in two days, putting the Bucs up 2-0. The blasts were not done as Mary Catherine Vercoe (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) helped her cause on the mound by smashing ETSU's second homer of the inning, making it  4-0. Amanda Haverman (Kirkwood, Mo.) and Briana Knight (Brier, Wash.) kept the hit parade going with back-to-back singles, while Lipscomb's Christen Campbell loaded the bases by plunking Caitlin Zyskowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Kate Powell (Johnson City) drove in her first run of the season by grounding out to first, and with two outs Cason (who led off the inning) hit one back to the mound, but Campbell could not field the ball which led to the sixth Buccaneer run of the inning. Gaynord then recorded her second hit of the inning as she singled in two more runs, which finally led to Campbell's departure. Katy Jett (Talbot, Tenn.) decided to join in on the fun as she greeted Lipscomb's Christy Grisham with an RBI double to center, and Hackworth followed with a double of her own, scoring Jett, which was the 10th run of the inning as the Bucs sent 14 batters to the plate.


The Bucs tacked two more runs on the board in the fourth when Burnette made her Senior Day memorable, by belting her first-ever home run at ETSU. Burnette pinch hit for Zyskowski and sent one flying over the left field fence, making it 12-0.


Vercoe (10-9) had the Bisons hitters fooled all afternoon as she posted her team-leading fourth shutout of the season, allowing only five hits in five innings.


ETSU wasted no time getting on the board in the second game, as Gaynord led off the bottom half of the first with a homer over the center field fence. The Bucs plated another run in the fame when Haverman doubled home Jett from second, giving ETSU an early 2-0 lead.


In the second, four of the first five Buccaneer batters posted a hit, which led to three runs crossing the plate. An RBI double by Cason scored ETSU's first run and Jessie Hackworth's (Clinton, Tenn.) single to center drove in the other two runs.  


After plating two more runs in the third, ETSU opened the game up by scoring six times in the fourth. Knight drove in the first run of the inning with her sacrifice fly to center, scoring Vercoe, while Dez Franklin (Lawrenceville, Ga.) drove her in first collegiate run with a single to left, making it her second hit of the game. The Bucs scored four more runs in the inning, giving them the 13-1 lead, thanks to RBI singles by Cason and Hackworth, and a two-run scoring double by Jett.


Lipscomb scored its only run of the afternoon when Abby Keese recorded her 11th home run of the season. The pitch was the only error freshman Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) made all day as she improved to 9-10 on the season, allowing only one run on four hits. 


A day after Gaynord went a perfect 6-for-6; (Jessie) Hackworth accomplished the same task on Saturday. As a team, ETSU hit .510 (25-49) with six doubles and four home runs against Lipscomb, and over the four-game outburst the Bucs hit .470 (47-100) with six doubles, one triple and 11 home runs.


The Bucs will look to carry their momentum with them to Jacksonville as they face the Dolphins on Friday evening and UNF Saturday afternoon. First pitch of the Jacksonville series is slated for 5 p.m.