ETSU makes history with tournament win over Gardner-Webb, 4-3
Friday, May 9, 2008

DELAND, Fla. (May 9, 2008) - This 2008 ETSU softball season has already been a record-breaking year, but more marks continued to fall on Friday afternoon when the Lady Bucs defeated Gardner-Webb, 4-3, in the Atlantic Sun Tournament from Patricia Wilson Field.


The victory moved ETSU's record to 30-32, which marks the first time the Lady Buccaneer softball program has reached the 30-win plateau. ETSU won 29 games back in 2004 and head coach Andrea Mangrum's club became the first team in the eight-year existence of the program to reach 30 wins in a single season with the one-run victory. The Lady Bucs ended the Runnin' Bulldogs' season as they lost for the second time in the tournament and wrapped the year up with a record of 22-35.


The single-season wins mark was not the only record to fall Friday afternoon at the 2007 College Field of the Year complex. Sophomore catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) and freshman utility star Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) each recorded a stolen base, bringing ETSU's season total to a new program best 95 thefts. Massenzo's steal in the third gave the Lady Bucs' their 94th of the year, eclipsing the 93 that were taken in 2005.


For the game, the Lady Bucs were able to work out minor jams in the first two innings, but Gardner-Webb pushed two runs across the plate in the third to take a 2-0 lead. Hardy looked to have things under control when she made a quick grab at a Melody Harrell grounder back to the circle and forced Lindsay Cox out at third in a rundown. However, with two outs and runners on first and second, Christa Fullwood drove one down the line in right and plated a pair of Runnin' Bulldog runners.


ETSU made sure they did not trail for long as they scored four runs on four hits in the bottom half of the inning and grabbed a 4-2 advantage. The Softball Bucs led things off with three consecutive singles from Briana Knight (Brier, Wash.), Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.). Then, with the base juiced, Cindy Boomhower fanned Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.), but Massenzo drove in ETSU's first run when her fielder's choice scored Knight. After batting a one-strike pitch off her leg, junior third baseman Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) came through with a clutch two-run scoring single - which gave the Lady Bucs a 3-2 lead. A couple fielding miscues from GWU helped give ETSU a two-run cushion after Hardy reached on an error by Harrell at short and Hackworth scored the Lady Bucs' fourth run of the frame. Henderson grounded one to Angie Walls at second, but after she booted the ball the Clinton, Tenn. native came across the plate from second.


The Runnin' Bulldogs made it a one-run game in the top of the fifth when Jessi Williams smacked a solo home run over the fence in left-center, making the score 4-3. Hardy did a fabulous job keeping the Lady Bucs up a run as she fanned Haley Scism to end the inning with runners on the corners.


Hardy and ETSU's defense did a stellar job shutting the door on the Runnin' Bulldogs as GWU went down in order 1-2-3 in the final two innings.


Hardy moved her record to 19-14 after completing her 22nd contest of the campaign. The Rocklin, Calif. native allowed three runs on five hits and struck out four. Boomhower was tagged for her 12th loss of the year after surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits in 4.0 IP.


Cason, Jett, and Hackworth combined for seven of ETSU's eight hits, and Hackworth also extended her hitting streak to a season-high nine straight games. Hackworth finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored - which also proved to be the game-winner, Jett was 3-for-4 with a double and Cason went 2-for-3 with a run scored.


The Lady Bucs now advance to the conference semifinal game with Campbell. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the winner advances to Saturday's championship.


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