Hardy posts second straight shutout in split over Appalachian State
Wednesday, April 9, 2008

BOONE, N.C. (April 9, 2008) - Sophomore Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) has been lights out in the circle over her last three starts.


On Wednesday afternoon, the right-handed hurler helped carry the ETSU softball team to a split over Appalachian State from the ASU Softball Stadium. Hardy's second consecutive shutout gave the Lady Bucs a 2-0 victory in the nightcap; however, ETSU's late-inning rally fell short in the opener, 4-3.


Hardy - who was coming off a one-hit blanking over Belmont on Sunday - scattered three hits, struck out nine and issued only one walk to move her record to 11-10 on the season. With her nine strikouts, Hardy set the new single season strikeout record at 166, passing Belinda Barrera (164, in 2004). The Rocklin, Calif. native extended her consecutive scoreless innings streak to 13.0 IP and has not allowed an earned run in 20 innings.


ETSU squandered a scoring opportunity in the first inning of game two. After Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) and Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) led off the nightcap with consecutive singles, sophomore Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners over to second and third. Unfortunately, the Lady Bucs could not score Jett from third as Henderson popped out to second and Zyskowski lined out to short to end the inning.


The Lady Bucs grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the third. After leaving two more runners left on base in the second, senior Amanda Haverman (Kirkwood, Mo.) came through with a two-out RBI single up the middle, scoring McCoy from third - who reached on her second hit of the game to lead off the inning.


Jett made it 2-0 ETSU in the top of the sixth as she took Kayla Richardson deep for her fourth home run of the season.


Appalachian State had no answer for Hardy. The right-hander took a no-hit bid into the bottom of the fifth, but Ashley Gaston played the spoiler as her one-out double to center marked the Mountaineers' first hit of the game. Morgan Price singled through the left side on the next at-bat, but back-to-back strikeouts by Hardy shut the door on any Mountaineer rally.


For the game, ETSU pounded out 11 hits, but left 12 runners aboard. Jett went 3-for-4, while McCoy and Haverman each had two hits apiece. Sophomore Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) extended her hitting streak to four games with her single to left in the second.


With the loss, Richardson fell to 3-11 on the season.


In game one, the Mountaineers broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth as they scored three runs on four hits to grab a 4-1 lead. Andrea McIntyre led off the inning with a single to left-center and scored the go-ahead run on Katie Boyd's double up the middle. After Boyd stole third, sophomore Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) entered in relief. Then, back-to-back singles by Brittany Gaston and Stephanie Long gave the Mountaineers their three-run advantage. Gilbert worked out of the long inning by forcing Ashley Gaston to line into a double play.


The Softball Bucs posted a comeback in the top of the seventh, but left the game-tying run stranded at third when ASU's Yancy Moose struck out Vicki McCoy. Juniors Cat Zyskowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Kate Powell (Johnson City) both reached to begin the inning. Zyskowski was hit for the fifth time of the season and Powell singled to third, placing runners on first and second. Both runners moved up a bag on Moose's wild pitch; however, Zyskowski made the first out of the inning after she was caught in a rundown on Marissa Hardy's tapper to the circle. From there, Cheniece Cason came through with a clutch infield single to short on the very next at-bat - which scored Powell and moved Hardy to third. Katy Jett cut the Mountaineer lead to one, 4-3, with an RBI ground out to second. Hardy scored on the play and after Cason stole second she moved to third. However, Moose had just enough left in her tank as she got McCoy swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the game.


ETSU trailed 1-0 after Boyd belted her team-leading seventh home run of the season over the left field wall in the third. Ashley Boyd looked to have the battle of Boyd's won, but ASU's Katie Boyd took a 1-2 pitch and drove it out of the ballpark.


The Lady Bucs evened things up at 1-1 in the top half of the fourth. Trisha Massenzo led off the inning with a single through the middle and advanced to second on Katie Henderson's (Jackson, Tenn.) sacrifice bunt. Massenzo eventually came around to score when Zyskowski drove one up the middle.


Boyd suffered her seventh loss of the season, allowing three runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings. Gilbert - who tossed 1.2 IP - gave up one run on two hits as neither ETSU pitcher issued any walks. Mosse won for just the second time of the season after scattering five hits and three runs.


ETSU moved it record to 20-26 and Appalachian State stands at 5-23 overall.


The Softball Bucs return home for a six-game homestand - which begins Saturday afternoon versus Longwood. First pitch of Senior Day will begin at 2 p.m. from Metro-Kiwanis Park.


For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.