Softball Bucs swept by Florida Gulf Coast in Atlantic Sun opener
Sunday, March 16, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 16, 2008) - The ETSU softball team was swept by conference-leading Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday afternoon from a chilly Metro-Kiwanis Park. The Eagles took game one, 11-0 in five innings, and finished off the sweep with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory in the nightcap.


After being dealt a devastating loss in the opener, ETSU bounced back but dropped a heart-breaker in the second game.


The Softball Bucs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, thanks to sophomore Katy Jett's (Talbott, Tenn.) two-run homer to center in the bottom of the first.


Florida Gulf Coast cut the lead in half an inning later when Samantha Waldron scored on a Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) wild pitch with two outs. The Eagles then grabbed a 3-2 advantage after Carmen Paez connected on her 16th home run of the season in the third.


ETSU would not back down as Trisha Massenzo (Russellville. Tenn.) led off the fourth with a bomb to left, tying the game at three.


The game remained at a stalemate until the Eagles scored the game-winner on yet another wild pitch from Hardy. FGCU had runners on the corners when freshman catcher Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) tried her best to keep the ball from advancing, but after the screamer hit the dirt it ricocheted toward the third base dugout giving Paez the opportunity to score. Freshman Morgan Campen sent ETSU down in order to end game and pull off the conference sweep.


Hardy, who started game one, took both losses on the afternoon. The Rocklin, Calif. native's record dropped to 5-5 despite striking out seven. Campen improved to 10-1 after allowing three runs on six hits. 


In game one, the Eagles pitching staff limited ETSU to only two hits, while Gulf Coast's hitters punched out 11 runs on nine hits.


FGCU plated two runs in the first and three more in the second. Hardy looked like she was going to get out of a bases loaded jam in the first, but Desiree Miller's single to right-center with two outs scored a pair of Eagle runners. Hardy got out of the frame by picking her up her second strikeout as she froze Roz Tyre with runners on the corners.


The Lady Bucs missed their chance to push some runs home in the bottom half of the inning after leaving the bases packed. FGCU's Rachel Edinger and the conference win leader (15 victories) struck out Amanda Haverman (Kirkwood, Mo.) and forced Henderson to bounce into a fielder's choice.


Once again the Eagles caught some chances in the second as all three runs scored with two outs on the board. Hardy's bases loaded walk to Cheyenne Jenks plated Christa Piquette, and Gulf Coast would go ahead 5-0 after Samantha Waldron singled back to the circle. The hit sent Jessica Gary home from third and Jessica Paez scored from second after Hardy overthrew Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) at third.


After Hardy struck out the side in the third and allowed only one runner to reach in the fourth, fellow sophomore hurler Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) entered in relief. However, things did not bode well for Gilbert as she allowed six runs (three earned) on three hits, giving the visitors from Florida a chance to take the opener 11-0 in five innings.


With the sweep, ETSU fell to 9-17, 0-2 in conference play and Gulf Coast improved to 33-7, 2-0.


The Softball Bucs look to bounce back this Wednesday as they host Milligan in a double dip, beginning at 2 p.m.


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