Softball Bucs split day one in Charleston
Friday, February 29, 2008

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Feb. 29, 2008) - After falling to College of Charleston for the second time this month, the ETSU softball team managed to pull off a split by knocking off Howard, 5-2, in the nightcap of the College of Charleston Tournament Friday from Patriot's Point.


With the split, the Lady Buccaneers moved their record to 4-10 after 14 contests.


In game one, ETSU saw College of Charleston rally to victory. The Lady Bucs saw their five-run lead after three and half innings slowly evaporate to the Cougars.


Sophomore catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) gave ETSU an early three-run cushion as she connected on her second home run of the season in the top half of the second. The Lady Bucs took full advantage of the miscues from Terri Mesko in the circle as Massenzo drove in Caitlin Zyskowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Briana Knight (Brier, Wash.), who both walked earlier in the inning.


Then, in the fourth, ETSU tacked on two more runs to make it 5-0. Massenzo scored the fourth run of the game on yet another Cougar pitching mistake as she crossed the plate on a passed ball. Junior Kate Powell (Johnson City) drove in her third run of the season when she reached on an error, scoring Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.).


Unfortunately, things went down hill quickly for the Lady Buccaneers. After tossing three scoreless innings, Ashley Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.) surrendered four runs in the bottom half of the frame. CofC took full advantage of some clutch hitting as all the damage came with two outs. However, to Boyd's credit, all the runs were unearned due to an error by Hardy at first.


Boyd settled down nicely by retiring all three Cougar batters in the fifth, but a leadoff homer to Christal Kotchman in the sixth tied the game at five. After allowing a single to the next batter, sophomore Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) entered in relief. Gilbert walked the first batter she faced, but looked to have things in control by getting the next two hitters out. College of Charleston's Katie Nutailis played the spoiler as her single to right drove in two runs, one being the game-winner. The Cougars pushed one more across to make it 8-5.


The Lady Bucs scored four runs on five hits, but committed two costly errors, while the Cougars scored their eight runs on 12 hits. Boyd suffered her second defeat of the year, allowing six runs (two earned) on 10 hits in five innings. Shannon Howard earned her second win of the season, both coming against ETSU.


In game two, ETSU made quick work of Howard as they tacked four of its five runs on the board in the first inning. Junior Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) led off the game with a walk and the Lady Bucs collected three consecutive singles from Powell, Massenzo and Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.). Hackworth's shot was what tallied ETSU's first run of the contest, scoring McCoy from second. After that, Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) drove in Powell with her sacrifice fly to center, giving the Lady Bucs a 2-0 advantage. Hackworth and Massenzo eventually scored the other two runs on errors from the Lady Bison first baseman.


Howard cut ETSU's lead in half by scoring one run in bottom half on the inning and plating another in the third. However, Gilbert settled in and ended her six-game losing skid.


Hackworth scored the final Lady Buccaneer run in the fifth by using her blazing speed as she stole home.


Gilbert went the distance and picked up her second win of the campaign. The Murfreesboro native allowed two runs on five hits and struck out three.


ETSU returns to action Saturday afternoon when they face Marist at noon and wrap up the evening with an 8 p.m. start versus UNC-Wilmington. Fans can follow all the action live, courtesy of College of Charleston athletics, by clicking on the link above.


For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit