Hackworth, Gilbert leads Lady Bucs to split over Stetson
Thursday, March 26, 2009

DeLAND, Fla. (March 26, 2009) - Junior right-hander Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) tossed six scoreless innings and senior infielder Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) belted a three-run home run, as the Lady Bucs cruised to an 8-0 win over Stetson in game one; however, the Hatters reversed the role in the nightcap by blanking ETSU 1-0 Thursday evening at Patricia Wilson Field.


With the split, ETSU saw its record move to 18-10, 3-5 in the A-Sun; while Stetson improved to 20-14, 3-1.


Despite limiting the opposition to a .156 batting average (7-45), the Lady Bucs squandered a chance for a sweep, as ETSU left runners in scoring position in four of the seven innings in game two. Overall, the Lady Bucs were led offensively by Hackworth and Kate Powell (Johnson City). Hackworth hit .500 (2-4) with a home run and four RBIs, while Powell also went 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI.


After being held without a hit in the first two innings of game one, ETSU took charge with four hits in the top of the third and grabbed an early 2-0 lead. Senior outfielder Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) began the inning with a single back to the circle - and after freshman Chelsea O'Connor (Knoxville, Tenn.) fouled out - three consecutive singles led to the Lady Buccaneer scoring attack. McCoy advanced to second on Cheniece Cason's (Moreno Valley, Calif.) single through the left side, and a single by junior infielder Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) loaded the bases. Then, with one out and the bases full of Lady Bucs, Powell came through with a RBI bunt single to third - giving ETSU the one-run advantage. Hackworth showed great two-out patience at the plate, as she worked a bases loaded walk on four straight pitches to extend the lead to 2-0.


Stetson threatened in the bottom of the first, but solid ETSU fielding kept the Hatters off the board. Amy Joyce led off the frame with a walk, but she was tossed out at second on Andrea Migliori's grounder to second. Migliori then moved up to second on Amanda Lindsey's one-out walk and the Hatter first baseman was replaced by Jillian Masucci to put more speed on the base path. However, on the next at-bat, Jessica Lokeinsky drilled one to third and after Amy Campbell (Hixson, Tenn.) couldn't make a play; she fired home to gun down Masucci trying to score. Gilbert worked out of the jam by forcing Chelsey Trotto to ground back to the circle, which kept the game scoreless.


Gilbert retired the side in the second and third innings, and finally issued her first hit of the day on a leadoff single to Lindsey in the fourth. Fortunately, the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native recorded three straight outs after the hit and left the Hatter runner stranded at third.


ETSU broke the game wide open in the fifth by scoring three runs on one hit. The lone Lady Buccaneer hit was a three-run blast by Hackworth and it put ETSU ahead, 5-0. Jett reached base earlier in the inning on an error by Trotto at short - and after Powell moved Jett over to second on a sac bunt - Massenzo was intentionally walked to get to Hackworth. Stetson's move backfired in a big way, as Hackworth flexed her muscles and tattooed Erica Demers for her second homer of the season.


The Lady Bucs struck for three more runs in the top of the seventh and freshman right-hander Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet. Tenn.) tossed one inning of relief, as ETSU went on to win its 18th game of the season.


Gilbert moved her record to 8-3 on the season after tossing six innings of two-hit ball. The junior righty has also allowed only five earned runs in the last 52.1 innings as well.


Demers (9-8) - who entered the game with a 0.92 ERA - was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits in five innings of work.


Game Two Recap

Stetson received a solo homer from Andrea Migliori in the first inning and junior righty Amanda Lindsey made the one run hold up, as Stetson hung on to win a 1-0 thriller over the Lady Bucs in game two.


Lindsey (10-6) recorded her third shutout of the season and limited ETSU to only four hits while fanning seven. Sophomore Ashley Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.) started the game for the Lady Bucs, but only lasted two-thirds of an inning and suffered her third loss of the season (1-3).


ETSU left runners in scoring position to start the first three innings, and Migliori made Boyd pay in the bottom half of the first, as she belted her team-leading ninth home run of the season over the right field wall in the first - putting the Hatters ahead 1-0. Stetson had an opportunity to break the game open later in the inning, but junior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) entered in relief and forced Katelyn Perna to line out to right, which left three Hatter runners stranded.


Hardy worked out a minor jam in the second and after the shaky situation, the Rocklin, Calif. native was dealing, as she didn't let a Stetson runner advance to second through the final four innings.


With Hardy doing her job keeping the Lady Bucs in the contest, ETSU still couldn't manage to push a run across the plate. The Lady Bucs missed a prime opportunity to tie the game up at one in the fourth, but Kala Tipton (Church Hill, Tenn.) was picked off at home when ETSU failed to execute the one-out squeeze play.


Then, in the seventh, Hackworth led off the inning with a single through the left side and advanced to second on Chelsea O'Connor's sacrifice bunt. After a wild pitch moved Hackworth over to third, ETSU looked to put the pressure on Lindsey; however, she calmed down in the circle by striking out Amy Campbell and ended any Lady Buccaneer rally after forcing Vicki McCoy to end the game on a grounder to first.


Katy Jett had two of the four hits for ETSU, marking her eighth multi-hit game of the season. Hardy, who was celebrating her birthday and one-year anniversary of fanning a school-record 16 batters against Presbyterian, tossed 5.1 scoreless innings and allowed three hits while striking out two.


The Lady Bucs close out the Florida road swing on Saturday afternoon when ETSU takes on Florida Gulf Coast. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. inside the FGCU Softball Complex.


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