Hackworth, Hardy guide Lady Bucs to a sweep on day two of Under Armour Invitational
Saturday, March 14, 2009

CLEARWATER, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - The ETSU softball team gave its fans a pair of instant classics on Saturday afternoon at the Under Armour Invitational, as the Lady Bucs pulled off back-to-back one-run extra inning victories from Eddie Moore Field.


Junior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) recorded the Lady Bucs' seventh shutout of the season and Annie Martin's (Centerville, Tenn.) two-out squeeze play in the bottom of the eighth scored Amy Campbell (Hixson, Tenn.) to give ETSU a 1-0 win over Florida International in game one. Then, senior first baseman Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) capped off the Lady Buccaneer sweep when her RBI double in the top of the eighth inning brought home Kate Powell (Johnson City), lifting the ETSU to a 4-3 win over Long Island.


The Lady Bucs have now won three of their first four games at the tournament hosted by South Florida, and ETSU pushed its record to 14-5 on the year.


After waiting until the bottom of the eighth inning to score its lone run against FIU, ETSU wasted little time getting on the board versus Long Island, as the Lady Bucs plated two runs in the top of the first versus the Blackbirds. Junior second baseman Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) led off the game with a double through the left side and quickly advanced to third when Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) reached on an error at short. From there, ETSU had runners in scoring position with one out after Massenzo stole second, and Jett came in to score the games first run on Hackworth's bunt single. Massenzo eventually gave the Lady Bucs the 2-0 lead when she touched the dish on Campbell's RBI grounder to short.


ETSU extended its margin to 3-0 in the top of the third when Jett scored on a Mariesha Marker passed ball.


However, the Blackbirds fought back in the bottom half of the third and made it a 3-2 game on RBI singles from Renae Beauchman and Amanda MacIntosh. Long Island eventually tied the game at three in the sixth when Raylene Asman's two-out single through the right side scored Alexis Caso from third. The Lady Bucs were able to get out the inning without any further damage when Massenzo gunned down Chelsea Martinson - who was trying to steal second on the play.


With both teams being held scoreless in the seventh, the Lady Buccaneers were able to come up big in the eighth on Hackworth's one-out RBI double to right-center, giving ETSU the 4-3 lead. Gilbert then worked a perfect bottom half of the inning to secure the win and post her third straight victory.


Gilbert (6-2) tossed a complete game and allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out four Blackbird hitters. Jenny Giles was dealt the loss and the right-hander saw her record drop to 3-4 on the season.


Jett, Hackworth and Campbell all posted multi-hit games, while Jett scored two of the four Lady Buccaneer runs. 


ETSU vs. Florida International Game Story

Junior Marissa Hardy rebounded nicely from a loss to Boston U. on Friday afternoon and tossed her third shutout of the season, as ETSU nipped Florida International, 1-0, in eight innings.


Once again solid pitching was the storyline for the Lady Bucs, as Hardy recorded her third game with 10 strikeouts this season and held the Golden Panthers to only five hits. The Rocklin, Calif. native moved her record to 7-2 on the year and has now tossed two shutouts in her last three starts.


After seeing 7.5 innings of scoreless ball, ETSU finally broke the stalemate thanks to Annie Martin's squeeze bunt back to the circle - which was good enough to score Amy Campbell from third - giving the Lady Bucs the 1-0 victory. Campbell was placed on second to begin the inning and Hardy moved her over to third with a sacrifice bunt. Then, with one out and Campbell on third, senior outfielder Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) grounded out to second; however, it was not deep enough to send Campbell home on the play. Fortunately, Martin came through with the key two-out bunt single back to the pitcher, and by the time Kasey Barrett tried to flip the ball to Jessica Landau at home it was too late as Campbell scored the winning run.


Campbell, Martin and Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) were the only ETSU players to record a hit in the game, as Barrett matched Hardy in the circle. Despite fanning 10 Lady Buccaneer hitters and taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning, Barrett suffered the loss after allowing one unearned run and saw her record fall to 7-5.


It wasn't all fun and games for Hardy; however, as she had to work out of a bases loaded jam with no outs in the top of the fourth. FIU led off with back-to-back singles to start the inning and after Lauren Spiers worked a full-count walk there was no room for error on Hardy's side. Hardy wasn't bothered by the scenario, as she got Landau to pop up to second and struck out the next two Golden Panther hitters she faced to keep the game knotted at zero.


ETSU finally got a brief taste of some offense in bottom of the fifth when Campbell's single to second marked the Lady Bucs' first hit of the day. However, Barrett kept Campbell stranded at first by forcing Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) to pop out on a sacrifice bunt attempt and punched out McCoy for her ninth strikeout of the game.


Hardy's dominate pitching kept ETSU in the game and finally her teammates rewarded her with a win thanks to some small-ball tactics in the bottom half of the eighth.


Florida International fell to 13-15 with the loss.


The Lady Bucs wrap up play at the Under Armour Invitational on Sunday morning when ETSU takes on Ball State at 10 a.m.


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