Hackworth's blast, Gilbert's shutout leads Lady Bucs to split over Furman
Friday, February 20, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 20, 2009) - Senior Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) broke a scoreless game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth and junior right-hander Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) tossed a two-hit shutout, which helped carry the Lady Bucs to a 3-0 win over Furman Friday afternoon in game two of ETSU's home-opener inside the newly built 500-seat ETSU Softball Complex. The Paladins spoiled the day with a 5-2 come-from-behind victory in game one.


With the split, the Lady Bucs moved their record to 4-3 on the young season; while Furman saw its mark go to 3-5.


Gilbert moved her record to 2-1 with the win and the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native was dealing early, as she retired nine of the first 11 Furman hitters she faced. In total, Gilbert struck out four and walked three batters, while only facing 26 hitters.


Hackworth - who struggled in the first game after going 0-for-2 - broke out of a slump and finished 2-for-3. The Clinton, Tenn. native came through in the clutch and blasted a Bethany Ullrich pitch right over the fence in the left-center - marking ETSU's second home run hit inside the new stadium.


Ullrich retired nine of the first 12 batters she faced, but couldn't find the zone in the fourth. After she got freshman Amy Campbell (Hixson, Tenn.) to ground out to start the inning, Ullrich nailed Chelsea O'Connor (Knoxville, Tenn.) with a pitch and Hackworth made her pay. Hackworth delivered with the deep bomb out the park and she and O'Connor were able to trot home - giving ETSU the 2-0 run lead. Ullrich was then pulled after allowing a single to Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) on the next at-bat and Stephanie Mihaly entered in relief. Mihaly shut the door on ETSU in the fourth, but the Lady Bucs were able to tag the Paladin pitcher for an insurance run an inning later.


Junior Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) led off the fifth with a single to short and moved to second on a stolen base. Then, with one out and Jett on second, junior catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) recorded her second hit of the game, as she singled home Jett, making it a three-run game.


Gilbert had no problems from there as she sent the last six Paladin hitters packing to the end the game.


Ullrich (0-1) was issued the loss after giving up two runs on five hits in 3.1IP.


The Lady Bucs pounded out nine hits in the nightcap, with Hackworth and Massenzo each having two apiece.


Four ETSU players also extended hitting streaks on the afternoon. Senior Kate Powell (Johnson City), McCoy and Massenzo have now all hit safely in six straight games, while Campbell moved her hitting streak up to five games with her single to first in the fifth.



ETSU vs. Furman Game One Recap

After a festive pregame ceremony that saw ETSU President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. and ETSU First Lady Nancy Stanton throw out a ceremonial first pitch, the Lady Buccaneers hit the home field for the first time in 2009.


ETSU wasted little time making some noise in its brand new stadium, as Trisha Massenzo connected on a two-run bomb over the left field fence - giving the Lady Bucs a 2-0 lead after the first inning. Kate Powell - who had a rough start in the new stadium - scored on the play after being plunked on the wrist earlier in the inning. Also, in the top of the first, Powell went down hard after colliding with Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) when both players were charging after a Stephanie Cushing pop up.


The Paladins cut into the Lady Buccaneer lead the following inning, as Morgan Hughey recorded the first of two home runs, making it a 2-1 contest.


With the ETSU offense being held quiet through the next couple innings, junior right-hander Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) did an excellent job holding onto the lead.


However, after only allowing one run and striking out eight Furman hitters, Hardy was pulled in the top of the sixth for sophomore righty Ashley Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.).


The move to the bullpen didn't pay off for the Lady Bucs, as Boyd was tagged for four runs on five hits in only an inning and a third.


Furman's Stephanie Field led off the top of the sixth with a double to left-center, but was tagged out after she tried to advance to third on a wild pitch. However, with one out and a runner on, Hughey came through again for the Paladins as her second homer of the afternoon proved to be the game-winner - putting Furman ahead, 3-2. The Paladins scored one more run in the inning and tacked on an extra run in the top of the seventh to come out with the three-run victory.


Boyd suffered her first loss of the season and Lana Mackey improved to 3-1 after allowing only two runs on four hits, while striking out six and walking none.


Joining President Stanton and his wife in the pregame ceremony was ETSU Director of Athletics Dave Mullins, Wayne Basler (Managing Partner of BC Realty), Joe Grandy (from Ferguson Enterprises), Gerald Thomas (of Thomas Construction), and Bob Propes (General Shale Brick) - who also threw out first pitches.


The ETSU softball team will wrap up its brief four-game homestand on Saturday afternoon, when the Lady Bucs face Milligan. First pitch of the double-dip is set for 2 p.m. There will be free admission for all fans.


Below is a list of ETSU firsts inside the new Softball Stadium.


First strike out - Marissa Hardy fanned Meredith Mielke in the first inning of game one

First Lady Buccaneer hit - Trisha Massenzo's two-run home run in the first inning of game one

First run scored - Kate Powell scored on Trisha Massenzo's home run in the first inning of game one

First Lady Buccaneer base runner - Kate Powell after being hit by a pitch in the first inning of game one

First Lady Buccaneer single - Vicky McCoy singled to the pitcher in the fifth inning of game one

First Lady Buccaneer stolen base - Vicky McCoy stole second in the fourth inning of game two

First Lady Buccaneer winning pitcher - Darci Gilbert blanked Furman 3-0 in game two


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