ETSU Softball takes care of business at Blue/Gold Fall Tournament
Saturday, September 27, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 27, 2008) - Despite battling chilly and damp conditions, the ETSU softball team persevered and took care of business at its second annual Blue/Gold Tournament on Saturday at Metro-Kiwanis Park.

The Lady Bucs began the morning with an 11-3 victory over King College in six innings, and quickly took the field thirty minutes later and defeated Roane State, 17-1, in five innings. Then, in the nightcap, ETSU battled through some soggy conditions and swept away the tournament field with a 3-1 game-shortened (6.1 innings) win over Mars Hill.

Junior Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) and freshman Amy Campbell (Hixson, Tenn.) each enjoyed a stellar tournament. Massenzo hit .625 (5-for-8) with three doubles, two runs scored and five RBI; while Campbell went 5-for-9 (.556) with two doubles, three runs scored and five RBI. Senior Cat Zyskowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.) hit a team-best .750 (3-for-4) with a double, four runs scored and two RBI. In total, 12 different players recorded at least one hit and 14 players drove in one or more runs.

Game One Recap - ETSU vs. King

ETSU struck first as they took advantage of a King fielding error in the bottom half of the second inning. After senior Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) led off with a single to third, head coach Andrea Mangrum used some of her small-ball tactics to move Hackworth to third. Hackworth stole second and advanced to third on Katie Henderson's (Jackson, Tenn.) sacrifice bunt. Then, with two outs and Hackworth on third, fellow senior Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) reached when Emily Bennett muffed the throw from Stephanie Mueller at third, giving ETSU an early 1-0 lead.

With freshman Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) cruising in the circle, the Lady Buccaneers plated a five spot in the fourth. Morris was superb as she retired 12 of the first 13 Tornado hitters she faced, and ETSU came through with the insurance runs. After junior Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) reached on a fielding error to lead off the frame, the Jettster stole second and moved to third on the following play. Massenzo began a hit parade when her liner down the left field line, started a string of four consecutive hits. Massenzo's one-out double put the Lady Bucs ahead, 2-0, and following the plethora of knocks ETSU led, 5-0. Katie Henderson, Amy Campbell, and Whitney Socha (Houston, Texas) all recorded RBIs during the inning.


After the Lady Buccaneers scored a solo run in the fifth, King finally broke through with three runs in the top of the sixth. However, ETSU responded with four more of its own to take an 11-3 victory. Zyskowski drove in freshman Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) for the first run of the inning with a double to right-center, and the Grand Rapids, Mich. native crossed the dish on Jett's two-RBI double. Massenzo ended the game when her second double of the morning plated Jett, giving ETSU the eight-run victory.


Morris went the distance, tossing 6.0 innings of three-hit ball and allowed three runs. The freshman right-hander struck out six and walked three. Massenzo feasted on King's pitching, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI; while Jett drove in a pair of runs and crossed the plate twice as well. Eight of the 15 Lady Buccaneer players posted at least one hit in the game and six different student-athletes drove in a run.


Game Two Recap - ETSU vs. Roane State


All 17 Lady Buccaneer players contributed in the 17-1 victory over Roane State in game two.


Junior Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) allowed one run on three hits in five innings of work. The right-hander also struck out four and did not issue a walk. After surrendering a leadoff homer to Brittany James, Gilbert settled in and faced the minimum through four.


ETSU, who trailed for the first time of the tournament after the top of the inning, bounced back and scored seven times in the bottom half. Six of the first seven Lady Buccaneer batters reached to begin the frame, and ETSU rallied to take a 5-1 lead. Back-to-back doubles by Campbell and Henderson were the key hits of the frame; while Hackworth and Massenzo also knocked in runners. The Lady Bucs extended their lead to 7-1 thanks to Staci D'Apice's (Knoxville, Tenn.) RBI triple to left-center and Jett's RBI single to left.   


In the second, Gilbert sent the Lady Raiders down in order, and ETSU's bats exploded for 10 runs on eight hits. The first eight Lady Buccaneer batters reached to begin the bottom of the inning and ETSU jumped ahead, 13-1. ETSU went on to score four more runs in the frame and walked away with the 17-1 win. Freshman Chelsea O'Connor (Knoxville, Tenn.) drove in two runs, and Massenzo and D'Apice each sent one for extra bases during the inning that saw 15 hitters come to the plate.


Jett, Hackworth, Zyskowski, and Kate Powell (Johnson City) combined to go 8-for-8 with six runs scored and four RBI. Campbell highlighted the Lady Bucs by going 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and four RBI.


Game Three Recap - ETSU vs. Mars Hill


The Lady Bucs stormed out of the gates in the nightcap and grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Once again small-ball came into play again as Katy Jett led off with a walk, stole second, and moved to third on Staci D'Apice's single up the middle. From there, junior catcher Trisha Massenzo drove in her fifth run of the tournament, when she grounded out to short, putting the Lady Bucs ahead, 1-0. ETSU took full advantage of another Lion pitching miscue, as D'Apice came around to score on a wild pitch.


Junior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.), who broke five ETSU pitching records in the spring, sat down nine of the first 10 Mars Hill hitters she faced. The Lions took advantage of only one Hardy error, when Natalie Haithcox sent one flying of the fence in left.


Fortunately, for the Lady Bucs, Hardy settled down and ETSU plated another run in the fifth. Junior Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) led off the frame with a single to left field and came around to score on Vicki McCoy's RBI single, giving ETSU a 3-1 lead.


In the seventh inning Mother Nature made its course and rain started pouring down, which gave the battery of Hardy and Massenzo a little trouble handling the wet ball. However, after an alert Hardy noticed Anna James did not touch home plate, she tagged her out and the game was called due to the soggy conditions.


Hardy earned the win after allowing one run on four hits in 6.1 innings. The reliable right-hander struck out four and walked two.


The Lady Bucs return to action on Friday, Oct. 11 when they play in the Hokie Fall Ball Tournament, in Blacksburg, Va.


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