Lady Bucs swept by Lipscomb
Friday, April 10, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 10, 2009) - Junior right-hander Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) gave the Lady Bucs back-to-back quality starts, but the ETSU offense was held in check and the Lipscomb Lady Bisons walked away with two critical conference wins on Friday afternoon inside the ETSU Softball Complex. The Lady Bisons won the opener 3-0 and capped off the sweep with a 3-1 victory in the nightcap.


After getting off to its best start in school history at 15-5, ETSU has quickly cooled off by losing 13 of its last 19 games to see its record move to 21-18, 3-9 in A-Sun play. On the other hand, Lipscomb remained red-hot, and pushed its mark to 27-8, 6-2.


Hardy went the distance in both games but Lipscomb's stellar pitching kept the Lady Buccaneer bats silent, and the Rocklin, Calif. native saw her record drop to 11-9 on the season. The junior righty allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out six in game one, and followed that up with three-run (two earned), seven-hit complete game effort in game two.


Lipscomb used the long ball to its advantage in game one, as the Lady Bisons scored all three runs on solo homers.


Christen Campbell broke up the scoreless game in the fourth when her third home run of the season left the park in an instant - putting Lipscomb ahead 1-0. Then, with out one in the fifth, Caroline Mason followed suit when she connected on a solo home run to left; and shortstop Abbie Keese capped things off with her seventh dinger of the year to extend Lipscomb's lead to 3-0 in the sixth.


The Lady Bucs never had an answer for the Lady Bisons pitching - and after Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) broke up the Lipscomb no-hit bid with an infield single in the third - freshman hurler Whitney Kiihnl retired the final 14 ETSU batters she faced to pick up her 12th win of the season.


Kiihnl tossed a one-hit shutout, while striking out nine and allowing only one walk.


Game Two Recap

After being limited to only one hit in the opener the Lady Bucs pounded out seven hits in game two; however, ETSU left eight runners stranded and Lipscomb finished the sweep with a 3-1 victory.


Once again Hardy kept ETSU in the game by allowing three runs (two earned) in seven innings of work, but the Lady Bucs couldn't string together the big hits when they were needed and Lipscomb made them pay.


The Lady Bisons struck early by scoring an unearned run in the top of the first to grab a one-run lead. With one out and no runners aboard, Courtney Billington reached on a fielding error by Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) in center, and she came around to score on Abby Keese's two-out single to left.


Lipscomb made it a 2-0 ballgame in the fifth when Kellie Sirus sent a two-out pitch over the fence in left. 


ETSU had chances early and often but the Lady Bucs left four runners stranded in scoring position during the first four innings.  


Eventually the Lady Bucs finally received some timely two-out hitting by junior catcher Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) in the bottom of the fifth. After Cheniece Cason led off with a single to center and stole second, Lipscomb's Christen Campbell forced the next two Lady Buccaneer hitters to make outs at short. Fortunately, Massenzo came through with the clutch hit and scored Cason from second to cut the Lipscomb deficit in half, 2-1.


The visitors from Nashville tacked on their third run in the top of the seventh when Sirus' fly to center was deep enough to plate Mackenzie Tucker - making it a 3-1 Lipscomb lead.


Campbell improved her record to 8-0 after allowing one run on six hits in six innings of work. Whitney Kiihnl retired three of the four ETSU batters in the seventh to earn her first save of the year.


The Lady Bucs left a runner at third in both the second and third innings and stranded base runners at second in the first, fourth and sixth frames.


To go with Hardy, Cason was the other solid performer on the day by recording three of the eight total hits for the Lady Bucs.


ETSU, who was scheduled to play Belmont on Saturday afternoon on Senior Day, will now host the Bruins Sunday at 2 p.m. The Bruins couldn't get their doubleheader in at USC Upstate on Friday afternoon and both teams will play two on Saturday.


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