May 11, 20231234567RHE
East Tennessee St0000501691
Win: Brianna Bailey (13-11) 7.094346
Loss: Emme Buzhardt (7-8) 4.155511
Sara Muir (ETSU) 413301
Ashlee Lykins (FUR) 402000
Caitlin Goldwait (FUR) 302010
Ainsley Yoshizumi (FUR) 212010
Five-run fifth lifts Bucs past Furman at SoCon Tournament
Five-run fifth lifts Bucs past Furman at SoCon Tournament
Thursday, May 11, 2023

ETSU eliminates Paladins; Bucs await Western Carolina Thursday at 5:30 p.m.  

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 11, 2023) – A five-run fifth inning and a complete game effort by Brianna Bailey (Wewahitchka, Fla.) kept ETSU softball’s season alive, as the Buccaneers defeated No. 3 seed Furman 6-4 in an elimination game of the Southern Conference Tournament on Thursday morning from Frost Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Sara Muir (Sequatchie, Tenn.) provided the blast in the fifth inning as her three-run home run to right field gave the Blue & Gold the 5-0 lead. Furman went down fighting as they plated two runs in the fifth and sixth innings to pull within a run, but Bailey kept a Furman runner stranded at third in the sixth and worked around a leadoff single in the seventh to register her 21st complete game of the season. The 21 complete games rank fourth-most in Buccaneer single season history.

At the dish, Muir and Riley Nayadley (Ooltewah, Tenn.) provided the key swings for the Blue & Gold as they combined for five hits and four RBI. Muir finished 3-for-4 with the home run and three RBI, while Nayadley went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Muir connected on her team-leading 11th home run of the season, which is tied for third-most in single-season program history.

In the circle, Bailey earned the win (13-11) after allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits in the seven innings of work. The Buccaneer right-hander – who tossed 128 pitches – struck out six and walked four. Furman’s Emme Buzhardt suffered the loss (7-8) as she was charged with five runs on five hits in 4.1 innings. Sierra Tufts allowed one run on four hits in 2.2 innings of relief.

With the win, ETSU improved to 16-36 overall, while Furman ended its season with an overall mark of 20-32. The win marked the Bucs’ first conference tournament victory since May 9, 2019 when ETSU defeated second-seeded Samford, 5-2 in eight innings.

The Bucs will now play in another elimination game later on Thursday. ETSU plays Western Carolina at 5:30 p.m.

Both teams had runners on base in the early stages of the game, but both pitchers kept the offenses in check.

After four scoreless innings, the Bucs broke things open with the five-run fifth to grab momentum and the 5-0 lead. Jessica Odom (Jefferson City, Tenn.) started the inning with an infield single to third and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Makenzie Henderson (Knoxville, Tenn.). From there, Kasidy Dunn (Friendsville, Tenn.) walked and Cameron Young (Knoxville, Tenn.) brought in the game’s first run with an RBI single up the middle. Dunn later scored on a wild pitch – and after Kemiah Michel (Gallatin, Tenn.) reached on a fielder’s choice – Muir took the second pitch from Buzhardt and sent it over the fence in the right field for the first homer of the tournament.

Furman chipped away at the deficit by pushing across two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to inch within a run, but the Bucs tacked on a key insurance run in the top of the seventh. Young got things rolling with a one-out double to center and moved up to third on a single by Muir. With two outs and runners on the corners, Nayadley battled off some pitches by Tufts and then delivered a single into left field to score Young, making it a 6-4 score.

Furman sent its heart of the batting order to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but after issuing a leadoff single to start the inning, Bailey zoned in to finish the game. The Buccaneer hurler retired the next three Paladin hitters via a pop out to first, a strikeout and a game-ending grounder to second.

Both teams finished with nine hits, while Furman left eight runners stranded and the Bucs left five on base. Furman’s top three hitters in its lineup combined for the five hits; however, the Paladins’ four-five-six hitters went 2-for-10 with three strikeouts.

The Bucs will play again tonight at 5:30 p.m. against Western Carolina. Click here for live video and live stat links of that elimination game.

For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit and click on the softball tab.