CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 11, 2023) – Playing its second elimination game of the day at Southern Conference Tournament, the ETSU softball team defeated No. 4 seed Western Carolina 3-1 on Thursday evening at Frost Stadium in Chattanooga.
Brianna Bailey (Wewahitchka, Fla.) tossed her second complete game of the day, while Jasmine Sanchez (Buford, Ga.) had a career day at the plate en route to keeping the Bucs’ season alive.
With the win, the Bucs improved to 17-36 overall on the year and will face the winner between No. 5 Mercer and No. 6 Chattanooga in another elimination game Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. With the loss, the Catamounts ended their season with a 21-26 overall record.
HOW IT HAPPENDED
Continuing the momentum from their win earlier in the day over Furman, the Bucs played from ahead the entire night as the Blue & Gold scored two runs in the top of the first and never trailed the remainder of the contest. Kemiah Michel (Gallatin, Tenn.) picked up her 39th hit of the season to set the tone. Matching Michel, Sara Muir (Sequatchie, Tenn.) also hit a single, putting two Bucs on base. Following a walk to Emily Musco (Knoxville, Tenn.), which loaded the bases, Sanchez came through with the clutch two-out run scoring hit. Sanchez sent a 1-1 pitch right back up the middle, plating Michel and Muir, making it 2-0.
With Bailey keeping Western Carolina’s offense in check, the Bucs plated their final run of the game in the top of the third, extending ETSU’s lead to, 3-0. Riley Nayadley (Ooltewah, Tenn.) led off the inning by recording her 53rd hit of the year with a single through the right side. Mirroring the first inning, Musco walked to land to runners on first and second. After Western Carolina made a pitching change in the circle, Sanchez greeted Makenzie Martin with an RBI single to center, scoring Nayadley from second.
Bailey kept Western Carolina scoreless through five innings, allowing just two hits. In the sixth inning, the Catamounts scored a run off an RBI double to right field by Bailey Huneycutt. Bailey got out of the inning by forcing Myra Twitty to line out to left, while she continued her dominance in the seventh. Bailey ended the game with 12 pitches in the final frame to face the minimum and helped ETSU continue its tournament run.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
ETSU: Brianna Bailey (13-11) – win.
Western Carolina: Tessa Juett (8-12) – loss.
The Bucs will continue their tournament run with a 12:30 p.m. matchup tomorrow afternoon against the winner of the No. 5 Mercer / No. 6 Chattanooga game.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the softball tab.