|May 12, 2023||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: Grace Taylor (13-18)||5.0||5||3||3||7||0|
|Loss: Brianna Bailey (14-13)||6.0||6||4||3||2||2|
|Riley Nayadley (ETSU)||4||0||2||0||0||0|
|Rebeca Laudino (MER)||3||0||1||0||0||0|
|Bailey Ledvina (MER)||3||0||1||0||0||0|
|Kylie Helm (MER)||2||0||1||1||0||0|
|Tori Hedgecock (MER)||3||1||1||0||0||0|
|Avery Barton (MER)||2||0||1||0||0||0|
|Parris Wiggs (MER)||2||1||1||1||1||0|
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 12, 2023) – A valiant run at the 2023 Southern Conference Championship came to a close on Friday afternoon, as the ETSU softball team suffered a 4-3 loss against Mercer in an elimination game at Frost Stadium.
Ending the season in Chattanooga, the Bucs conclude the year with a 17-37 overall record – a nine game improvement from a season ago.
The No. 7 seed Bucs went 2-2 in the tournament, overcoming a 4-2 Day 1 loss to No. 2 Samford with back-to-back elimination wins over No. 3 Furman and No. 4 Western Carolina.
Advancing in the tournament, Mercer heads into the next game with a 20-36 overall mark. The Bears will face No. 2 Samford in another elimination contest with the winner advancing to the championship final against No. 1 UNCG.
HOW IT HAPPENDED
With no score after one, the Bucs struck first with two runners on base via walks. With two on and two out, Kasidy Dunn (Friendsville, Tenn.) hit her sixth double of the season to help Emily Musco (Knoxville, Tenn.) cross home plate to score the first run of the contest.
One pitch later, Cameron Young (Knoxville, Tenn.) — the league leader in doubles — smacked a ball into the left field fence to record two RBI and give the Blue & Gold the 3-0 advantage. In the bottom half of the inning, Mercer loaded the bases with a pair of singles, a sac bunt and a walk. After the force out at home, the Bears scored their first run with the help of a walk to advance all the runners.
With the 3-1 lead, Brianna Bailey (Wewahitchka, Fla.) faced the minimum in the third and fourth innings with the aid of a double play to keep the Bucs ahead. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Mercer scored two runs with the help of an error to knot the game at 3-3. After a pair of singles in back-to-back at bats, the Bears scored their fourth run with a sac foul out by Kylie Helm to take the lead.
In the seventh inning, Riley Nayadley (Ooltewah, Tenn.) notched her 55th hit of the season with a single up the middle to get the tying run on base. With two outs, Musco was took a four-pitch walk — her third of the day — to put runners on first and second. With a runner in scoring position, the Bucs flied out to left field to end the contest.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
ETSU: Brianna Bailey (14-13) – loss.
Mercer: Grace Taylor (13-18) – win. Katie Rearley – save (2).
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the softball tab.