ETSU softball team drops two close games at Tennessee Tech

Thursday, April 24, 2003

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (April 23, 2003) - East Tennessee State's road woes continued Wednesday afternoon as Tennessee Tech rallied to an 8-7 win in eight innings in the opener, then shutout the Buccaneers in game two, 1-0. The Golden Eagle's LeeAnne Mongar slammed three home runs including one that saved the first game and one that won the second, and Tech pitcher Lori Bayless ran her streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 16 as the Golden Eagles improved their overall season record to 34-13. East Tennessee slipped to 18-24. Mongar had four hits, including three home runs, and drove in five runs in the two games while sophomore Kacy Bennett collected five hits including a double and a home run. In the opening contest, Tech trailed 3-0 in the first inning, 6-4 in the seventh inning and 7-6 in the eighth inning, but got clutch swings to avoid losing to the Lady Bucs for the first time. With the two wins, the Golden Eagles improved their all-time record to 7-0 against ETSU. Tech starter Lisa Lamb got into trouble quickly as the Lady Bucs loaded the bases in the first inning without hitting the ball out of the infield. A grounder in the hole, a walk and a line drive single off Lamb's shin put the first three ETSU hitters on base and they all came around to score on a two-run single by Jessica Lonsinger (Dale City, Va.) followed by an RBI groundout. But Tech struck back swiftly, with its first three hitters in the bottom of the frame tying the game. After Stephanie Dallmann walked, Samantha Lovelady doubled to make it 3-1, and LeeAnne Mongar slammed her ninth home run of the season over the left field fence to knot the score. Sophomore Kacy Bennett made it back-to-back home runs and put Tech on top 4-3 with a homer to nearly the same spot in left, her seventh of the season. Lamb settled down and retired nine of the next 10 batters, but was knocked out of the contest in the fourth after two singles and an inside-the-park home run pushed the Bucs to a surprising 6-4 lead. With two runners aboard, shortstop Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) punched a line drive down the right field line that eluded a diving Dana Yates. Hazelwood raced around the bases and slid under the tag for ETSU's second lead of the game. ETSU held that two-run lead until the bottom of the seventh, when Mongar bashed her second home run of the game with Lovelady on base, tying the contest at 6-6. Tech missed a chance to win the game in the seventh, leaving the bases loaded. The Lady Bucs went up 7-6 in the eighth as Miranda Byerly (Candler, N.C.) doubled to drive home Lindsey Lane (Erwin, Tenn.), who was placed at second to open the inning via the international tie-breaker rule. In Tech'ss half of the eighth, Lindsey Williams was placed at second base, and moved to third when ETSU threw late to the base on Jadryen Layne's sacrifice bunt attempt. With two on and nobody out, Dallmann grounded to shortstop but beat the throw to first to avoid a double play, allowing Williams to score the tying run. A walk to Samantha Lovelady and a groundout put Tech runners at second and third with two outs. Kacy Bennett hit a smash to shortstop that was mishandled for an error, and Dallmann scooted home with the winning run. Lamb pitched the first 3 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on seven hits, but didn't figure in the decision. Tia Brenning (13-5), who relieved Lamb after the inside-the-park homer, got the win by allowing two hits and one unearned run over the final 4 2/3 innings. She didn't walk a batter and struck out two. Tiffany McVay (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.)(11-9) took the loss, going the distance and allowing 13 hits and all eight runs, six of which were earned. The second game was in total contrast as Bayless and ETSU's Jennifer Fraser (Chattanooga, Tenn.) mowed down the hitters except for a fourth inning solo home run by Mongar, her third of the day, 11th of the year and 34th of her career. Bayless (12-5), who has posted seven straight wins, pitched seven innings and allowed three hits. She didn't walk a hitter and fanned nine. Frazer (5-11) gave up just five hits and one walk over six innings. ETSU threatened in the second with a single by Byerly and a double by Julia Chance (Knoxville, Tenn.), but Bayless got the final out on a line drive to left. The Lady Bucs also had a chance to score in the third on a double by Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) and a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt, but Tech third baseman Lindsey Bornhoeft nailed Spetar at the plate. After that, the only ETSU runner to reach base against Bayless over the final four innings came on an error in the sixth as she retired 14 of the final batters. ETSU will be in action again on Friday, April 26, when the squad begins a three-game series with an afternoon doubleheader at Furman. Friday's twinbill starts at 1 p.m.