Lady Bucs softball captures pair of victories over Western Carolina
Stephanie Cope hit a three-run homerun on Tuesday, one of the Lady Bucs' three round trips in game one.
Stephanie Cope hit a three-run homerun on Tuesday, one of the Lady Bucs' three round trips in game one.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 28, 2006) - The ETSU softball team used an eight-run fourth inning, and three homeruns to pummel Western Carolina (22-12), 16-6, in the opening game of Tuesday's doubleheader at Metro-Kiwanis Park.  Strong base running led the Lady Bucs (11-22) to a 4-1 victory in the nightcap, as ETSU scored its first two runs, including the game winner, on WCU miscues.

           

The Lady Bucs exploded for eight runs on six hits in the fourth, breaking open a 4-4 tie.  Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the inning with a double to right center, and would score on an error by WCU's Samm Keppel, which allowed Stephanie Gaynord (Manassas, Va.) to reach base. 

           

Briana Knight (Brier, Wash.) added an RBI single, and would score on a base hit from Mary Catherine Vercoe (Signal Mountain, Tenn.).  Amanda Haverman kept the runs coming, slamming a double to left center to score Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.).  Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) then nailed a three-run homerun, her third of the season.

           

ETSU's final run of the inning came when Knight singled to left for her second hit of the frame, plating teammate Stephanie Cope (Maryville, Tenn.).  Cope would eventually put an exclamation point on the win, sending a walk-off, three-run homer over the centerfield fence, leading to ETSU's six-inning, run-rule victory.  

           

The windy afternoon at Metro-Kiwanis saw a total of seven roundtrips, four from Western Carolina and three from ETSU.  WCU got blasts from Allyson McCubbins, Heather Pritchard, Ashley Adams, and Jenny Jackson.  The Lady Bucs totaled 13 hits on the game to the Catamounts' seven.

           

Knight and Vercoe led the Lady Bucs at the plate, both going 3-for-4.  Knight also added three RBIs, scored two runs, and slammed her first round trip of the season.  Vercoe recorded one RBI and added a pair of runs scored.

           

Jenkins (3-9) got the win in relief, allowing three hits and two runs in 3.0 innings in the circle.  Brittany Lehrschall (Leland, N.C.) got the start, and gave up four hits and four runs in 2.0 innings.  WCU's Savannah Filley (3-6) took the loss after giving up 12 runs on eight ETSU hits.  The Catamounts were shaky in the field, committing five errors in game one.

           

ETSU got out to the early lead in game two, with Gaynord scoring on a wild pitch by Catamount hurler Lauren Ross, and Knight coming home on a passed ball.  The inning's two runs would be all the Lady Bucs would need, as WCU, despite recording seven hits, could only manage a single score.

           

Vercoe (4-8) was credited with the victory, going the distance on the mound.  Ross was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs on just one hit, while walking five in 3.0 innings.  ETSU tallied just two hits on the game.

           

Gaynord and Knight each registered a base hit for the winners, while McCubbins led the Catamounts with a 2-for-2 showing.

           

The Lady Bucs continue a busy week of action on Thursday, traveling to Applachian State for a two-game series.  The first pitch is set for 2 p.m. in Boone, N.C.

             

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