Lady Bucs drop two heartbreakers at Longwood
Hardy
Hardy

Sunday, April 05, 2009

FARMVILLE, Va. (April 5, 2009) - Riding a three-game winning streak into non-conference play against Longwood on Sunday afternoon, the Lady Buccaneer softball team let two games get away from them, as the Lancers pulled off the sweep at Lancer Field. Longwood defeated ETSU 1-0 in the opener, and pulled off an 8-5 come-from-behind victory in the nightcap.

 

With the sweep, the Lady Bucs saw their record drop to 21-16; while the Lancers moved their record above the .500 mark as they now stand 15-14.

 

Once again junior right-hander Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) threw a gem in game one, but a day after scoring 18 runs on 21 hits against North Carolina Central, ETSU's offense came up stagnant. Hardy, who allowed one unearned run on two hits in 7.1 innings of work, suffered the loss and saw her record fall to 11-6 on the year. The Rocklin, Calif. native also struck out eight Longwood hitters and did not issue a walk on the day.

 

Hardy was dealing early and often on Sunday, by retiring 18 of the first 19 Lancer batters she faced - including eight via the strikeout.

 

ETSU had its chances to push runs across the board in the top of the fifth when freshman catcher Amy Campbell (Hixson, Tenn.) led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second on Hardy's grounder to third. However, with Campbell in scoring position and one out, Briana Wells forced the next two Lady Buccaneer hitters to ground out and end the scoring threat.

 

Once again ETSU threatened in the seventh when Campbell and Hardy recorded back-to-back one-out singles. Then, after Chelsea O'Connor (Knoxville) successfully moved the runners over to second and third, pinch hitter Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) hit a bullet to Courtney Long at first to end the inning.

 

With the game heading into extra frames, the contest was decided with the international tie-breaker rule. ETSU had its first chance to push a run across the board when Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) was placed at second to begin the inning and she advanced to third on Katie Henderson's (Jackson, Tenn.) sacrifice bunt. Junior shortstop Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) came through with a single to first, but it was not deep enough to score McCoy from third. With one out and runners on the corners, head coach Andrea Mangrum called for the squeeze play with senior outfielder Kate Powell (Johnson City) stepping to the plate; however, Powell couldn't execute the squeeze and McCoy was tagged out in a rundown.

 

Longwood then had its chance in the bottom half of the inning, and after ETSU couldn't get the game-winning bunt down, Emily Radford did just that.  Radford reached on the fielder's choice RBI bunt, and when Amy Campbell went to tag Brittany Matthews at the plate - she had the ball in her right hand and put the tag down with her glove in the left and Matthews was called safe for the game-winner.  

 

Campbell and Cason recorded four of the five Lady Buccaneer hits in the game, as Cason went 2-for-4 and Campbell ended 2-for-3.

 

Wells (11-12) earned the win after tossing eight scoreless innings and scattered five hits.

 

Game Two Recap

After ETSU rallied from four runs down to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth inning, Longwood capitalized on two Lady Buccaneer errors in the bottom half of the inning and the Lancers scored four unearned runs to win nightcap, 8-5.

 

Longwood plated two runs in the bottom of the second on a Maggie Margadonna sac fly to left and Courtney Long came around to score the first run of the inning when Cheniece Cason had trouble fielding a grounder at short - giving the Lancers an early 2-0 advantage.

 

Then the longball came into effect in the bottom of the fourth and Longwood pushed its lead to 4-0 when Camille Ketsdever and Long hit back-to-back solo shots.

 

However, ETSU showed its character and rallied back with five runs in the sixth to take its first lead of the game at, 5-4. Kate Powell led off the inning with a single to right, Amy Campbell reached on an error by the pitcher and Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) worked a walk to load the bases. With no outs and the bases juiced, Katie Henderson found the gap in left and her double scored both Powell and Campbell to cut the deficit to, 4-2. Then, on the very next play, freshman Annie Martin tied the game at 4-all when she recorded her first collegiate triple. Eventually Martin came in to score when the Lady Bucs used a double steal and took a 5-4 lead.

 

Unfortunately, the good result couldn't last as the Lancers scored four unearned runs off two Lady Buccaneer errors and rallied to an 8-5 victory. Ketsdever reached on an error by Cason at short to leadoff the inning and instantly stole second. Then, after Ketsdever was moved over to third on Long's sac bunt, ETSU could've been out of the inning on Tricia Nelson grounded to Henderson at third. However, the sophomore third baseman committed the second Lady Buccaneer error and prolonged the inning for Longwood. The Lancers took full use of the miscues when Amy Betterton doubled and put Longwood back on top, 6-5. Emily Radford added to the pain when her two-run home run added some insurance and extended the Lancers' lead to, 8-5.

 

The Lady Bucs went down in order in the seventh and Wells (12-12) picked up her second win of the day. Hardy (11-7) suffered her second loss of the afternoon by allowing eight runs (two earned) on eight hits.

 

ETSU returns to action on Friday afternoon when the Lady Bucs play host to Lipscomb in Atlantic Sun Conference action. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. inside the ETSU Softball Complex.

 

 For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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