Johnson City, Tenn. (Apr. 4, 2002) -- The East Tennessee State softball team fell in both ends of a doubleheader against Tennessee Tech, 9-6 and 9-0, Thursday afternoon from Metro-Kiwanis Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
The first game was a game of streaks, as Tennessee Tech (19-15) started off the game quickly, scoring five unanswered runs to begin the contest. The Golden Eagles scored one run in the top of the first on a double by first baseman LeeAnne Monger that scored Holly Speiser. Tech came right back and scored two more runs in the top of the second on a homer by outfielder Jadryen Layne, scoring Samantha Lovelady. The final two runs of the 5-0 start came in the top of the third as Kacy Bennett scored on an error and Amy Goad scored on a single by Lovelady.
The Bucs (14-19) responded in the bottom of the third by scoring two runs of their own. Freshman outfielder Danielle Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) scored ETSU's first run of the game on a single by senior first baseman Melanie Collins (Greeneville, Tenn.) and a subsequent error. The next batter, sophomore outfielder Rhea Holler (Peoria, Ariz.) singled Collins home from third.
ETSU cut the Tennessee Tech lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth by scoring another run. That run came on a towering home run by sophomore Tiffany Vandergriff (Sale Creek, Tenn.), her sixth of the season.
The Golden Eagles widened their lead to 9-3 after scoring four runs in the final two innings. Tennessee Tech scored three runs in the top of the sixth on a three-run homer by outfielder Stephanie Dallman. Their final run came in the top of the seventh as Lovelady reached on an error, stole second, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Layne.
East Tennessee State had a late rally in the bottom of the seventh to threaten the Golden Eagles' advantage. With two outs, senior second baseman April Arnold (Mountain City, Tenn.) was hit by a pitch, and came home on a double by Vandergriff. Vandergriff scored on a double by Spetar, the next batter. Collins plated Spetar with a single up the middle. But the comeback was not to be, as the game ended with a 9-6 score.
Lori Bayless (10-5) picked up the win for Tennessee Tech, allowing three runs, and six hits while striking out six in 4.1 innings. Tia Brenning picked up her third save of the season, pitching the final 2.2 innings.
ETSU senior pitcher Marsha Giles (Jonesborough, Tenn.) got the loss (5-8) for the Bucs, allowing three earned runs on six hits in three innings of work. Vandergriff was the star at the plate for ETSU, going 3-4 with a run scored and three RBI.
Game two began much as game one did, with the Golden Eagles jumping on top early. Tennessee Tech opened up the game with a 2-0 lead after scoring single runs in each of the first two innings. But the game soon became a pitcher's duel between ETSU's Vandergriff and TTU's Lisa Lamb. The two pitchers hurled complete games, as neither team put another run on the board until the final inning.
But the Golden Eagles blew the game open in the top of the seventh, scoring seven runs on four hits and three Buccaneer errors. The biggest blow of the inning was a single by Dallman that plated Tennessee Tech's final runs of the game.
Lamb (8-6) allowed five hits and struck out two in her seven innings of work. Vandergriff (3-6) was charged with three earned runs while giving up eight hits, striking out five.
The Bucs return to action this weekend for a three-game series with Southern Conference rival Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, followed by the series finale on Sunday.