Lady Bucs split with Georgia Southern in SoCon opener

Friday, March 25, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, TENN. (March 25, 2005) - The Lady Bucs softball squad opened Southern Conference action today hosting the Georgia Southern Eagles in the afternoon doubleheader.  ETSU (13-18, 1-1) captured the 5-3 victory in game-one, while the Eagles (14-21, 1-1) posted a two-run sixth inning in the second game of the afternoon taking the 4-3 SoCon win. 


After the Lady Bucs offense managed to load the bases in the bottom of the second inning, a Janine Sprague (Hillsborough, N.C.) bases-clearing triple scoring Mary Beth Hazelwood (Knoxville, Tenn.), Briana Knight (Brier, Wa.) and Jessica Lonsinger (Dale City, Va.), gave the home squad the 4-1 lead.  In the top of the third, after an Eagle single to center, Hazelwood proved strong on the defensive end as she threw a bullet to Lady Bucs catcher Lonsinger who tagged GSU's Heather Smith at the plate to get the second out of the inning. 


From the mound, Courtney Jenkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) downed the Eagles in order in the top of the fourth, her two strikeouts and assist on the third out of the inning held the 4-3 ETSU lead into the bottom of the fourth.  Hazelwood scored the fifth and final run of the game for the Lady Bucs in the bottom of the sixth securing ETSU's first SoCon victory of the year.


Leading the way for the Bucs in game one was right fielder Knight who tallied three hits, adding one run in the game-one victory.  Hazelwood and Sprague each added two hits for the Bucs, while Jenkins allowed just seven hits and tallied four strikeouts from the mound.


Game two saw the Eagles take the 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning, however the ETSU bats battled back in the bottom of the third to take the 3-2 lead off of three straight Lady Bucs hits.  Amanda Haverman (Kirkwood, Mo.) started the offense with a triple sending Jessica Payne (Maryville, Tenn.) to plate for the first ETSU run of the inning.  Behind a Dani Spetar (Knoxville, Tenn.) single and Lindsay Lane (Erwin, Tenn.) triple the Bucs took the 3-2 advantage.


ETSU managed to hold their lead until the top of the sixth inning when the Eagles added two runs off of the Lady Bucs error taking the 4-3 upperhand.   The Eagle pitching staff held the ETSU bats hitless in the final two innings and took the 4-3 victory in the second game of the afternoon.


Leading the way for ETSU on the day was Sprague with four hits and four RBI, while Hazelwood added four hits and two runs for the day.  Pitcher Belinda Barrera (Fayetteville, N.C.) went the distance for ETSU in game two, allowing three hits and four runs, striking out nine in the loss.

The Bucs and Eagles will face off tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in the final game of the Southern Conference opening series for both squads.  The game will be played at Metro Kiwanis Park, home of Lady Bucs softball. 


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