Bucs rally past Lipscomb in game one of the A-Sun Tournament, 3-2

Thursday, May 10, 2007

DELAND, Fla. (May 10, 2007) - After blasting Lipscomb by a combined score of 25-1 back in April, the Lady Bisons put up more of a fight on Thursday as they shutout the Bucs through the first four innings; however, ETSU managed to rally past fourth-seeded Lipscomb, 3-2, as they scored two runs in the fifth and pushed the game-winning run across the plate in the seventh during first game of the 2007 Atlantic Sun Tournament presented by Coca-Cola.


With the win, the Bucs improved to 26-27 on the season, but more importantly they stay alive for another day and remain perfect in the double-elimination tournament. Lipscomb fell to 25-27-1 and remains winless against ETSU as they are now 0-5 all-time against the Bucs.


Lipscomb jumped out to an early 2-0 in the first on Leigh Little's solo home run to left, and Abby Keese's two-out single scored Abigail Craig, giving the Lady Bisons the two-run advantage before ETSU even stepped to the plate. Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) fought hard as she recorded all three outs via the strikeout, leaving runners at first and third.


The Bucs were limited to only two hits through the first four innings; however, ETSU's offense finally woke up in the fifth, scoring two runs on four hits to tie the game at two. Briana Knight (Brier, Wash.) led off the inning with a single to center, and after Caitlin Zyskowski's (Grand Rapids, Mich.) failed sac bunt attempt the Bucs strung together three consecutive singles. All-freshman team selection Cheniece Cason (Moreno Valley, Calif.) began the hit parade, and both Knight and Cason crossed the plate when senior slugger Stephanie Gaynord (Manassas, Va.) singled to left center. Knight scored from third and Cason eventually came home when Gaynord fooled the Lady Bisons on a fake to second, which gave the freshman speedster the chance to slide under the tag to tie the game.


Hardy settled down nicely after allowing two first inning runs, tossing six scoreless innings and recording six strikeouts. The Rocklin, Calif. native worked out of a jam in the seventh as she left the potential go-ahead run stranded at second by retiring Lispcomb's number three and four hitters, Heather Collins and Kellie Sirus to end the inning.


ETSU took advantage of the Lady Bisons' mistakes in the seventh. With one out and the bases loaded, sophomore Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) hit a routine fly to right, but Lispcomb's Julia Davidson dropped the ball and Cason scored the game-winning run from third without a play at the plate. Cason started the rally hitting a liner to left and Gaynord doubled on the very next play as she found the gap in right center. After falling behind to Katy Jett (Talbot, Tenn.), Lipscomb decided to walk her and load the bases. Hackworth did everything she had to do by putting the ball in play, and ETSU celebrated with the Lady Bisons costly error when Cason crossed home.


Hardy tossed her fifth complete game, allowing only two runs on nine hits and improved to 6-2, while Lipscomb's Christen Campbell fell to 17-15 after allowing three runs on seven hits in 6.1 IP.


The Bucs will now wait and find out who they play as they take on the winner of the Gardner-Webb/Campbell match-up, which is currently in progress. First pitch of ETSU's second game of the day is slated for 6 p.m. ETSU fans can view all the action by visiting www.gohatters.com and register for Hatter Vision.

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