Hardy, Morris pitch their way into Lady Buccaneer history book; ETSU makes easy work of Eagles
Junior Marissa Hardy fanned six of the 12 NCCU batters she faced and combined to throw a perfect game on Saturday.
Junior Marissa Hardy fanned six of the 12 NCCU batters she faced and combined to throw a perfect game on Saturday.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 4, 2009) - The Lady Buccaneers needed a pair of lopsided wins and received just that and more on Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU Softball Complex.   

 

Junior right-hander Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) and freshman hurler Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) were both unhittable, and the Lady Buccaneer duo etched their names into the ETSU history book, as they combined to toss the first-ever perfect game in program history against North Carolina Central.

 

Meanwhile, the Lady Bucs made quick work of North Carolina Central, as ETSU cruised its way to a pair of 9-0 victories, both ending in five innings.

 

The Lady Bucs, who won three of the five games during this brief homestand, moved their record to 21-14 on the season with the sweep of the Eagles. With the two losses, NCCU saw its mark drop to 2-27.

 

Hardy, who tossed the Lady Bucs' first-ever no-hitter as a freshman back on April 17, 2007, was on fire on Saturday. The Rocklin, Calif. native struck out six of the 12 Eagle hitters she faced and extended her consecutive scoreless innings pitched streak to 16.2. In addition, with the win Hardy pushed her record to 11-5 on the campaign. Morris entered in relief during the top half of the fifth and kept the perfect game intact with one inning of work and fanned one.

 

Then, after Hardy and Morris made history, sophomore right-hander Ashley Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.) took the circle in game two and tossed a three-hit shutout - marking her second blanking of the season. Boyd also struck out a season-high seven hitters and didn't issue a walk.

 

With the Lady Buccaneer pitchers dealing, ETSU's hitters followed suit as they combined to .500 (21-42) with five doubles and three home runs on sunny the afternoon. Freshman Amy Campbell (Hixson, Tenn.) reached base all three times on the day and hit 1.000 (2-2) with a double and recorded her first collegiate home run as well. Joining the offensive explosion were seniors Kate Powell (Johnson City) and Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) along with freshman Chelsea O'Connor (Knoxville). Powell finished 4-for-5 (.800) with three runs scored, Hackworth hit .600 (3-5) with two home runs (one in each game), four runs scored and five RBIs, and O'Connor went 3-for-4 (.750) with a double, three runs scored and two RBIs.

 

The Lady Bucs pushed their first run across the board in the first inning of game one, when head coach Andrea Mangrum's double steal call was executed perfectly. With Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) on third and Hackworth on first, Mangrum put the runners in motion - and after Andrea Searls tried to toss Hackworth out at second - Jett broke home and crossed the plate to give ETSU the early 1-0 lead.

 

ETSU then scored five runs on four hits; while taking full use of three NCCU errors in the bottom of the third and saw its lead balloon to, 6-0. Hackworth drove in the first two runs of the inning with a single to second, and senior Cat Zyskowski's (Grand Rapids, Mich.) RBI grounder to short led to two more Lady Buccaneer runs. Then, with two outs and O'Connor on first, sophomore Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) ripped a double down the line in left and scored O'Connor easily from first.

 

With Hardy cruising in the circle, the Lady Bucs roughed up Kristen Schooler for three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jett drove in the first run of the frame with her two-out RBI single and Hackworth's two-run bomb to center pushed the ETSU advantage to 9-0.

 

After Hardy was pulled in the fifth, Morris tossed one perfect inning and lifted the Lady Bucs to a 9-0 victory.

 

The Lady Bucs pounded out 11 hits in game one and four ETSU players recorded multi-hit games.

 

Schooler suffered the loss after allowing nine runs (six earned) on 11 hits in four innings of work.

 

Game Two Recap   

Sophomore Ashley Boyd tossed a three-hit shutout and a four-run fifth inning closed out the contest, as the Lady Bucs walked away with another 9-0 victory in game two on Saturday.

 

ETSU wasted little time getting on the board by scoring four runs in the first inning. Chelsea O'Connor began the attack with a two-run scoring single to right-center - giving the Lady Bucs an early 2-0 advantage. Senior designated player Cat Zyskowski plated the other two runs for the Lady Bucs, when her double to left brought home O'Connor and Jessie Hackworth.

 

After being held scoreless for the next two innings, Amy Campbell decided to switch things up and put a run on the board when she tattooed Ashanti Stroud for a solo home run - marking her first collegiate blast of her career.

 

With Boyd doing excellent work in the circle, the Lady Bucs ended the contest by scoring four more runs in the bottom of fifth to come away with their second 9-0 victory of the day. Hackworth pushed the ETSU lead up to 7-0 when belted a two-run home run over the fence in right-center, and Campbell's double down the line in left ended the game when Zyskowski and O'Connor both trotted in to score.

 

Boyd earned her second win of the season and fanned a season-best seven hitters. Stroud suffered her first loss of the year after being attacked for five runs on five hits in four innings of action.

 

The Lady Bucs have little time to relax as they travel to Farmville, Va. for a doubleheader with Longwood on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

 

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

 

 

  

 

 

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