Bucs lose game one in last, surrender five-run lead in game two
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (April 13, 2013) – A 2-1 lead evaporated in the seventh inning of game one and a five-run, first-inning outburst was quickly erased in game two, as the ETSU softball team fell in an Atlantic Sun doubleheader, 3-2 and 8-5, Saturday afternoon at Northern Kentucky.
Scoring two runs in the fourth inning of the opener, ETSU (10-28, 0-18 A-Sun) put itself out in front – ending a 33-inning scoreless streak – to take its first lead in a conference game since two weeks ago at North Florida. Senior Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) put the Bucs on the board, tripling off the base of the wall in center and was driven in a batter later off a single to left from sophomore Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.).
Junior ace Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) was cruising, but the Buccaneers were unable to add any insurance and flirted with the one-run cushion all game. Wolff (4-15) even had a chance to help her own cause with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, lining out to second base to end the inning. It proved costly as NKU (9-30, 3-14 A-Sun) tied it up with one out in the bottom half and walked off with Alexis Van Horn being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Bucs pounced on Kelly Benhase in game two, chasing the Norse starter to the dugout after she recorded only two outs. Amanda Caudill came on in relief and was treated no different with Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.) launching a three-run homer to right and putting ETSU on top by five from the start.
It was all erased in the bottom half. The first three Norse batters reached base with Natalie Papi doubling to left and driving in the first two runs. Van Horn homered to cut the lead to one, followed by Tory Speakman putting NKU on top to cap off the six-run inning with a two-run bullet over the wall in center.
ETSU never recovered and NKU padded its lead in the fifth with the game’s third two-run homer as Kaylin Steinmetz pinch-hit for Katelyn Roy and launched her third of the season to left. Sophomore Whitney Leon (Dandridge, Tenn.) was charged with all eight runs in six innings, taking the loss (0-3) while allowing nine hits and two walks, striking out three.
Offensively for the Bucs, Lower shined again finishing 3-for-5 at the dish with a double, triple, a run and two RBIs. The senior shortstop got all three of her hits in game one, completing the opener a homer shy of a cycle. Lower’s second RBI came on a sac fly as part of the five-run first in game two.
Senior Tara Hartnett (Snellville, Ga.) and Everett completed the day with a hit in each game. Everett added a run. Meanwhile, Horner had a run and three RBIs with the game-two homer.
The Buccaneers hope to escape Highland Heights with a win on Sunday in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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