JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 19, 2014) - Returning home to begin a five-game homestand, the ETSU softball split a non-conference double-header with Western Carolina Wednesday, falling narrowly to the Catamounts, 6-5, in Game One before winning, 6-4, in Game Two.
ETSU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the day's opening game thanks to a three-run third inning highlighted by a two-run RBI single by senior Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.).
With one out in the inning, junior Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) singled down the left field line before stealing second. Sophomore Bethany Cowart (Ringgold, Ga.) proceeded to drive Fox home on a single up the middle.
With runners on second and third, Baird drove a two-out single to deep left field, plating two runs to extend ETSU's lead to 3-0.
After pitching four scoreless innings, senior Katie Wolff (La Grange, Texas) was driven from the game in the fifth inning after a thunderous offensive attack from Western Carolina in which the Catamounts (12-16) eventually scored six runs. Prior to Wednesday's fifth inning, Wolff had allowed just one run in her last 11 innings of work.
The Bucs added two more runs in the sixth inning, but were unable to overcome their deficit, falling, 6-5.
However, ETSU bounced back in the second game of the double-header, scoring a pair of runs in the second, third, and fourth innings.
Freshman Taylor Carter (Brazil, Ind.) belted her third home run of the season, a two-run, go-ahead blast, in the second inning.
The Bucs added to their lead in the third inning with Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.) and Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) each driving in a run.
Carter led off the fourth inning with a walk before being replaced by pinch runner Madison Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.).
After a Nicole Fox single to second base, Boyd and Fox stole third base and second base, respectively, bringing Wolff to the plate.
Wolff then proceeded to drive a 1-2 pitch to right center field, plating Boyd and Fox and sealing ETSU's 6-4 win.
Wolff went 2-for-2 during Game Two, drawing a pair of walks and driving in two runs. The senior combined to go 4-for-5 at the plate Wednesday, driving in four runs while scoring two.
The win snapped ETSU's five-game loss streak. The Bucs started the season winning seven of their first 12 games, the program's best start since 2010, but have since notched just four wins in the last 11 games, largely due to offensive woes.
After averaging nearly eight hits per game through their first 18 contests, the Buccaneers have been limited to just eight hits in their last five games. The Bucs were outhit by Western Carolina, 22-10, Wednesday.
ETSU will continue Atlantic Sun play this weekend, welcoming Stetson to Betty Basler for a three-game series beginning Saturday, March 22 at 1:00 p.m.
FOLLOW THE BUCS