Lady Buccaneers split doubleheader with Elon

from staff reports

   JOHNSON CITY -- East Tennessee State scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning and Tiffany McVay put together a complete-game victory on the mound, as the Lady Buccaneers dropped Elon 5-2 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Metro-Kiwanis Park.
   However, the Phoenix rebounded in the second game between the two Southern Conference rivals, winning by an identical score of 5-2.
   "We definitely would have liked to have won two, but now it's important that we come out strong tomorrow and win the series" said ETSU head coach Amy Fuller. "If we can get our pitching, hitting and defense all on one page, then we'll be all right. We just left too many runners on base in the second game."
   For the Bucs, all the pieces were in place in the opening game. After Elon took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, ETSU scored all the runs it would need in the bottom half of the frame thanks to a two-run home run by centerfielder Danielle Spetar and a three-run blast by first baseman Miranda Byerly.
   With a comfortable three-run cushion, McVay busied herself with the Elon lineup, allowing just three hits and no runs over the next six innings. With the win, McVay improved to 10-5 on the year, while Elon's Jennifer Lamb dropped to 6-5.
   In the second game, the Phoenix scored four runs in the top of the second inning after a pair of hits by Dani Concepcion and Jessica Swearengin set the table for Jenny Gustin, who capped the offensive rally with a two-run single that made it 4-0.
   The Lady Bucs answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, but after Elon tacked on a single insurance run in the top of the seventh, ETSU could not rally in their final trip to the plate.
   ETSU's Belinda Barrer took the loss and dropped to 8-7, while Elon's Whitney Meeks (9-4) picked up the victory.
   For the game, ETSU's Janine Sprague, Stephanie Gaynord, McVay and Spetar each collected two hits apiece, and the Lady Bucs outhit the Phoenix 11-6. However, the Lady Bucs left 12 runners stranded, while Elon left only six.
   The two teams will meet in the third and final game of this SoCon weekend series Sunday at Metro-Kiwanis Park. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.