The Bucs came into Saturday’s doubleheader against Mercer with a 12-13 overall record and a 3-3 record in conference play.
In the first five innings, the Bucs and Mercer were tied at 2 before the Bucs’ offense exploded for five runs in the seventh inning.
ETSU pitcher Lindsey Fadnek (Coalfield, Tenn.) struck out six batters in the seven innings that she pitched. Most importantly, she controlled the game by only allowing two Mercer runs.
Sophomore Kelsey Smith (Tucson, Ariz.) and junior Danielle Knoetze (San Diego, Calif.) were huge for the Bucs’ offense, combining for four runs. Knoetze homered to center field in the third to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead, followed by Smith homering to left field to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead.
Mercer responded in the third when Taylor Miller singled to shortstop and was able to advance to second on an error that helped Shaila Warren score. In the fifth inning, Miller singled out at second that allowed Warren to score and tie the game at 2.
In the seventh, Knoetze reached on an error that sent Bethany Cowart (Ringgold, Ga.) out at second base. However, Samantha Carpenter (Forest City, N.C.) advanced to third and Madison Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.) scored, giving the Bucs a 3-2 lead.
Cassi Pickett (Chattanooga, Tenn.) singled to right center, allowing runners Knoetze to advance to third and S. Carpenter to score. Kelsey Smith homered to left field to bring in runners Emma Martindale (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Knoetze for scores.
Because of an explosive seventh inning, the Bucs won the first game 7-2, improving their record to 13-13 and 4-3 in conference play.
In the second game, the Bucs didn’t have so much success. Mercer’s Maxine Rodriguez (Lakewood, Calif.) doubled to right center and drove in two runs in the second inning. Warren (Mulberry, Fla.) reached on a fielder’s choice that brought in a run to give Mercer a 3-0 lead.
It didn’t stop there, however. Natalie Shiver (Leesburg, Ga.) homered to right field to give Mercer a 6-0 lead. Warren then homered to center field to drive in two runs.
The Bucs lost the second game, 8-0. Mercer dominated the game from the first pitch and improved its record to 19-25.
The Bucs split the doubleheader on Saturday to bring their record to 13-14 and 4-4 in conference play. On Sunday, the Bucs faced Mercer again and won, 11-7.