JOHNSON CITY, TN-The ETSU softball team received a strong dose of clutch hitting and solid pitching to bounce back into the win column on Friday afternoon at Betty Basler Field.
Danielle Knoetze (San Diego, Calif.) ripped two doubles and drove in three runs, while Madison Ogle (Maryville, Tenn.) struck out five in a complete game effort as the Buccaneers downed Radford 4-3 in game one. Following the one-run win in the opener, seven Buccaneer hitters accounted for their 12 hits, while Tiffany Laughren (Erwin, Tenn.) and Kelly Schmidt (Norcross, Ga.) held the Highlanders to two runs on six hits as the Blue and Gold cruised to a 10-2 six-inning win to cap off the sweep.
Knoetze feasted on Radford pitching all afternoon as she went 6-for-8 with three doubles, a home run, four runs and five RBI, while fellow senior Mykeah Johnson (Cohutta, Ga.) finished 5-for-7 with a double, triple, three runs and an RBI. A trio of freshmen also sparked the Buccaneer offense as Nikki Grupp (Jacksonville, Fla.), Quinn Giesick (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Kylie Toler (Bradenton, Ga.) combined to go 7-for-14 with one double, five runs, three walks and five RBI. Giesick and Grupp both totaled three hits on the day, while Toler reached base three times.
At the plate, Johnson and Laughren extended their on-base streaks. Johnson – who reached base safely in 10 straight games to start the season – has now reached in her last eight contests, while Laughren has accomplished the feat in her last seven. Meanwhile, Taylor Carter’s (Brazil, Ind.) game-ending RBI double in the sixth inning of game two marked her 100th career run driven in.
As a team, the Blue and Gold hit .396 (21-for-53) with seven doubles, one triple, one home run, nine walks and 14 runs, while going 7-for-17 (.412) with nine RBI in two-out situations. ETSU’s pitching staff held Radford to a .239 clip (11-for-46) and five runs. Ogle and Laughren picked up the wins in the circle, while Schmidt tossed the final three innings of game two to earn her first collegiate save.
The Bucs – who snapped their seven-game losing skid – improved to 10-14 on the season, while Radford moved to 9-10 on the season. The Highlanders are coming off a 35-win campaign a year ago and returned seven starters from that team who reached the Big South semifinals.
ETSU caps off the weekend with a home doubleheader against Tennessee Tech on Saturday afternoon. Due to heavy rains coming through the area Friday night, first pitch has been moved to 2 p.m. at Betty Basler Field.
Courtesy: East Tennessee State Athletics