Grupp, Bucs turn away Siena in home opener

Johnson City Press • Updated Mar 9, 2019 at 10:13 PM

Simply put, Nikki Grupp put on a hitting display.

Batting 5 for 5 with a double and three RBIs, Grupp propelled East Tennessee State’s softball team to an 11-5 conquest of Siena during Saturday’s portion of the Buccaneer Classic at Betty Basler Field.

The Bucs cranked out 15 hits in their home opener, which included productive efforts from Kelsey Brown (2 for 2, 2 RBIs, 2 walks) and Kelly Warren (2 for 4, 2 runs).

Vanessa Elliott struck for a two-run, third-inning double to erase a 3-1 Siena lead, then Brown stepped to the plate and smashed a two-run home run.

It was a 5-5 game before Andrea Sarhatt’s fifth-inning double brought home Warren. Grupp followed with a single to drive across Lauren Lee, and a throwing error on the play enabled Sarhatt to score for an 8-5 ETSU advantage.

One inning later, Anissa Avila crossed the plate on a passed ball before Grupp belted a two-run double.

Working in relief of starter Kelly Schmidt, Taylor Boling (4-1) pitched 4 2/3 innings for the victory. Both runs Boling gave up were unearned, and she totaled four strikeouts against one walk.

Isabelle DeChiaro went 3 for 4 with four RBIs to anchor the Lady Saints offensively. Loryn DeFalco and Jessika Jaime each batted 2 for 3.

ETSU continues Buccaneer Classic activity today with games against Rutgers (1 p.m.) and Evansville (3 p.m.). Siena meets Rutgers at 9 a.m. and Evansville at 11.

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