Everett hot for struggling ETSU

Everett hot for struggling ETSU

February 26th, 2012 by Ron Bush in Sports - College

Frost Classic Scores

Friday's Games

UT-Martin 6, Niagara 3; Dayton 11, Cleveland (Ohio) State 10; Troy 9, Ball State 4; Valparaiso 4, East Tennessee State 2.

UTC 7, Valparaiso 0; Cleveland State 2, Tennessee Tech 0; Purdue 10, Belmont 1; Troy 12, ETSU 9.

UTC 5, Niagara 3; Tennessee Tech 8, Dayton 2; Ball State 14, Belmont 3; Purdue 12, UT-Martin 5.

Saturday's Games

ETSU 5, UT-Martin 1; Belmont 6, Tennessee Tech 5; Ball State 3, Cleveland State 0; Purdue 14, Niagara 6.

UTC 6, ETSU 1; Dayton 11, Belmont 3; Troy 6, Cleveland State 5 (8 innings); Valparaiso 8, UT-Martin 4.

Purdue 6, UTC 0; Troy 3, Tennessee Tech 2; Ball State 6, Dayton 3; Valparaiso 9, Niagara 1.

Today's Schedule

11 a.m.--UT-Martin vs. Cleveland State (Frost Stadium); Niagara vs. ETSU (field 1); Troy vs. Purdue (field 3); Belmont vs. Valparaiso (field 4).

1:15 p.m.--UTC vs Dayton (Frost); Tennessee Tech vs. Ball State (F1).

Former Soddy-Daisy High School softball player Alex Everett isn't used to losing, but she certainly is used to hitting.

She's continuing the latter while enduring the former as a freshman at East Tennessee State University, and she thinks winning will come as well.

So does senior third baseman Amy Campbell from GPS, echoing second-year head coach Brad Irwin, who was a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga assistant before taking the job in Johnson City.

"I feel really good about this year," Campbell said Saturday after the Lady Buccaneers dropped to 2-10 with a 6-1 loss to UTC in the Frost Classic. "I think we're a lot stronger. We've got some good new girls in who have got that hunger, and we're starting to come together."

ETSU beat UT-Martin 5-1 before losing to UTC, giving the Lady Bucs solid hope after a run of tough luck that included four one-run losses and three extra-inning defeats.

Everett and another Soddy-Daisy graduate, Mariam Wood, are among those helpful newcomers Campbell mentioned, and sophomore Jackie Baird from GPS is a tough catcher who Irwin expects will improve her batting average as "she decides to let loose and play and have fun."

Against UT-Martin and proven pitcher Chelsea Jones from Tullahoma, Everett had two RBIs for the second time in ETSU's first three games in the Frost Classic. She was batting .417 before going hitless for the first time this season against UTC.

"Alex has done a great job. She's a true hitter," Irwin said.

"I feel pretty good about how I'm doing, and I feel good about what we can do," Everett said. "I feel Coach is doing his best to rebuild this program. It's not easy to be losing, but we just have to try to bear with it and keep working."

Irwin, who added former UTC slugger Tiffany Baker as an assistant coach this season, noted that even the loss to the Lady Mocs wasn't as bad as his first return to Frost Stadium.

"Last year we came down here and they put it on us real good," he said. "I didn't think we were going to get them out of the first inning. Playing them closer this time is a good sign.

"I think we're better, even though our record doesn't show it. You never want to lose, but I think we're moving in the right direction. The next thing we have to do is learn how to win those close games, and we don't start [Atlantic Sun] conference play till the end of March."