(Feb. 24, 2004) -- East Tennessee State's softball team will be looking for its first-ever win over a ranked opponent Wednesday, when the Buccaneers travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to square off with No. 11 Tennessee. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 4 p.m. at Tyson Park.
ETSU (5-2) dropped both games of a doubleheader last year in Knoxville by scores of 8-0 and 8-3, respectively. Head coach Amy Fuller knows Wednesday will be a difficult early-season test for her squad, as the Lady Vols are off to a scorching 13-2 start. Wednesday's doubleheader also marks the home opener for the Lady Vols, whose only losses this season have come against Hawaii and No. 1 UCLA.
"ETSU will present a tough challenge for our team," said Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly, who previously spent five seasons at Chattanooga, a fellow Southern Conference opponent. "They are a veteran squad and played very well here last March. With so many Knoxville kids on their roster, we expect they will have a good crowd supporting them. We will need to be ready to play our best."
Lady Vol freshman sensation Monica Abbott will be making her debut in front of the home crowd by getting the ball in tomorrow's opener. The left-hander has compiled a 12-0 record and a 0.66 earned run average over 74.1 innings
ETSU will be led by senior pitcher Tiffany McVay
(Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.), who is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA this season. McVay is also batting .333 with three doubles, a homerun, and eight RBIs. Belinda Barrera
(Fayetteville, N.C.) has been named Wednesday's other probable starting pitcher. Barrera is 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA, including two complete-game shutouts.
Sophomore outfielder Janine Sprague
(Hillsborough, N.C.) is listed as questionable after pulling a quadricep muscle in last weekend's UT Martin Econo-Lodge Tournament. Sprague is leading the Southern Conference with a .562 batting average. She also has driven in four runs and has three doubles. Junior Mary Beth Hazelwood
(Knoxville, Tenn.) is batting .476 and has ripped 10 hits in 21 at bats with three two-baggers.
LIVE STATS -- Game One Game Two