BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 21, 2008) - The ETSU softball team kicks off its final week of regular season play with a meeting against 19th-ranked Virginia Tech Tuesday evening in the State Line Classic. First pitch of the single game is set for 6:30 p.m. from Whitetop Creek Park, located across from the Bristol Motor Speedway.
Tuesday night marks ETSU's fifth nationally-ranked opponent of the season. The Lady Bucs are winless in their previous four games; however, they played the 9th-ranked Lady Vols tough earlier this month, and ETSU also swept a Longwood team which split with the Hokies a few weeks ago.
ETSU (24-28) has won eight of its last 12 and have been fueled by the strong arm of Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) and the hot bats of Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) and Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) throughout this stretch. Hardy has won seven of her last eight decisions en route to an ETSU single-season best 15th victory. The Rocklin, Calif. native - who already broke the single-game and single-season strikeout marks earlier in the year - broke the single-season wins record in her last start versus Campbell. Hardy passed Tiffany McVay's (2003 and 2004) and Courtney Jenkins' marks of 14 in the 8-2 win over the Lady Camels last Thursday. While Hardy has been unstoppable in the circle, Jett and Hackworth have been lighting things up at the plate. Jett is batting .381 (16-for-42) and has hit safely in eight of her last 12 games; while Hackworth has nine hits in her last 25 at-bats with a double, triple, seven RBIs and four runs scored as well.
Virginia Tech (38-12) had its nine-game winning streak snapped Saturday afternoon by Florida State; however, the Hokies have still won 19 of its last 21 regular season games. During the impressive run, Virginia Tech defeated the U.S. National Team, 1-0, thanks to Angela Tincher's no-hitter back on March 26. Tincher - one of the top pitchers in the country - brings a record of 27-5 and an ERA of 0.55 (18 ER/231.0 IP) into Tuesday's action. Tincher has 480 strikeouts on the year and is 50 K's shy of number 2,000 for her career.
For driving directions to Whitetop Creek Park, visit http://www.bristoltn.org/whitetopcreek.cfm.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.