JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 2, 2009) - It's been almost five months since the ETSU softball team faced live competition, but on Saturday morning the streak will come to an end as the Lady Bucs host the first of three fall tournaments inside the ETSU Softball Complex.
ETSU kicks off its fall play with a 10 a.m. start against Mars Hill on Saturday morning. Then, after Mars Hill and King College square off at noon, the Lady Bucs return to the diamond for a 2 p.m. affair with the Tornados.
Next Saturday (Oct. 10), the Lady Bucs host Milligan and Tusculum in their second fall tournament. ETSU will play the Lady Buffs twice (noon and 6 p.m.), while facing the Pioneers at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, Oct. 17, ETSU closes out its fall competition by bringing Lincoln Memorial, Roane State and Virginia Intermont to Johnson City. The Lady Bucs take on the Lady Cobras in the first game at 10 a.m. ETSU then closes out play with a 4 p.m. first pitch against Roane State and a 6 p.m. start versus Lincoln Memorial.
The Lady Bucs return six starters from last year's squad who posted their best 20-game start in program history - including senior right-hander Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.). Hardy piloted the ETSU pitching staff to another banner year after setting six school records in 2009. The Rocklin, Calif. native posted 17 wins and a 1.93 ERA in the circle for the Lady Bucs, while also tossing ETSU's first-ever perfect game on April 4 against North Carolina Central.
In addition to Hardy, the Lady Bucs return senior leaders Cheniece Cason, (Moreno Valley, Calif.), Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) and Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.). Both Cason and Jett started all 53 games for ETSU last season, while Massenzo led the club with 28 RBIs and Gilbert battled back to post eight wins and a 2.10 ERA.
Stay tuned to ETSUBucs.com for complete results on each of these fall tournaments.