MACON, Ga. (April 14, 2011) - The ETSU softball team wraps up its eight-game conference road swing this weekend when the Bucs travel to Georgia for Atlantic Sun doubleheaders at Mercer (Friday) and Kennesaw State (Saturday). First pitch of the Mercer series is set for 4 p.m., while the Kennesaw twinbill is set for 2/4 p.m.
The Bucs, who have dropped three of four during this eight-game stretch, are in the midst of a pivotal weekend should the Blue and Gold want to reach next month's conference tournament. Overall, ETSU is 14-24, 3-9 in A-Sun play, placing the Bucs eighth in the race for the top six seeds. However, the Bucs can make a statement this weekend and gain ground as both Mercer and Kennesaw State are clinging to the final two spots for postseason play.
Currently senior Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) and sophomore Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) have been the catalysts behind the ETSU offense. Henderson ranks seventh in the A-Sun with her .358 batting average, while Lower's .340 average is tenth among the league leaders. Henderson also ranks sixth in the conference with her .442 on-base percentage, and her 13 multi-hit games and six multi-RBI contests lead the team.
Mercer, meanwhile, ranks third in team hitting and the Bears enter Friday's doubleheader with a record of 21-17, 4-6.
The Bears are led by junior infielder Sara Stukes' .369 batting average and 32 RBI, while her counterpart Randi Rea - a freshman infielder - has a team-leading six home runs and has driven in 25 runs. In the circle, Mercer is led by the duo of Jenni Holtz and Kari Chambers, as they have combined for 20 wins and 230 strikeouts on the season.
On Saturday, the Bucs will face a Kennesaw State club who is 23-19, 5-5. The Owls will play a doubleheader with USC Upstate on Friday.
The Owls are led by sophomore outfielder Sharon Swanson - who leads the A-Sun in hits (51), home runs (12), RBI (42), and total bases (93) and ranks third in batting average (.372). Joining Swanson is fellow all-conference performer Jessica Cross. Cross not only gets things done at the plate, but she is also the Owls' number one pitcher. The junior is right behind Swanson in home runs (11) and RBI (31), while posting a 9-6 record with a 2.38 ERA in the circle.
Fans unable to make the trip to Georgia can watch the Mercer series online via A-Sun.TV, while live stats will be offered all weekend courtesy of Gametracker.