CLEARWATER, Fla. (March 8, 2012) – Coming off an offensive onslaught Tuesday night at Liberty, the Buccaneer softball team looks to keep their bats on fire as ETSU heads to the Florida sun for the USF Under Armour Invitational this weekend in Clearwater.
The Bucs begin play on Friday afternoon when ETSU takes on Central Michigan at 2 p.m. and Canisius at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Blue and Gold face Temple at 11:30 a.m. and Wagner at 2 p.m., while wrapping up play Sunday morning with Long Island at 9 a.m. ETSU will play on Field 1 on Friday and Field 4 on Saturday and Sunday.
ETSU (5-12) combined to score 23 runs on 25 hits on Tuesday in Lynchburg, Va., marking its highest two-game total since scoring 35 runs on 37 hits in a doubleheader sweep over UNC Central back in 2010.
Prior to the Liberty doubleheader, the Bucs had scored 60 runs in 15 games this season, while slugging seven home runs. On Tuesday night, ETSU belted four home runs to go with three doubles and a triple. Individually, sophomore Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.) went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate in the two games and became the 12th player in ETSU history to hit two home runs in a single game after smashing a three-run and a solo home run in the 10-7 win in game one. Meanwhile, senior Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) hit .556 (5-9) with a triple and three runs scored and freshman right-hander Whitney Leon (Dandridge, Tenn.) earned her second collegiate win after tossing three innings of one-run ball in relief.
In addition to Horner and Martin, freshman outfielder Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) has continued her impressive start to the season as she has hit safely in 14 of her first 17 games and has reached base safely for the Bucs in 15 games. While Everett looks to continue her strong start, Horner has also been a solid addition to the lineup as she has reached safely in five straight games and has raised her batting average over 212 points in her last 10 games as she is hitting a blistering .567 (17-30) with four doubles, a triple, five home runs and 14 RBI during this stretch.
Fans unable to make the trip to Florida this weekend can follow all the action via live stats on ETSUBucs.com, while live updates will also be posted on Twitter @ETSUAthletics. Video will be available this weekend courtesy of Tampa Live Sports, by visiting www.tlstv.com/payperview. The video feed costs $9.99 for the entire weekend and will be archived until next Thursday.
Below is a breakdown of each opponent the Bucs will face this weekend in Clearwater.
Central Michigan (3-9) was swept by No. 25 USF on Wednesday and the Chippewas have lost four of their last six … junior outfielder Macy Merchant leads Central Michigan with a .342 batting average, while senior infielder Molly Coldren has provided the pop … Coldren leads the team with four home runs and has driven in a team-high 10 runs on the season, including a two-run home run against USF … three different pitchers have recorded wins for the Chippewas this season and junior right-hander Kara Dornbos posted the team’s only shutout, tossing a two-hit blanking over South Dakota State … Central Michigan finished the 2011 season with a record of 32-21, 13-9 in the Mid-American Conference and was picked to finish fourth in the MAC West in 2012 … Friday marks the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
The Golden Griffins have dropped six of their first eight games to start the 2012 campaign … Canisius was picked to finish fourth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason poll, while senior Lizzy Gatto was named preseason all-conference after hitting .319 with eight doubles, four triples, one home run, and 26 runs scored in 2011 … in seven games this season, Gatto is hitting .250 (4-16) with seven walks and seven runs scored, while junior infielder Katie Medina leads the team with a .364 average … senior right-hander Caroline Main has both of the wins for the Golden Griffins as she earned victories over Drexel and tossed a four-hit shutout against Princeton … last season marked the first-ever meeting between the two programs as Canisius defeated ETSU, 8-4, in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Temple enters the weekend with a record of 4-6 and the Owls are coming off a tough 4-3 setback to No. 16 Michigan last Sunday at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla. … Temple defeated a strong Purdue club, 5-1, to kick off the tournament, while also defeating St. John’s, 2-1 … the Owls are led by senior infielder Rachel Knable as she is hitting .381 (8-21) with a home run and five RBI in nine games, while sophomore Brooklin White has three of the four wins in the circle for Temple … freshman righty Jessica Mahoney has the other win as she is posting a team-leading 1.98 ERA (5 ER/17.2 IP) … after advancing to the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the first time since 2007 last season, Temple was picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll this year … ETSU leads the all-time series, 2-1, as both teams split in 2010 in Panthersville, Ga., while the Bucs handed the Owls a 1-0 setback in 2005 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Wagner has dropped its first five games to start the season after opening the 2012 slate two weeks ago in Charleston, S.C. … the Seahawks played Lipscomb to a 7-6 eight-inning loss, but were shutout by both Virginia Tech and College of Charleston … Wagner’s 2012 roster is made up mainly of underclassmen as it features six freshmen and five sophomores … three Seahawk players are batting over .300 on the young season as junior infielder Brittany Huss is hitting .333 with two runs scored and four walks, while sophomore Kristen Matteoni has five hits in 16 at-bats with two doubles, an RBI, and one run scored … after finishing with a 7-11 record in the Northeast Conference in 2011, Wagner was slated to finish ninth in the preseason coaches’ poll this season … Saturday marks the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Long Island has lost 16 of its first 18 games to start the year, but the Blackbirds have played four ranked teams – No. 2 Florida, No. 11 Michigan, No. 22 Kentucky, and No. 14 Stanford … prior to last season’s 8-12 finish in the Northeast Conference, Long Island dominated the conference as the Blackbirds posted a conference record of 173-23 en route to claiming 10 NEC regular season championships and seven tournament crowns since 2000 … LIU was picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll, while returning 10 letterwinners from last season’s team … the Bucs defeated LIU, 4-3, in the only meeting between the two programs in 2009 down in Clearwater.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.