Charleston announces schedule changes to Cougar Classic
CHARLESTON, S.C., (Feb. 17, 2011) - Coming off a season-opening loss at No. 3 Tennessee earlier in the week, the ETSU softball team will look to bounce back this weekend as the Bucs gear up for the Cougar Classic, hosted by the College of Charleston. The Bucs open play at noon Friday against Towson from the Patriots Point Athletics Complex.
ETSU, who plays five games in three days, will take on Morehead State following its game with Towson at 2 p.m. On Saturday, the Bucs begin the morning with Akron at 10 a.m. and then face the host Cougars at 2 p.m. The Bucs wrap up play Sunday morning against Canisius at 10 a.m.
Originally, the Blue and Gold were scheduled to play Akron at noon on Saturday and Canisius at 6 p.m. The original schedule also had the Bucs conclude play with College of Charleston Sunday at 2 p.m.
This weekend marks the first of four tournaments for ETSU, as the Bucs travel to Chattanooga next weekend, before heading down to Clearwater, Fla. for the USF Under Armour Invitational (March 4-6). ETSU finally returns home for the first time in 2011 to host the inaugural Buccaneer Challenge the weekend of March 11-13.
Below is a breakdown of each opponent the Bucs face this weekend.
The Tigers are making their 2011 season debut this weekend after finishing last year with a record of 33-23 and fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association. Towson returns six starters from that squad, including senior shortstop Dammi DiPompo and Rachel Miller in left. DiPompo hit .322 (57-177) with ten doubles, five home runs, and a team-leading 43 RBI in 2010, while Miller hit .283 (36-127) with 29 runs scored. Katie Lingmai, a First Team All-CAA and CAA All-Rookie selection, is the top returning pitcher for the Tigers after going 12-11 with a 1.85 ERA (42ER/159.0IP) and 150 strikeouts. Towson was picked fourth (out of eight teams) in the preseason CAA Coaches' Poll.
The Eagles are coming off a disappointing 0-4 season-opening weekend at the Georgia State Tournament. Morehead State suffered two losses against Syracuse a pair of defeats versus Georgia State. Morehead State recorded its third straight top three finish in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2010 and the Eagles are led by sophomore shortstop Kayla Ashbrook - who is hitting .455 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI through four games this year. The Eagles were selected fifth in the preseason OVC Coaches' Poll.
Like Morehead State, Akron also opened its season last weekend. The Zips went 3-2 at the Southeast Louisiana Lion Classic - earning wins against Southeastern Louisiana, Jackson State and Southern. Senior third baseman Alex Feltes hit safely in all five games and is leading the Zips with a .563 average (9-16). Heather Bauer earned MAC East Pitcher of the Week honors after securing the 4-3 win over Jackson State. Akron was picked sixth in the MAC East Division.
College of Charleston
The Cougars went 24-27, 10-13 (SoCon) in 2010 and are coming off a split over Campbell on Tuesday night. College of Charleston beat the Camels, 7-1, in game one; however, Campbell earned the split with a 3-2 victory in the nightcap. The Cougars pounded out eight hits in the game one victory as Katie Pesature and Amanda Lonergan each belted home runs; while Alexa Datko allowed one unearned run and fanned eight Camel hitters. Charleston was tabbed sixth in the preseason SoCon Coaches' Poll.
Like Towson, the Golden Griffins are making their 2011 season debut in Charleston. Canisius went 34-19, 13-3 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last season and return six of its top seven hitters from 2010 - including Paige Freiberger - who hit .311 with 11 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs and 46 RBIs. As a team, Canisius hit .300 with 77 doubles, 20 triples, 30 home runs and 100 stolen bases. The Golden Griffins tied Iona for the MAAC regular season title, but Cansius fell to Iona, 4-1, in the conference tournament championship game. Cansius was edged out by Iona for first in the preseason MAAC Coaches' Poll.
Fans unable to make the trip to Charleston can view all the action via live stats, courtesy of College of Charleston athletics. Visit www.CofCsports.com or click the link above to access live stats. Live video of Saturday's game versus the Cougars will be available on CofCsports.com for a fee of $8.95.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.