High-powered Bucs' offense takes on Oakland and Siena to kick off 2014 Buccaneer Challenge
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2014) – Playing at the familiar confines of Betty Basler field for the first time this season, the ETSU softball team will host Oakland and Siena this weekend in the Buccaneer Challenge presented by Holiday Inn.
GETTING UP TO SPEED
The Buccaneers (3-5) finished last weekend’s Panther Invitational in Atlanta with one win and three losses, including a narrow 5-4 setback to Bowling Green.
ETSU shut out Big Ten opponent Indiana, 6-0, on the final day of the tournament, allowing no extra-base hits to the Hoosiers.
Freshman Taylor Carter (Brazil, Ind.) picked up the win, throwing a complete game shutout, while senior catcher Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) blasted her team-best fifth home run of the season.
In addition to leading the Bucs in homers, Baird has driven in a team-leading 10 RBI.
Meanwhile, Carter has driven in eight runs while batting .346. On the mound, the freshman has notched 14 strikeouts while allowing just two walks.
The Bucs are scoring an average of five runs per game this season—well above last year's average of three runs per game.
Through the Bucs’ first eight games, freshman Kelsey Chernak (Ooltewah, Tenn.) is pacing ETSU with a .429 batting average, nine hits, and three doubles.
BUCCANEER CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
ETSU will play a pair of games both Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday, Feb. 22
Game One: Siena vs. Oakland – 12:00 p.m. – LIVE STATS
Game Two: Oakland vs. ETSU – 2:00 p.m. – LIVE STATS
Game Three: Siena vs. ETSU – 4:00 p.m. – LIVE STATS
Sunday, Feb. 23
Game One: Oakland vs. Siena – 10:00 a.m. – LIVE STATS
Game Two: Siena vs. ETSU – 12:00 p.m. – LIVE STATS
Game Three: Oakland vs. ETSU – 2:00 p.m. – LIVE STATS
The weekend weather forecast for Johnson City is 60 degrees and sunny with a 10 percent change of rain Sunday.
OAKLAND GOLDEN GRIZZLIES (1-4) – Rochester, Mich. – Horizon League
The Golden Grizzlies (1-4) will enter this weekend’s Buccaneer Challenge on a four-game loss streak, in which they have been outscored by opponents, 43-10
So far this season, Oakland is being led offensively by Erika Polidori, who is batting .438 with seven hits, six RBI, and three doubles.
Erin Kownacki has started three of the Golden Grizzlies’ first five games, accruing a 7.12 ERA, allowing 20 earned runs in 19 and two-thirds innings.
Kaley Waalkes has made starts in Oakland’s other two contests, allowing nine earned runs in nine innings.
SIENA SAINTS (0-0) – Loudonville, N.Y. – Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)
The 2013 MAAC regular season champions, the Saints return several key players, including Jessika-Jo Sandrini, Alyssa Lancaster, and Paige Lloyd, who combined to drive in 95 runs last season, accounting for more than 40 percent of the team’s offense.
Sandrini also pitched a team-high 137 innings, going 15-9 with a 3.62 ERA, including 14 complete games.
Siena finished with a 21-26 record last season, including a 13-19 mark in road/neutral-site games.
This weekend’s Buccaneer Challenge will mark the Saints first action of the regular season.
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