JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 30, 2009) - After playing 10 straight Atlantic Sun Conference games the ETSU softball team will step out of conference play for five straight games, beginning Tuesday evening when the Lady Bucs host 2008 Women's College World Series participant Virginia Tech. First pitch of the one game contest is set for 5 p.m. inside the newly built ETSU Softball Complex.
ETSU fans will be treated to an exciting softball/baseball doubleheader on Tuesday, as the Buccaneers take on in-state rival Tennessee at 7 p.m. over at Cardinal Park. In part of the festivities, the ETSU Department of the Athletics will be treating its Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association (BASA) members with a BBQ at the softball contest and dessert over at baseball. BASA members are asked to bring their membership cards to both events. In addition, ETSU students can sign up at Softball for a chance to win a $50 gift card courtesy of Kroger.
The Lady Bucs (18-12) begin a five-game homestand on Tuesday night and ETSU will look to bounce back from a 1-3 Florida road swing this past weekend. ETSU kicked off the weekend with an 8-0 win over Stetson on Thursday night, but the Hatters bounced back and blanked the Lady Bucs 1-0 in game two. Then, on Saturday afternoon at Florida Gulf Coast, ETSU led in both contests, but the Eagles rallied back to defeat the Lady Bucs in both games.
Juniors Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) have enjoyed playing their first 10 games inside the brand new softball complex. Gilbert is 2-1 with a 0.45 ERA (2ER/31.1IP) and has tossed two of her four shutouts at home. Meanwhile, Massenzo has hit safely in all 10 games played in Johnson City, and the catcher is hitting .448 (13-29) with two doubles, a home run and nine RBIs. In addition to the two junior standouts, senior infielder Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) has been heating up over the past four games. Hackworth posted five hits in her 11 at-bats down in Florida (.455 batting average) and blasted a home run and picked up four RBIs as well.
Virginia Tech has won four of its last six games and carries a record of 12-17 into play Tuesday night. The Hokies - who were selected third in the ACC preseason poll - are coming off back-to-back ACC Championship seasons and also made its first-ever trip to the Women's College World Series in 2008.
The Hokies took two of three from Virginia over the weekend and they are led by senior outfielder Jenna Rhodes' .423 average. Rhodes also leads the team with 41 hits and her teammate Charisse Mariconda brings a .408 batting average into Johnson City.
Fans unable to make the trip to Johnson City can follow online with live stats; while tape-delay coverage of the game will be offered through ASun.TV following play on Tuesday night.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.