JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 20, 2009) - After being swept by North Florida at home Wednesday afternoon in its Atlantic Sun Conference opener, the ETSU softball team looks to bounce back on Saturday when the Lady Bucs face 2008 conference tournament champion Campbell. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 2 p.m. inside the ETSU Softball Complex.
Prior to Wednesday's conference opener the Lady Bucs were off to a hot start - winning 15 of their first 20 non-conference games. However, lack of timely hitting and fielding miscues shot ETSU in the foot against UNF, and the Ospreys quickly cooled the Lady Bucs off. Junior Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) pitched a solid outing in game two, but despite allowing zero earned runs the righty suffered the loss. Gilbert allowed three unearned runs and issued only seven hits in 10 innings of work.
ETSU (15-7, 0-2) should be geared up on Saturday, as Campbell ended the Lady Bucs' run for a conference tournament crown last season in DeLand, Fla. The Fighting Camels defeated ETSU twice in the tournament, which ended its season. Campbell eventually went on to defeat Stetson in the championship game to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Junior Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) and graduate student Kate Powell (Johnson City) each carry four-game hitting streaks into conference play this weekend. Meanwhile, Jett has also hit safely in 12 of her last 14 games and leads the team with a .362 batting average. Jett and Powell also find themselves ranked in the top 10 in hitting amongst A-Sun players, as Jett is ninth and Powell is 10th (.361).
In addition, Gilbert and fellow junior Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.) look to continue their stellar play inside the newly built Softball Complex. Gilbert has yet to allow an earned run in 17.0 IP at home and Massenzo is hitting a blistering .500 (8-16) with a double, home run, three runs scored and seven RBI in Johnson City.
The Fighting Camels have won 13 of their last 15 games and stand at 17-6, 3-1 in A-Sun play. Campbell, who ranks second in the conference in hitting, will play two at USC Upstate on Friday afternoon before heading over to Johnson City on Saturday.
The Fighting Camels are led by senior utility player Karlie Love and sophomore infielder Amanda Miller. Love ranks second in the A-Sun in home runs (9), third in hitting (.463) and fifth in RBIs (32); while Miller is currently hitting .372 with three doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs. Campbell also has three solid starting pitchers, which is led by freshman Christina Melton - who leads the squad with seven wins and a 1.62 ERA. Melton is also holding the opposition to a .199 batting average (37-186).
Following play with Campbell on Saturday the Lady Bucs conclude their six-game homestand on Sunday afternoon when 2008 co-regular season champions USC Upstate come to town. First pitch of that series will begin at 2 p.m.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.