CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 24, 2011) - After producing 20 runs on 39 hits last weekend in Charleston, the ETSU softball team will look to keep its offensive output intact as the Bucs head to Chattanooga for the Frost Classic, beginning Friday afternoon with a showdown against Northwestern State at 2 p.m. from Warner Field.
The Bucs, who currently sit at 1-5 overall on the year, hope to improve on their defense and pitching efforts this weekend. Despite scoring four or more runs in three of the five games last weekend at the Cougar Classic, the Blue and Gold were only able to come away with one win due to 11 errors leading to 14 unearned runs.
Just like they did last weekend, the Bucs will play five games in the three-day tournament format. Following its game with Northwestern State, ETSU takes on Chattanooga at 4:30 p.m. inside Frost Stadium. On Saturday, the Bucs open play with Tennessee-Martin at noon on field one in Warner Field, while closing out the day with Toledo at 2:30 p.m. on the same field. The Bucs wrap up the tournament Sunday morning with Tennessee Tech. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. on field three at Warner Field.
Freshman catcher/infielder Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) brings a six-game hitting streak into the weekend as she is hitting .529 (9-17) with two doubles, a home run, three runs scored and four RBIs. Meanwhile, freshman outfielder Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) has hit safely in four consecutive games, while senior Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) went 6-for-14 with a double, home run, four RBIs and five runs scored last weekend in Charleston.
Fans unable to make the trip to Chattanooga can follow live stats on Gametracker or by clicking the links above.
Below is a breakdown of the Buccaneer opponents.
Northwestern State has won eight of its first 13 games to start the season - including the Lady Demons' most recent sweep over Prairie View A&M on Wednesday. The Demons outscored Prairie View 26-0, and are led by Tara McKenney and Kylie Roos. Both players are hitting .400, while Roos has recorded three home runs and 13 RBIs. As a team, Northwestern State is hitting .300 and has outscored its opponents 64-38.
The Lady Mocs enter the tournament with a 7-3 mark and have won six straight games. Chattanooga has four players hitting above .300 with Lauren Flores posting a team-best .421 batting average, while Michelle Fuzzard is hitting .310 with two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs. Fuzzard also leads the Lady Mocs with four wins in the circle. Chattanooga was tabbed second behind Elon in the Preseason SoCon Coaches Poll.
The reigning regular season Ohio Valley Conference champions were picked third in the preseason coaches poll. The Skyhawks are off to a 4-4 start, but UT-Martin has won two of its last three games after defeating Ohio State and Evansville last weekend in Mobile, Ala. Junior infielder Jenny Bain is hitting a team-leading .440 with four home runs, seven runs scored and eight RBIs, while freshman Amanda Brandenburg leads the Skyhawks pitching staff with a perfect 2-0 record.
Toledo is making its season debut this weekend in Chattanooga after posting a 12-39 record in 2010. The Rockets return ten letterwinners and four starters from last season's squad - including sophomore outfielder Erinn Wright. Wright boasted a team-high .364 average and recorded four homers and 18 RBIs as a rookie.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.