SoCon return, Tennessee home-and-home highlight 2015 schedule
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 18, 2014) - ETSU Softball head coach Brad Irwin has announced the Bucs' schedule for the upcoming 2015 campaign. The Buccaneers' spring slate features five tournaments and 23 home games, including a March 24 matchup with SEC opponent Tennessee in Johnson City.
Looking to build upon last year's 20-win season in which the Bucs' set a program record for home runs (44) and posted program Top 5 marks for slugging percentage (.400) and on-base percentage (.314), ETSU will kick off its 2015 campaign Saturday, Feb. 7 in Buies Creek, N.C., as the Bucs take part in the Hampton Inn Invitational at Campbell University.
The Hampton Inn Invitational (Feb. 7-10) is the first of three off-site tournaments ETSU will compete in to start the season, along with tournaments at East Carolina (Feb. 13-15) and Austin Peay (Feb. 20-22).
After beginning the season with 16 consecutive road or neutral-site contests, ETSU will get a chance to play inside the familiar confines of Betty Basler Field in Johnson City as the Bucs welcome Morehead State and Canisius to town for the Holiday Inn Classic (Feb. 28-March 1). The following weekend, ETSU will host Radford, Tennessee Tech, and Kennesaw State for the Holiday Inn Invitational (March 6-8).
Other notable non-conference contests will include matchups with SEC opponent Tennessee and reigning Atlantic Sun regular season champion USC Upstate.
The Bucs will take on Tennessee twice during the 2015 season, hosting the Vols Tuesday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m., before travelling to Knoxville Tuesday, April 14.
USC Upstate will visit Betty Basler Field for a double-header Tuesday, March 17. The Spartans, who ended last season ranked No. 29 in NCAA Division I, posted a 46-9 record in 2014 en route to advancing to the Tuscaloosa Regional of the NCAA Tournament.
ETSU will open Southern Conference competition—the Bucs' first season in the SoCon since 2005—at Western Carolina Saturday, March 21. The Bucs' home SoCon debut will come a week later when ETSU hosts in-state foe Chattanooga Saturday, March 28.
The Bucs will conclude regular season play at home during the first weekend of May, hosting Mercer for a trio of games. The series finale, Sunday, May 3 at noon, will serve as Senior Day for ETSU.
The Southern Conference Softball Championship, which was won by Georgia Southern in 2013 and 2014, will take place in Chattanooga, Tenn., May 6-9.
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