|February 09, 2019||1||2||3||4||5||R||H||E|
|Win: Kelly Schmidt (1-0)||5.0||2||0||0||4||6|
|Loss: RUNDLETT (0-2)||2.2||6||8||4||4||0|
|Nikki Grupp (ETSU)||4||1||3||5||0||1|
|February 09, 2019||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: MacKenzie Dyson (1-0)||4.0||3||2||1||2||1|
|Loss: NEWLAND (0-1)||6.0||8||6||6||6||2|
|Lauren Lee (ETSU)||5||0||3||1||0||0|
|February 10, 2019||1||2||3||4||5||6||R||H||E|
|Kelly Warren (ETSU)||4||3||2||0||0||0|
|Jordan Durbin (ETSU)||3||1||2||0||0||0|
|February 10, 2019||1||2||3||4||5||R||H||E|
|Malloree Schurr (ETSU)||3||1||3||4||0||1|
CLINTON, S.C. (Feb. 8, 2019) -- The ETSU softball team will open its 2019 season this weekend as the Buccaneers head to Clinton, S.C., for the Blue Hose Invitational. The Bucs will face Morgan State, Akron and Presbyterian over the two-day tournament at the PC Softball Complex.
ETSU vs. Morgan State – Saturday, Feb. 9 – 10:30 a.m. -- Live Stats
ETSU vs. Akron – Saturday, Feb. 9 – 12:30 p.m. -- Live Stats
ETSU vs. Akron – Sunday, Feb. 10 – 12 p.m. -- Live Stats
ETSU at Presbyterian – Sunday, Feb. 10 – 2 p.m. – Live Stats
Please note, live stats will only be available for the games Presbyterian plays
ABOUT THE BUCS
ETSU returns 16 players from last season, including eight starting positional players and three pitchers.
The Bucs return their top seven hitters from a year ago, which includes preseason all-conference selections Taylor Wright (Erwin, Tenn.), Lauren Lee (Cleveland, Tenn.) and Nikki Grupp (Jacksonville, Fla.) … In addition, Kelly Warren (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Julia Fritz (Glen Allen, Va.) joined Lee on the SoCon All-Freshman Team last season, while Vanessa Elliott (Johnson City, Tenn.) joined Wright on the second team all-SoCon list last season.
Wright had a banner year where she set career highs in every statistical category after starting in 43 games for the Blue and Gold. The Erwin, Tenn. native hit .324 (36-111) with four doubles, five home runs, 14 walks and 28 RBI, while posting .495 slugging and .405 on-base percentages. Wright ranked eighth in the SoCon in batting average and ninth in on-base percentage, while leading the Bucs in batting average, slugging and on-base percentage, RBI and walks. Wright also led the Blue and Gold in multi-hit (9) and multi-RBI (8) games.
Lee gave the Bucs a spark in her first season where she earned a spot on the SoCon All-Freshman Team and the SoCon All-Tournament Team. The Buccaneer middle infielder led the team in hits (42) and ranked second in batting average (.316). Lee played in 39 games in her first season – 33 at second and six at shortstop – and committed only three errors in 128 chances. Lee posted at least one hit in 28 games and hit over .300 during her entire rookie season. The Cleveland, Tenn. native also posted hits in eight of her 10 conference games played, while she hit .333 (7-21) with two doubles and three runs scored in the SoCon Tournament.
Grupp started 44 games at third for the Blue and Gold in 2018, while leading the team in runs scored (26), doubles (9) and total bases (59), and ranking second in home runs (5). The Jacksonville, Fla. native also registered nine multi-hit games, which was tied for the team lead. Grupp hit a solo home run in the opening round game of the SoCon Tournament to help propel the Bucs to a win over Furman, while she combined for four hits and four runs scored in a doubleheader versus Samford on March 25.
Junior right hander Kelly Schmidt (Norcross, Ga.) is the Bucs’ top returning pitcher after Madison Ogle (Maryville, Tenn.) graduated last season … Ogle led the Blue and Gold in wins (13), strikeouts (147), innings (165.0), complete games (17), shutouts (3) appearances (30) and starts (27) … Schmidt recorded four wins a year ago, while making 22 appearances (13 starts).
Last season, ETSU totaled 19 wins, but the Bucs made a run in the Southern Conference Championship as the Blue and Gold returned back to the championship game for the second straight year … The Bucs, who won the 2017 SoCon Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, are looking to be the first team in the league to make three straight trips to the SoCon title game since Georgia Southern accomplished the feat from 2006-09.
Tiffany Laughren (Erwin, Tenn.), one of the four seniors on the team, is hitting .304 (110-362) with 29 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 56 runs and 58 RBI in 128 career games, while she has also made 24 appearances (eight starts) with six wins and one save in the circle.
After sitting out the 2018 season, redshirt senior Malloree Schurr (Montgomery, Texas) returns to the Buccaneer lineup to play an entire season for the Blue and Gold … Schurr, a four-year letterman in women’s basketball, has played in 71 career games, while totaling 52 hits, 27 runs and 17 RBI.
In addition to the 16 returners, the Bucs brought in nine newcomers – eight freshman and transfer pitcher MacKenzie Dyson (Hanahan, S.C.) from North Greenville … Of the other eight newcomers, four are infielders – Ally Chernak (Ooltewah, Tenn.), Kensington Dailey (Jonesborough, Tenn.), Jordan Durbin (Mechanicsville, Va.)and Kasidy Dunn (Friendsville, Tenn.), while one is an outfielder Carolina Davis (Englewood, Tenn.) and one catcher Taylor Robinson (McDonough, Ga.).
Last season, the Bucs played in 17 games decided by two runs or less, including four extra-inning games where ETSU went 3-1 … ETSU scored six or more runs 14 times in 2018 and went 12-2 … Sixteen of the Bucs’ 19 wins last year came when the Blue and Gold scored first … The Bucs were 15-3 when leading after the fourth inning and went 18-4 when out-hitting the opposition in 2018.
ABOUT MORGAN STATE
Morgan State is coming off a historic 28-win season in which the Lady Bears won the 2018 MEAC Northern Division title.
The Lady Bears graduated MEAC Pitcher of the Year Amy Begg, but return junior hurler Stephan Rundlett … Rundlett went 12-8 with 111 strikeouts in 27 appearances last season
Morgan State returns eight seniors from last season’s squad, including Damaili Young who hit a team-best .409 (63-154) with 16 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 47 runs and 18 RBI in 45 games a year ago … Overall, the Lady Bears return their top four hitters from last season as they combined for 186 hits, 39 doubles, eight triples, eight home runs, 97 RBI and 111 runs scored.
The Lady Bears were picked to win the MEAC North Division, while Young was tabbed Preseason Player of the Year and Rundlett earned second team preseason honors.
This weekend marks the first ever meeting between ETSU and Morgan State.
Akron returns 11 letterwinners from a season ago and welcomes nine newcomers to the squad, including four transfers and five true freshmen.
Redshirt sophomore shortstop Sydney Jascoe earned 2018 All-MAC second team honors after hitting .306 with a team-high 44 hits, 11 doubles, four home runs, 10 RBI and 19 runs.
Akron boasts a senior class of six Zips that are geared up for one last ride playing collegiate softball. In their time at Akron, the six seniors have combined to make 308 appearances and 255 starts. Senior Laura Lakins has the most experience in an Akron uniform on the roster playing in 80 contests while making 75 starts.
Inside the circle, sophomore Mikayla Newland and redshirt senior Kooper Vertz tossed a combined 134.0 innings with 69 strikeouts.
The Zips were picked to finish 10thin the preseason MAC Coaches’ Poll after going 4-43-1 in 2018.
The Bucs have Zips have met five previous times with Akron holding a slight 3-2 advantage in the series history – the most recent being a 3-2 Akron win back on Feb. 17, 2013.
Presbyterian is under first-year head coach David Williams as he comes to Clinton, S.C. after a stint at Morehead State.
The Blue Hose went 4-42 and 2-19 in the Big South last season.
The 2019 squad is composed of 15 returners and seven newcomers. Highlighting the returners are Macy Hyatt, who was named to last year’s All-Big South Second Team and the conference’s All-Freshman Team, and Jonnie Petree, who was named to the Big South All-Academic Team. Megan Anderson, Ansley Wilbanks, Casey Gerhard, Chelsea Lyons, and Jonnie Petree make up the senior class.
Six freshmen and one redshirt junior are the seven new Blue Hose this season. Alyssa Batastini comes to PC by way of UNLV, where she played in 31 games (17 starts) during the 2016 season. She made nine starts in the circle and 19 relief appearances. Batastini garnered Mountain West Pitcher of the Week honors when she allowed only nine hits and four walks in a four-game scoreless span.
PC was picked to finish ninth in the Big South Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
This weekend will mark the 20th all-time meeting between the two programs … ETSU, who has won four of the last five meetings, leads the series, 10-9.
Following this weekend’s tournament, the Bucs head to Charleston, S.C. for the Charleston Southern Tournament, which begins Friday, Feb. 15 … ETSU will take on Detroit and Charleston Southern next weekend in the classic.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the softball link.