Softball Bucs look to distance themselves in A-Sun standings this weekend
Thursday, March 27, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 27, 2008) - The Softball Bucs are one of five teams that hold a .500 mark in league play, but after facing North Florida and Jacksonville this weekend at Metro-Kiwanis Park ETSU will hope to break from the middle of the pack and become one of the Atlantic Sun frontrunners.  


ETSU - who currently have won seven of its last eight games and sit 3-3 in A-Sun action - hosts UNF Friday afternoon in a critical conference doubleheader. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.


The Lady Bucs are coming off a dramatic sweep over Presbyterian on Wednesday night. ETSU had to rally back for a 6-5 victory in game one; however, sophomore Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) made quick work of the visitors from South Carolina in the nightcap. Hardy set a new career and school mark with 16 strikeouts in the 6-1 win; including nine consecutive K's to begin the contest.


The trio of Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.), Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.) and Hardy have picked their game up since conference play began two weeks ago. Both Hardy and McCoy are hitting .500 and Jett is posting a .316 average with two home runs and seven RBIs in the six league games. The McCoy/Hardy duo each have seven hits in 14 at-bats, and is led by Hardy's three doubles and four RBIs.


Another trio has also heated up in their last four games as well. Junior outfielder Cat Zyskowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.) is hitting .444 with two doubles and four RBIs and fellow junior outfielder Kate Powell (Johnson City) has hit safely in her last four games, going 4-for-11 with four runs scored. Joining the attack is senior Amanda Haverman (Kirkwood, Mo.). Haverman is batting .375 with two RBIs and two runs scored.


While the Lady Buccaneers look to break from the middle of the pack in league play, the task will not be an easy one. North Florida is tied for the second most wins in the conference at 27-15 and the Lady Ospreys have won nine of their last 10 games. UNF swept Florida A&M in non-conference action Wednesday afternoon and have a 4-2 mark in A-Sun play.


The Lady Ospreys are led by sophomore left-hander Devyn Findley in the circle and junior Heather Hyde and senior Gwen Williams at the plate. Findley - last season's Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year - is 15-7 with a 1.54 ERA (33 ER/149.2 IP) in 25 appearances (21 starts) this season. At the plate, Hyde is hitting a team-best .350, but Williams has belted eight doubles, nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 42 games played. Williams was also named Player of the Week after recording a .381 average with two homers, including a grand slam in the 10-1 win over Belmont.


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