ETSU Softball holds first practice in newly built stadium
Monday, February 2, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 2, 2009) - The ETSU Softball team was finally able to hit the ground running on the fresh terrain of its new stadium this past weekend, as the Lady Buccaneers moved into their newly built complex on Saturday afternoon.


The Lady Bucs, who are coming off their first 30 win season in 2008, return 11 letterwinners from a year ago - including eight starters.


One of those starters include junior outfielder Katy Jett (Talbott, Tenn.), who was ETSU's most productive component on offense a year ago, as she led the team in every offensive category but four. In addition to Jett, the Lady Bucs return their ace in the circle, as junior Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) looks to build on her banner year in 2008. The reliable right-hander set new ETSU records in wins (19), IP (229.1), appearances (41), strikeouts (261), and also broke the Lady Buccaneer single-game strikeout mark with 16K's vs. Presbyterian.


On Saturday, Jett, Hardy and the rest of the Lady Bucs were finally able to practice in their new 500-seat stadium, which is located off Greenwood Drive, behind the Kroger Shopping Center. ETSU began with its first-ever warm up on the new field and followed that with a two-hour intra-squad scrimmage. 


Senior infielder Jesse Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.) closed out the 2008 season with a bang, as she was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team and was thrilled to finally take the field for the first time on Saturday.


"Saturday was an exciting day since we were finally able to hit the field for the first time," added Hackworth, who hit astonishing .500 (6-for-12) at last season's conference tournament in DeLand, Fla. "The adrenaline rush was indescribable to finally be able to practice at our new home."  


The season will also be a memorable one for seniors Kate Powell (Johnson City), Cat Zyskowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) as they will have the chance to experience their first and final season in the newly built stadium.


Head coach Andrea Mangrum and her staff knows this is a special time for its program and hope the team rises to the challenge in 2009.


"It's an honor to be a part of this program as we embark on a new era in this new stadium," said Mangrum, who enters her fourth year with the Lady Bucs. "The stadium gives us the final ingredient to take this program to another level. I am thankful for those who believed in what we are doing here and gave their time, effort, and financial contributions to make this possible."


The Lady Bucs begin their campaign on Friday, Feb. 13, when ETSU makes its season debut at the College of Charleston Tournament. ETSU kicks off play with a noon start against James Madison.


ETSU will open the friendly confines of its new stadium on Wednesday, Feb. 18, when the Lady Bucs host Furman at 2 p.m.


For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit