ETSU Softball releases 2009 schedule
Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Home game with 2008 Women's College World Series Participant Virginia Tech highlights slate for Lady Bucs


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 28, 2008) - Coming off its winningest season in program history, head ETSU softball coach Andrea Mangrum released the 2009 Lady Buccaneer schedule on Tuesday afternoon.


ETSU boasted a program-best 30 wins in 2008, but after falling short of the Atlantic Sun title game in May, coach Mangrum and the entire Lady Buccaneer team has one goal in mind - win the conference title.


Winning a conference title will not come easy for ETSU, as the A-Sun ranked 11th overall (out of 31 total conferences) in 2008.


"After coming up short in DeLand a year ago, our team is hungry to get back to the tournament and win a conference title," added Mangrum, who enters her fourth year at the helm. "We play in a strong conference, so we know how difficult winning the league will be. Hopefully playing in a few tough tournaments to start the year will help prepare us for a solid run once our conference season begins."


The 2009 season brings a lot of excitement for the Lady Buccaneers, as the team is set to play in their brand new 500-seat stadium located off Greenwood Drive, behind the Kroger Shopping Center. This top-notch stadium will feature: TV-quality lighting, 500 seats (with over 100 of them being chair back), gated entry concourse, bathrooms, concession and merchandise stands, scoreboard, dugouts (with attached storage and easy access to the bullpens), a playing surface with complete drainage and irrigation systems, and a practice infield.


The Lady Buccaneers hope the new state-of-the-art field creates a new buzz around the players and community in 2009.


"We are very excited to play in our new stadium this season," said senior infielder Jessie Hackworth. "It will be really nice to have a place we can call home. Now, each time we take the field, the team feels like we will have a true home-field advantage and we can use this as motivation."


Following a season-opening trip to South Carolina for the College of Charleston Tournament (Feb. 13-15), the Lady Buccaneers will finally open the gates to their new stadium when the Furman Paladins come calling on Feb. 18. Then, ETSU will host Milligan on Feb. 21.


"Typically we are on the road until mid-March, but with the new stadium we thought it would give us some momentum early on to play a few home games in February," said Mangrum.


At the conclusion of a brief four-game homestand, ETSU hits the road for nearly a three week stretch where they play in two tournaments and a pair of road series in South Carolina. The Lady Bucs begin the road trip in Chattanooga, where they take on Boston College, Toledo and Morehead State at the UTC Tournament (Feb. 27-March 1). From there, the Lady Bucs play road series at Coastal Carolina (March 7) and Charleston Southern (March 9); before heading down to Clearwater, Fla. to compete in the prestigious Under Armour Invitational. While in Florida the Lady Bucs will be guaranteed three games, beginning with Michigan State on March 13.


After a 20-day hiatus from Johnson City, the Lady Buccaneers finally return home for their conference opener. ETSU opens Atlantic Sun play against North Florida on March 18. The Lady Bucs remain home for a critical series with 2008 A-Sun Tournament Champion, Campbell (March 21), and close out the season-long, six-game homestand with USC Upstate on March 22.


The schedule does not get any easier for the Lady Bucs as they hit the road for a conference swing, starting at Stetson on March 26. ETSU split with the Hatters at home last season, but the Lady Bucs have yet to win in DeLand since joining the league in 2006. ETSU wraps up the short stint in the Sunshine State, when they take on 2008 regular season conference champion, Florida Gulf Coast, the following day.


"Our conference schedule will be tough again this year, because the A-Sun is getting stronger and more competitive every year in our sport," said Mangrum. "We have implemented some new ideas and ways of thinking this fall to help get our players ready to win a championship."


ETSU closes out the month of March with a bang, as 2008 Women's College World Series participant, Virginia Tech, visits Johnson City for a single-game under the lights on March 31 at 7 p.m.


"The home game against Virginia Tech will be our premier game this season," commented Mangrum. "It will be an exciting game for our community to come out and watch in our new stadium. The Hokies were the only collegiate team to beat Team USA last year on the Bound for Beijing Tour, and they made their first appearance in the Women's College World Series as well. Also, Tech's head coach, Scot Thomas, is an ETSU alum, so it will be a homecoming for him as well."


The Lady Bucs remain out of conference to begin the month of April, as they host former SoCon rival Appalachian State on April 1, and close out the home series against North Carolina Central on April 4.


Following a road trip to Longwood, ETSU returns home for a critical conference battle with Lipscomb (April 10) and Belmont (April 11). Since joining the A-Sun, the Lady Bucs have won 12 of the 13 meetings between the two schools from the Music City.


Other notable games include a home match-up versus conference foe Jacksonville (April 18), and road games at Mercer (April 24) and Kennesaw State (April 25).


Once again the Atlantic Sun Conference champion will be crowned at Stetson's Patricia Wilson Field. The double-elimination tournament begins on May 7, and the championship game will be played on May 9. The top six teams eligible for postseason play make the trip to DeLand, Fla.


For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit