ETSU Softball gears up for critical conference weekend
Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fans who bring a pair of shoes to Friday's doubleheader versus Lipscomb will receive free admission


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 9, 2009) - After stepping out of conference action for seven straight games, the Lady Buccaneer softball team resumes Atlantic Sun play this weekend, beginning Friday evening when ETSU hosts Lipscomb at 5 p.m.  The Lady Bucs will then bounce back on Saturday when ETSU takes on Belmont inside the ETSU Softball Complex on Senior Day.


Getting back into conference action and facing the Nashville schools could be the perfect remedy for the Lady Bucs to bounce back to their winning ways again. 


ETSU went 3-4 last week against non-conference foes and brings a record of 21-16, 3-7 in A-Sun into play this weekend. However, the Lady Bucs are currently 12-1 all-time against Lipscomb and Belmont combined - including a four-game sweep over both the last time these two programs made the visit to Johnson City. Over that four-game stretch ETSU scored 48 runs on 47 hits.


Should the Lady Bucs bounce back and try to secure a spot in next months conference tournament they will need to do a better job with their fielding, as ETSU has committed nine errors in the last eight contests - leading to nine unearned runs in those games. On the flip side, junior righty Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) has done an outstanding job keeping the Lady Bucs in each game she starts by allowing two earned runs in her last 27.1 IP.


Lipscomb, who enters Friday's doubleheader with a record of 25-8, 4-2 in A-Sun, has vastly improved since the last time they visited Johnson City. The Lady Bisons are coming off a sweep over Chattanooga on Wednesday evening, and Lipscomb is also looking to post its second straight regular season conference championship after splitting the title with FGCU and USC Upstate a year ago.


The Lady Bisons are led by junior Kellie Sirus at the plate and the Lipscomb pitchers also enter play with a team ERA of 1.68 (54 ER/225.2 IP). Sirus is hitting a team-leading .441 (45-102) and has 11 doubles, four home runs and 26 RBIs on the season.  


In addition, the ETSU Marketing/Promotions Department is holding a special promotion this weekend for softball and baseball to tie into the non-profit organization "Sole to Soul". Every fan who brings a pair of shoes to either the softball or baseball contests on Friday will receive free admission to the game. Any shoe is acceptable, and every pair of shoes will make a difference to the children in Guatemala. Meanwhile, ETSU students who bring a pair of shoes will be entered to win a $50 gift card to Kroger. 


On Saturday afternoon, the ETSU Department of Athletics will honor four outstanding seniors with a special pregame ceremony. Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.), Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.), Kate Powell (Johnson City) and Cat Zyskowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.) will all be honored prior to the double-dip with Belmont at 2 p.m.


The Bruins, who play two games at USC Upstate on Friday, have a record of 9-17, 1-5 in A-Sun play. Belmont is led by Dawn Thoni and Julie Harmon at the plate; while Devon Schmidt leads the team with five wins. Thoni is hitting .317 with seven doubles and four homers and Harmon is currently batting .299 with a double, triple and four home runs.  


For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit