Thursday, December 06, 2012
Three tournaments, including the return of the Buccaneer Challenge, highlight the season ahead
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 6, 2012) – ETSU softball head coach Brad Irwin released the 2013 softball schedule on Thursday, in which the Buccaneers will play in three tournaments and host 25 games at Betty Basler Field, including the Buccaneer Challenge.
Among the 56-game schedule are matchups against the SEC’s Auburn, and Syracuse of the BIG EAST Conference. The date with Auburn comes in the Buccaneers’ season opener on Feb. 8 at the Plainsmen Invite in Auburn, Ala. ETSU’s meeting with Syracuse – ranked No. 23 in the final 2012 USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll – is slated for the following weekend, Feb. 15, at the College of Charleston Classic.
“This schedule will give the team good preparation before heading into the always tough Atlantic Sun Conference,” said Irwin, who enters his third season as head coach. “We have a couple of good early-season tournaments on the road at Auburn and Charleston, where we’ll face some tough competition.”
Other teams ETSU is scheduled to face in Auburn include Kent State, Austin Peay and Army. In Charleston, the Bucs will also take on CofC, Akron, James Madison and Towson.
Following those first two tournaments, ETSU opens the home season with a three-game series against Siena on Feb. 23-24. Liberty then travels down to Johnson City during the midweek for a doubleheader. The weekend of March 2-3, ETSU will host the Buccaneer Challenge by bringing in Morehead State and Bowling Green.
“We’re really excited about having a good home schedule and hosting the Buccaneer Challenge,” Irwin said. “Morehead State and Bowling Green are coming in for that, and we have Siena coming down for a three-game series at the end of February. Those are some good opportunities for the fans to come out and get to see the team early, which we’re excited about because we typically haven’t played at home this early. Also, the A-Sun going to a three-game series format will give us a few more opportunities to play at home.”
The Atlantic Sun Conference changed its conference scheduling to a three-game series format. Conference play beings March 9 in Macon, Ga., as ETSU will look to get off to a good start against Mercer. The first A-Sun game to be played at Betty Basler Field is March 16, where the Bucs will take on Jacksonville in a doubleheader on Saturday, concluding the series on Sunday. Other home conference games include dates with defending A-Sun Conference Tournament Champion Florida Gulf Coast, Lipscomb, USC Upstate, and the season finale against Kennesaw State April 27-28.
The 2013 Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship is scheduled for May 8-11 in Nashville, Tenn.
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