Softball Bucs look to improve their seeding this weekend in Georgia
Boyd
Boyd

Thursday, April 24, 2008

MACON, Ga. (April 24, 2008) - There is still a lot to be decided in the Atlantic Sun Tournament race with four games remaining for the ETSU softball team. The Lady Buccaneers currently hold the No. 4 seed in next month's conference tournament, but if the cards fall the right way ETSU can jump as high as a two seed; however, they can also drop down to the sixth spot if the teams from Georgia play spoilers this weekend.

 

The Softball Bucs begin action Friday evening when they look to tame the Mercer Bears at Sikes Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 5 p.m. Following the games in Macon, ETSU will pack its bags and travel to Kennesaw State for the regular season finale Saturday afternoon. Saturday's double dip is slated for 2 p.m. from Bailey Park.

 

ETSU - who have won four of its last six road games - look to carry the momentum into these critical conference match-ups. The Lady Bucs are coming off a stellar sweep over Western Carolina on Wednesday afternoon as they were guided by the arms of freshman Ashley Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and sophomore Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). Boyd tossed her eighth complete game of the year and allowed one run while striking out six Catamount batters en route to her seventh win of the season. Gilbert picked up her first win since March 20 as she set a season-high with six punch outs. As a team, every Lady Buccaneer player recorded a hit on the day and was led by the talented trio of Jessie Hackworth (Clinton, Tenn.), Kate Powell (Johnson City) and Trisha Massenzo (Russellville, Tenn.). The three combined to go 10-for-17 (.588) with five runs scored and five RBI. Hackworth finished 4-for-6 with three runs scored, Powell was 3-for-5 with an RBI and Massenzo was 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

 

The Lady Bucs will take on a much improved Mercer team from a year ago as the Bears stand 30-22, 9-8 in A-Sun play. Mercer leads ETSU by a game and half for the third seed and face USC Upstate on Sunday afternoon. The Bears are led by two powerful hitters in senior Jamie Madruga and sophomore Holly Oglesbee. Madruga ranks second in the A-Sun in batting with a .426 average (63-for-148) and Oglesbee is ninth at .364 (56-for-154). In the circle, Mercer has used seven different pitchers this season, but its top two hurlers consist of Jenni Holtz (13-8, 2.07 ERA) and Lacey Richardson (10-7, 3.23 ERA).

 

On Saturday, ETSU will most likely face the league's top strikeout pitcher and Preseason Pitcher of the Year candidate, Brittany Matthews. The senior left-hander has recorded 273 strikeouts on the season and has picked up 20 of KSU's 33 victories on the year. As a team, the Lady Owls rank second behind Stetson for the conference's top pitching mark; however, rank 11th in team batting with a .232 average. One bat the Lady Bucs will have to watch out for is from freshman Jessica Cross. Cross leads the team in virtually every offensive category and ranks sixth in the conference with 13 home runs and seventh with a .669 slugging percentage. ETSU will also have to keep a close watch on Lyndsay McCurry as she leads the team with 23 stolen bases.

 

All four games will be aired on ASun.TV and live stats will also be available. To access ASun.TV, visit http://asun.playonsports.tv/ or click on the link above.

 

For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.

 

 

 

 

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