Three-game series involves doubleheader Saturday, single-game Sunday
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 22, 2013) – The ETSU softball team opens the home season this weekend, welcoming Siena College to Betty Basler Field for a three-game series.
Game one begins Saturday at 1 p.m., with the second game to follow immediately after at approximately 3 p.m. The final game of the series starts Sunday at noon.
Junior Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) leads ETSU (3-6) at the plate heading into the home openers with a .577 batting average. Baird hit her first home run of the season last weekend at the College of Charleston Classic and hit .647 through the five-game tournament to be named Atlantic Sun Player of the Week. Through ETSU’s first nine games, Baird also leads the Bucs in slugging percentage (.846), on-base percentage (.633), hits (15) and doubles (4).
Another junior, Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas), holds ETSU’s second-highest batting average at .414. The leader in RBIs is sophomore Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.) with six to go along with a .300 average, while sophomore Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) has scored the most runs with five. On the base paths, redshirt sophomore Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) is 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts to head the Bucs in that category.
In the circle, freshman hurler Sam Harrell (Okeechobee, Fla.) has been solid for the Bucs. Harrell (2-3) holds a team-best ERA of 1.40 through six appearances, having made a team-high five starts. Against Towson at the CofC Classic, Harrell threw her first collegiate complete-game shutout – allowing only three hits while striking out six – to lift ETSU to its first victory of the season. Harrell has also struck out a team-high 25 batters and is holding the opposition to a .212 batting average.
Last Time Out
The Bucs competed through five games at the College of Charleston Classic, earning their first three victories of the season and heading home with a 3-2 record. ETSU’s first win of the season came in its tournament opener, shutting out Towson, 6-0. Day two, ETSU earned two comeback victories by defeating James Madison, 5-4, in eight innings and CofC, 10-9.
Harrell pulled through in the circle and Baird at the plate on day one to help ETSU to an opening day split. Harrell’s 7.0 innings of work kept Towson off the board, while Baird went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI double in the second. The big blow came in the fifth when Everett singled in two runs to begin what turned out to be a four-run inning to put the Bucs on top by the eventual final.
The Bucs were tested in the second game of day one, going up against Syracuse – receiving votes in the national polls. Even though ETSU outhit the Orange, 7-4, a first-inning error allowed three unearned runs to cross the plate and help Cuse to a, 4-0, victory. Baird singled in all three of her at bats, while Wolff and Fox finished with two hits apiece.
Day two was a wild one. Again, Harrell was dominant in the circle in game one, holding James Madison off the scoreboard through seven innings. JMU pitcher Sarah Mooney was able to do the same and the Bucs headed for their first extra-inning game of the season. The Dukes put across four runs in their turn at-bat, but ETSU responded with five, capped off by a walk-off, two-out, bases-loaded double by Tara Hartnett (Snellville, Ga.) for the, 5-4, victory.
Game two of the second day had more drama. ETSU took an early, 4-0, lead on the College of Charleston, thanks to three first-inning errors by the Cougars, but CofC came roaring back with six runs in the sixth inning to take a, 9-8, lead. Baird stepped up big in the seventh and delivered with a line-drive, two-run home run over the left field wall to put the Bucs back and top and Wolff shutdown the Cougars in the bottom half for the win.
The tournament came to a close Sunday afternoon against Akron, and wound up being ETSU’s second extra-inning game of the weekend. The Bucs trailed by one in the top of the seventh and used some late-game magic to tie the game on an RBI single from Horner. The extras were not so kind to the Buccaneers this time, being held scoreless in the top half and allowing the Zips to walk-off on a single, 3-2.
Baird hit .647 through the tournament with a team-high 11 hits and four doubles. Baird also had four RBIs, three runs scored and the homer to her credit. Wolff wound up hitting .529 with nine hits, three runs and three RBIs, while Hartnett hit .500 with five hits, five RBIs and two runs. Horner tied Hartnett for the most RBIs over the weekend and also hit .333.
In the circle, Harrell was outstanding with a 0.63 ERA in 22.1 innings pitched. The freshman allowed opponents to hit just .190 off her, struck out 15 and only walked four. Wolff was impressive as well, boasting a 2.47 ERA through 11.1 innings pitched, striking out 11 and holding opponents to a .209 average.
The weekend’s three-game series will be the first three games of the 2013 season for the Saints. Last season, Siena finished 20-30 overall, 8-8 MAAC, to place fifth in the conference. The Saints are picked to finish third in this year’s MAAC Preseason Poll, tying for 61 votes with Canisius.
Siena’s top returning hitter is the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, Shannon Jones, who hit .434 a season ago with a team-high 14 home runs 15 doubles, 43 RBIs and 46 runs scored. Jessika-Jo Sandrini also returns for the Saints from a .403 season where she hit 13 home runs, scored 32 runs and had 39 RBIs.
The departure of Siena’s No. 1 pitcher, Amanda Filippazzo, makes Sandrini the Saints’ top returning pitcher. Sandrini was 9-15 in 2012 with a 2.89 ERA in 157.2 innings pitched.
This weekend’s series will be the first three games in program history between ETSU and Siena.
Live stats will be available for all three games via Stat Broadcast by logging onto ETSUBucs.com
Single-game tickets for all ETSU softball games are $5 and group tickets (10 or more) are discounted at $2 each.
ETSU fans waiting Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!
For more information on ETSU Buccaneer softball, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.