Due to foreseeable inclement weather, ETSU's schedule at the Music City Classic has been adjusted. Click here to view the updated game times, or refer to the below article for details.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 6, 2014) - Returning eight starters from last season's squad, the ETSU softball team will begin its 2014 campaign at the Music City Classic this weekend in Nashville, Tenn.
Looking to improve upon last season's 13-34 finish, ETSU head coach Brad Irwin will welcome 14 letter-winners back to the team, while adding eight newcomers.
Returners for the Bucs include senior pitcher Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas), junior outfielder Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.), and senior catcher Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.). Wolff, Fox, and Baird each played in all 47 games for the Bucs.
Wolff started on the mound for 24 of ETSU's 47 games in 2013, going 6-19 with a 2.96 ERA.
Fox stole a team-best 16 bases last season, and paced the Bucs with 55 hits, 24 runs, and a .333 batting average.
Baird led ETSU in several offensive categories, including walks (15), doubles (9), home runs (5), RBI (25), and slugging percentage (.443).
Newcomers for the Bucs include freshmen Taylor Carter, Kelsey Chernak, Brooke Baxter, Rebecca Wahrmund, Danielle Knoetze, Mykeah Johnson, and transfers Kelsie Moore, and Latosha Rectenwald.
A member of the Ohio Valley Conference, Tennessee State returns nine letter-winners from last season's squad that went 14-35. In conference play, the Tigers finished 5-18. Like ETSU, the Tigers will welcome eight newcomers to the fold for the 2014 campaign.
Last season, the Tigers only pitched two players throughout the entire season. Senior Shea Morris, the team's leader for innings pitched last season (183.1) returns, alongside junior Olivia Gamache. Despite Morris and Gamache combining for a 3.40 ERA, the Tigers allowed nearly six runs per game, largely due to the team's 106 fielding errors. Tennessee State ranked 284th out of 289 in the nation for fielding percentage (.924).
Tennessee State was 6-21 in road or neutral-site games last season.
ETSU is 0-2 all-time versus Tennessee State; however, it has has been nearly eight years since the programs have met. The teams last faced off on Feb. 17, 2006 with the Tigers coming away with a 5-2 win.
Update: Friday's game has been moved to 4:30 p.m. EST.
BELMONT - Saturday, Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m. EST - Rose Park (at Belmont University) - LIVE STATS
Belmont welcomes back nearly its entire 2013 roster, returning 15 letter-winners, including junior outfielder Kat Hollingsworth.
Hollingsworth led the Buins in nearly every offensive category last season, scoring 34 runs, while recording 64 hits, 14 doubles, 11 home runs, and driving in 42 runs.
The Bruins, who will be enjoying home-field advantage during the Music City Classic, were 5-15 at Rose Park last season.
ETSU leads the all-time series with Belmont, 12-4; however the Bruins have won the last two meetings between the teams.
BUTLER - Saturday, Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. EST - Rose Park - LIVE STATS
Returning eight players from last season, the 2014 season will mark the Bulldogs' first in the Big East conference.
Butler ammassed a 22-24 record last season, including an 11-9 mark in Atlantic 10 play.
The Bulldogs graduated a key player from last season's squad, star pitcher Jenny Esparza. Esparza set program records for career wins (49) and strikeouts (789) over her four seasons at Butler.
Sophomore pitcher Kristin Gutierrez, who was named to last season's A-10 All-Rookie Team, will assume the top role on the Bulldogs' pitching staff.
Saturday's meeting will be the first ever match-up between ETSU and Butler.
DETROIT - Sunday, Feb. 9 at 12:00 p.m. EST - Rose Park - LIVE STATS
The Titans return 13 players from last season's squad that went 4-45. Detroit ammassed a 2-19 record in Horizon League play.
In road or neutral-site games, the Titans were just 4-35.
Among Detroit's returning letter-winners are All-Horizon League Newcomer Team member Kayla Kostich and Horizon League First Team member Sara Cupp. Kostich, a junior shortstop, started 49 games in 2013, scoring a team-best 21 runs and driving in 22 more. Meanwhile, Cupp (1B/DP) led the Titans with a .387 batting average, 20 walks, and 24 RBI.
ETSU and Detroit have split the all-time series, 1-1, with both meetings coming during the 2004 season.
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