JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 7, 2010) - The ETSU softball team hit the ground running for the first time under the watch of first-year head coach Brad Irwin, as the Lady Bucs began fall practice Tuesday afternoon at the ETSU Softball Complex.
Irwin, who spent the last five years as the top assistant at Chattanooga, was named head coach of the Lady Buccaneer program back on July 21.
The Lady Bucs return 11 letterwinners from a year ago, including the senior leadership of Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) and Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.). Henderson started in 52 of the 56 games in 2009 and led the Lady Bucs with six home runs. In addition, Henderson's .308 batting average (16-52) against Atlantic Sun foes was tied for the second highest on the team. Meanwhile, Duncan led the ETSU pitching staff in wins (9), ERA (2.83), innings pitched (121.1), strikeouts (77) and appearances (28).
In addition to the returners, five newcomers will don the Blue and Gold for the first time this season. The freshman class includes Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.), Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.), Sadè Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Kristen Koen (Mandeville, La.) and Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas).
Tuesday marked the first of 19 fall practices for the Lady Bucs. The fall slate will also include a trip to Blacksburg, Va. for a doubleheader against Virginia Tech on Sept. 25. ETSU will also conduct scrimmages against Milligan and Lincoln Memorial.