Class of Hartnett, Hensley, Lower, Treadway to be honored Saturday
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 26, 2013) – The ETSU softball team celebrates Senior Day and concludes the regular season this weekend as it takes on Kennesaw State in a three-game series at Betty Basler Field.
The series gets underway on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday is the series and regular season finale with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
The ETSU senior class of Tara Hartnett (Snellville, Ga.), Whitley Hensley (Erwin, Tenn.), Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) and Mikayla Treadway (Unicoi, Tenn.) will be honored prior to Saturday’s doubleheader. The four standout players have contributed both on and off the field as they all have landed A-Sun Academic honors, given back to the community, and have created lasting memories for the Buccaneer faithful. Senior Day festivities are planned to start at 12:40 p.m.
All four seniors were in the starting lineup on Wednesday, when ETSU (13-32, 1-22 A-Sun) ended a 26-game conference losing streak by defeating the best team in the A-Sun, USC Upstate (37-9, 17-6 A-Sun). Lower captured the big moment by hitting a go-ahead, two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, lifting ETSU to victory by a final of 3-2.
The Buccaneers hope more senior magic is in store for the weekend when the battle Kennesaw State (32-18, 14-10 A-Sun). The Owls are still fighting for a spot in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship and sit fifth in the current standings with a three-game lead on seventh-place Jacksonville. A few wins will cinch the Owls a spot in the postseason.
Heading into the series, Hartnett leads all seniors with a .269 average – a point higher than Lower’s .268. Hartnett has scored 12 runs and has 11 RBIs to go along with eight doubles and a homer. Lower has scored 14 times and has 19 RBIs to go along with four home runs and six two-baggers.
The Bucs’ offensive leader is redshirt sophomore Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) who is hitting .340 with other team-highs in runs (24), hits (54) and stolen bases (16). Fox is the lone Buccaneer with a batting average above .300 and ranks 13th in the Atlantic Sun.
Junior Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) is the power leader with five home runs and 25 RBIs. Baird’s team-lead in homers is one above Lower and sophomore Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.).
Another junior, Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas), will hope to remain consistent in the circle. Wolff earned the win on Wednesday over USC Upstate by tossing her 18th complete game and allowing just one earned run on four hits. On the season, Wolff (6-18) boasts a 3.05 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 153.2 innings pitched.
Wolff will look to quiet KSU’s lineup this time around, led by Sharon Swanson’s team-high .359 batting average. Swanson is KSU’s leader in runs (21), hits (55), home runs (10), RBIs (33), slugging percentage (.601) and OBP (.402). Sara Sikes is the Owls’ other above-.300 hitter at .325. Sikes is tied with Swanson for the most runs scored and has a team-high 13 doubles to go along with 18 RBIs.
Amanda Henderson (17-4) is the KSU ace. In 22 starts and 31 appearances, Henderson has tossed 157.1 innings to the tune of a 1.82 ERA. Henderson has also struck out 186 batters to average over eight Ks per seven innings pitched. Abbey Mixon (13-9) is the No. 2 starter with a 3.09 ERA, making 20 starts and 28 appearances to combine for 117.2 innings pitched. Mixon averages just about a strikeout an inning with 115.
In the all-time series, Kennesaw holds a 11-3 advantage. Last season, the Owls took a doubleheader in Johnson City by scores of 4-3 and 9-0. ETSU’s last win came in 2009, 1-0, as the Bucs have lost the last seven.
Live stats for all three games will be available through Stat Broadcast by logging onto ETSUBucs.com. ETSU’s latest partner in live statistics allows fans to access all the stats they need, keep up with the scores around the conference with a built-in scoreboard and even interact with the action. Fans who Tweet using the hashtags #ETSUsb or #BucYeah will have their Tweets shown at the bottom interface and will be able to interact with @ETSUSoftball and @ETSUAthletics.
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