FGCU Heads to ETSU for First A-Sun Road Test
Friday, March 22, 2013 | by Andrew Piper (@ADPiper7)
FGCU will look to improve upon its 3-3 home record. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
FGCU will look to improve upon its 3-3 home record. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
FGCU (23-9, 4-0 A-Sun)
ETSU (8-17, 0-7 A-Sun)
3/23/2013 | Johnson City, Tenn. | Attendance: 65
Win: MORGAN (11-5) 7.050002
Loss: WOLFF (3-9) 7.075465
WOLFF (ETSU) 302000

Date: March 23-24, 2013
City: Johnson City, Tenn.
Site: Betty Bassler Field
Live Stats: FGCUAthletics.com
Twitter: @FGCU_Softball | @ADPiper7
Hashtags: #EaglePride / #ASunSB / #WingsUp
Current Streak: Won 7
On the Road: 3-3
All-Time vs. ETSU: 10-0
Game Times: Saturday, Mar. 23 (DH) – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. | Sunday, Mar. 24 – 12 p.m.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After finishing 7-0 on a seven-game home stand, the FGCU softball team (22-9, 3-0 A-Sun) will head north to continue conference play as the Eagles will take on ETSU on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 in a three-game series at Betty Bassler Field.

“Right now our girls are playing as unselfish of a game as I have ever seen out of them,” said FGCU assistant coach Alycia Bachkora. “Each game it is a new person stepping up with a big hit, a big pitch, or a big defensive play.”

The Green and Blue will start their series against the Bucs with a twin billing on Saturday, March 23 that will get underway at 1 p.m. with the three-game set to conclude on Sunday, March 24 at 12 p.m.

The Eagles and Bucs currently find themselves on opposite ends of the A-Sun standings early on in league play with FGCU sitting in first after a three-game sweep of Stetson and ETSU finding itself at the bottom of the conference ranks after having lost its first six A-Sun games this season. FGCU has kept ETSU tamed in all 10 of the meetings between the two sides as the Eagles have won all 10 games.

FGCU will look to keep its current six-game win streak going as they will hit the road for their fourth true road test of the 2013 season. ETSU (8-16, 0-6 A-Sun) is looking to improve upon an 11-38 mark from last season while finishing 1-17 in A-Sun play. Out of the 21-person squad, nine are newcomers that look to provide both offensive and defensive sparks to boost the Bucs from the batter’s box and from the field.

Through 24 games this season, five ETSU hitters have a batting average that is .325 or better, with junior Jackie Baird leading the pack as she is hitting .361 with 15 RBI and a .542 slugging percentage. Baird’s batting average ranks ninth in all of the Atlantic Sun, with her .453 on base percentage placing her at seventh among all players in the league.

The Bucs have posted a 4-4 record on their home field heading into the three-game set with the Eagles with FGCU entering with a 3-3 record in true road contests thus far in 2013.

The Eagles kicked off the season by splitting a doubleheader with FIU on Feb. 13 and took two at St. Mary’s on March 6 before dropping two to then-No. 18 Stanford on March 8 and 9 to give the Green and Blue a .500 record in road contests. FGCU will look to become an even stronger team on the road this season after finishing 9-8 when being the visitor in contests during the 2012 campaign.

After having used seventeen of the eighteen available Eagles in a ten inning game against Iowa State on Tuesday, March 19, the FGCU coaching staff has proved that they have a roster that is filled with valuable pieces that are ready to step up and make a difference for the Green and Blue.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that any person in our lineup can step up at any given point in the game and make a difference,” explained Bachkora. “They are truly playing a team game right now and if we continue this through the weekend, we will come out of it very successful.”

In-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Softball), results and a recap from the day’s action will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.