ETSU’s softball team played Radford in a doubleheader on March 30.
Radford is not in the Southern Conference alongside the Bucs, but the team hoped the game would give them a chance to test their skills.
“This [was] a good midweek nonconference test for us,” said coach Brad Irwin. “Radford has been playing well this season, so this [was] a good opportunity for us to go on the road and put together two consistent games.”
Before the Radford game, the Bucs had an overall record of 9-11 and a conference record of 1-2.
“We have been doing some good things lately, but we haven’t been very consistent in all three facets of the game,” Irwin said. “We are looking to be more consistent defensively, pitching and on offense.”
The Bucs played their first games against a conference opponent March 25-26 when they faced Western Carolina. The Bucs lagged behind in the beginning, ending Friday’s games with scores of 14-7 and 4-0. However, the Bucs were able to gain some momentum and overcome the Catamounts on Saturday with a score of 8-7.
The next conference game for the Bucs will be this weekend against Furman, and the team hopes the Radford games will help prepare them.
“Wednesday against Radford [was] an opportunity for us to work on being more consistent as a team in all assets of the game: hitting, fielding and pitching,” said senior Bethany Cowart (Ringgold, Ga.).
The game being held mid-week also helped the team to test their skills.
“Midweek road games really show what teams are made of,” Cowart said. “You don’t have a night in the hotel to sleep off the bus ride from the day before. You only have the couple hours during warm-ups to get your mind and body right for that day.”
Before facing the Bucs, Radford had an overall record of 18-10 and a conference record of 3-3 for the 2016 season. They recently lost two games against Winthrop, which is a conference opponent.
The Bucs played a doubleheader against USC Upstate on March 23, and although they lost, they played impressively against the Spartans, who have an overall record of 28-6.
“We showed last week against USC Upstate that we could play with anyone, and we are going to continue to surprise people this year as long as we play consistently,” Cowart said. “These two games may not be conference games, but they do give us the opportunity to build our momentum rolling into another conference series this weekend against Furman.”