Tiffany Laughren, a sophomore from Erwin, Tennessee, is ready for her second round of ETSU softball as a Buccaneer and hopes that she and her team will reach new heights this season.

As a freshman, she was recruited by some big-name schools, such as University of Tennessee, College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina, but she chose ETSU because it allowed her to still stay at home.

As a freshman, Laughren picked up her first collegiate victory against Butler, and almost a month later, she hit her first collegiate home-run against Western Carolina.

Last year, a main focus for the softball team was to create a well-rounded pitching base, complete with players of all styles. Laughren was part of that game-effort. She is a pitcher as well as left-fielder, but could be placed almost anywhere if it was necessary, except short-stop. Last season, against Furman, Laughren jokes about her first time in the position, which she had to fill because the starter was out with an injury.

“I fell straight and flat on my face. It was pretty funny because I had the ball and completely slipped,” Laughren said.

Despite this flop, the entirety of her freshman season was anything but that. She was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team, which shocked her despite her obvious determination last year.

Her career high hitting came at Mercer, with two hits, and her career high pitching came against University of North Carolina-Greensboro, pitching five innings.

Out of the eight pitchers on the ETSU team, Laughren brings a windup unlike any other player. Mainly, she is grounding pitcher that doesn’t pick up many strikes but keeps the ball low.

These pitchers work together as a unit, and collectively want to make it all the way to a SoCon Championship victory in May.

“We have one of the best teams we’ve had in a long time here,” Laughren said.

On Friday, Laughren and the Bucs will head down to Charleston, South Carolina, to compete in the Buccaneer Invitational against Virginia, Charleston Southern and UNC-Wilmington.