On Feb. 17, the ETSU softball team entered the Buccaneer Invitational. The invitational featured the University of Virginia, Charleston Southern and UNC-Wilmington.

Last week, the Bucs started off their season at the AmericInn tournament where they came out victorious as they went 4-1 in the tournament.

“I think the atmosphere will be good with quality opponents,” said Head Coach Brad Irwin before the tournament. “A lot of good pitching and hitting in this invitational. Last tournament set a good tone we went 4-1, which was solid.”

On Friday, they played Virginia first. The Bucs defense gave up a season high 11 runs. Madison Ogle (Maryville, TN) got to start against Virginia, but the junior struggled to keep runners off base. In the three innings she pitched, she gave up just four hits; however, those four hits were runs, and of the four hits, two were home runs.

Unfortunately, the Bucs pitching problems didn’t end there. Rebecca Wahrmund (Morrilton, Ark.) came in for two innings and also struggled with ball placement, giving up seven runs. All seven runs came in the fourth inning.

The Bucs offense finally got going, but it was too late, scoring two runs in the fourth inning and one run in the fifth. On offense, the Bucs had five hits through five innings.

The Bucs lost to Virginia 11-3. With the loss, the Bucs record dropped to 4-2.

On the same day, the Bucs faced Charleston Southern, hoping to get back on track.

Lindsey Fadnek (Coalfield, Tenn.) really struggled to pitch for the Bucs. In the 1.2 innings that she pitched, she had already thrown 60 pitches with only 29 being strikes. However, she only gave up one run, which was a home run.

The five walks given up became the main issue. Sharlene Godoy (La Puente, Calif.) came in relief for four innings giving up three runs. In the four innings that she pitched, she threw one less pitch than Fadnek did. Similar to their game against Virginia, the Bucs offense woke up late in the game with two runs coming in the last inning.

With another loss, the Bucs record became 4-3 on the season.

The Bucs got the opportunity to play both Virginia and Charleston Southern again during the tournament. Against Virginia things took a turn for the worse as the Bucs were not able to score this time around, giving up nine runs before the game was over.

During their second game against Charleston Southern, the Bucs’ opponents scored four runs unanswered in the first five innings. The Bucs scored in the seventh inning and Taylor Carter (Brazil, Ind.) hit a home run to bring two runs in. The Bucs lost 4-3 to bring their record to 4-5 going into Sunday to face UNC-Wilmington.

Sunday was not good to the Bucs as they lost 6-4 to UNC-Wilmington to drop their record to 4-6, losing all five games for the weekend.

“What we want to improve on pitching wise is cut down on walks and getting ahead of the pitch count,” Irwin said.