It’s been a rocky start in conference play for the Bucs. After splitting the series against Samford, ETSU has dropped two straight against Mercer and Furman in April.
This weekend, the first game against Furman came at the beginning of a double header on Saturday. The Bucs kept the game close, led by Julia Fritz (Glen Allen, Virginia) who hit a late double to give the Bucs a chance. However, despite the late surge, ETSU fell to Furman 3-2.
The next game of the double header featured the Furman Paladins coming out blazing. The second game of the series was postponed during the fifth inning, when Furman was leading 7-2. Once play was picked back up on Sunday, Furman finished the game 11-2.
The final game of the series was much closer. ETSU kept it tied long enough to force an extra inning, but were unable to outlast the Paladins in the eighth inning, and lost 3-1. With the sweep, ETSU dropped to sixth in the Southern Conference, with a record of 1-7 in conference play.
During tough losses such as these, it is hard to find the silver linings, but adversity breeds resilience, and the Bucs had their fair share of adversity during the past weekend. The Bucs’ hitters struck out 16 times over the weekend, while allowing Furman 26 hits on their way to 17 points.
ETSU has many questions to answer as they find themselves at the bottom of the standings. Unfortunately, their schedule is only going to get harder. Next weekend, they face Southern Conference top seed UNC-Greensboro, who has only lost one conference game and has yet to lose an away game. ETSU will host them on Saturday.
Following that series, will face non-conference opponents University of Tennessee and USC Upstate before their season series against SoCon rival Chattanooga.
Unfortunately for the Bucs, they may have found themselves out of the frying pan and into the fire without much time left in the season to figure things out.
ETSU will play five more teams before the beginning of the SoCon championships on May 9 with twelve more games to turn things around.