Softball season kicked off over the weekend for the Bucs. The team traveled to Clinton, South Carolina, to compete in the Blue Hose Invitational.  The Bucs played two double-header scrimmage games on Saturday against Morgan State and Akron and on Sunday against Presbyterian and Akron again.

The Bucs opened day one of the exhibition tournament with a shutout victory over Morgan State with a score of 10-0. Junior pitcher Kelly Schmidt (Norcross, Georgia) recorded her third shutout of her career, striking out six at bat.

The next game saw the Bucs rally a 9-2 victory over Akron. With a tie game in the fifth inning, freshman Jordan Durbin (Mechanicville, Virginia) hit a single and sent Tiffany Laughren (Erwin, Tennessee) across home plate, giving the Bucs the lead 3-2.

The Bucs then came alive in the seventh inning when they racked up six runs on three hits.

The Bucs are slanted for achievement this season coming up. Sixteen players are returning from last season, including eight starters and three pitchers.

Along with the 16 returners, nine freshman join the team this year.

Senior leaders are Laughren, Taylor Wright (Erwin, Tennessee), Vanessa Elliot (Johnson City, Tennessee) and red-shirt Malloree Schurr (Montgomery, Texas).

Even though the games were exhibition, it gives the fans a chance to see what the team looks like this year.

“We get to learn about ourselves in these types of games,” say head coach Brad Irwin, who is entering his ninth year with the Bucs.

The Bucs are looking for another successful year. Last season, the Bucs won 19 games and secured a trip to the Southern Conference Championship two years running.

The Bucs continue the action this weekend when they travel to Charleston, South Carolina, to compete in the Charleston Southern Tournament.