PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Little East Conference spring sports head into tournament play this week, and all four Plymouth State University teams will be participating.
The Panther men's and women's lacrosse teams have earned home-field advantage for the first round of their respective LEC Tournaments, and will host play-off games this Tuesday afternoon. The other two Panther teams will be on the road for their tournaments, softball playing in a double-elimination affair hosted by top-seeded Rhode Island College and baseball playing a best-two-out-of-three series at top-seeded University of Southern Maine.
The LEC Champions in all four spring sports receive automatic berths into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournaments.
The PSU WOMEN'S LACROSSE team (5-8 overall, 4-2 LEC) is the third seed in the tournament and will host sixth-seeded Western Connecticut State University (9-8, 2-4) Tuesday at Arold Field at 3:00 p.m. The Panthers have won four of their last five games and their third-place finish is a jump of four spots over last year, while WestConn tied for fourth in the Little East but slipped to the sixth seed in the LEC tiebreaker system. Plymouth State defeated WestConn during the regular season, 18-11 at Arold Field on Apr. 18th.
The PSU MEN'S LACROSSE team (6-7 overall, 4-3 LEC) is the fourth seed in the tournament and will host fifth-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (6-8, 3-4) Tuesday at Panther Field at 3:30 p.m. The Panthers tied for third in the LEC in the regular season with a 4-3 mark, its best conference record since the Little East began men's lax in 2001, but lost the tiebreaker to third-seeded Southern Maine. PSU came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat UMass Dartmouth in the regular season game on Apr. 18th at UMD's Cressy Field, 10-8.
The PSU SOFTBALL team (21-14 overall, 6-8 LEC) is the fifth seed in the tournament and will face second-seeded Keene State College (22-12, 10-4) Thursday at RIC in the second game of the day at 12:00 p.m. The Panthers posted their best conference record in four years and their second straight 20-win season, while Keene State tied for second in the LEC and won the tiebreaker over Eastern Connecticut. PSU and KSC split this season's doubleheader in Keene on Apr. 14, the Panthers taking the opener 5-1 and the Owls winning the nightcap, 16-1.
The PSU BASEBALL team (14-23 overall, 1-13 LEC) is the eighth seed in the tournament and will face top-seeded University of Southern Maine (31-4, 12-2) in a best-of-3 series this weekend (May 2-3) in Gorham, Maine. The first two games are Saturday, beginning at 12:00 p.m., and if necessary, a third game Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The Huskies are ranked #1 in the nation in one of the latest Division III national polls and captured their fifth LEC regular season title. USM swept the two games from PSU this season, winning 19-4 in Gorham and 24-6 in Plymouth.
Plymouth State is seeking its fifth LEC Tournament championship in women's lacrosse and its first in men's lacrosse, baseball and softball.
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