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May 2, 2011

It’s LEC Tourney week for three PSU athletic teams

Men’s and Women’s Lax, Softball on the road

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Little East Conference men's and women's lacrosse and softball tournaments take place this week on campuses around New England, and the three Plymouth State University teams will be on the road competing for conference championships.

            The Panther WOMEN’S LACROSSE team will begin action for the week, facing Western Connecticut State University in a first-round game Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in Danbury, Conn.  The Panthers, 7-7 overall, finished the regular season in fifth place in the LEC with a 2-4 mark, and will meet the fourth-seeded Colonials, who defeated PSU 10-8 last Saturday in Plymouth.

            The LEC women’s lacrosse tournament has had four different champions in its nine-year history.  Plymouth State won titles in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006; Eastern Conn. claimed the championship in 2005, 2007 and 2008; Keene State won its first crown in 2009, and the University of Southern Maine captured last year’s title.

            The Panther MEN’S LACROSSE team will also play a first-round road game on Tuesday, traveling to Eastern Connecticut State University for a 6:00 p.m. opening face-off.   The Panthers, 7-7 overall, finished in a tie for fifth in the LEC with Southern Maine, and received the sixth seed in this week’s tournament.  Eastern Conn., 10-5 overall and 5-2 in conference play, earned the third seed and is playing a first-round game for the first time in the history of the tournament.  Eastern defeated PSU 13-9 last Saturday in Plymouth.

            The LEC men’s lacrosse tournament has had different champions the past three years –Western Connecticut in 2008, Eastern Connecticut in 2009, and Keene State last year.  Eastern has won six LEC titles, Keene State three and WestConn one.

            The Panther SOFTBALL team earned its spot in the LEC Tournament on the final weekend of the regular season, splitting a doubleheader Saturday afternoon against Western Connecticut.  PSU, 17-20 overall, tied for sixth with Southern Maine with 4-10 conference marks but the Panthers won the LEC tiebreaker to claim the final spot in the playoffs.  Eastern Connecticut  captured the LEC regular season title and is the top seed in this week’s tournament, but cannot host the event.  Second-seeded Western Connecticut will serve as host of the double-elimination tourney in Danbury, Conn.  Top-seeded Eastern Conn. will meet sixth-seeded Plymouth State in the tourney’s first game Thursday at 12 noon.

            Eastern Conn. won its first LEC Championship last year, breaking a streak of four in a row captured by Rhode Island College.  Keene State has also won four LEC softball titles (1999, 2000, 2003, 2005) and WestConn three (2001, 2002, 2004).  Southern Maine captured the first LEC softball tournament crown in 1998.

            The LEC BASEBALL playoffs are still a week away.  PSU wraps up the regular season at home this Friday with a conference doubleheader against Rhode Island College.

            The LEC is celebrating its Silver Anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year. The conference began sponsoring baseball in 1997, softball in 1998, men's lacrosse in 2001, and women’s lacrosse in 2002.  The Little East has grown to its current eight-institution membership and the sponsorship of 19 intercollegiate athletics sports.  The LEC champions in all sports receive automatic berths into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournaments.

            Tournament updates are available on the LEC Tournament Central website.

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