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April 30, 2012

It’s LEC Tourney week for three PSU athletic teams

Women’s Lax to host; Men’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 among those competing for conference championships.

            The Panther WOMEN’S LACROSSE team has enjoyed an outstanding spring, capturing the LEC regular season title with a perfect 6-0 mark in conference play.  Winners of 13 in a row and sporting a dazzling 13-1 overall record, PSU receives a first-round bye in the conference tournament and will host a semifinal contest at Arold Field this Friday, May 4, against an opponent to be determined (3:00 p.m.).  With a victory in Friday’s game, PSU would host the LEC Championship game on Sunday, May 6, at 1:00 p.m. 

            The LEC women’s lacrosse tournament has had four different champions in its 10-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 crowns in 2009 and 2011, and the University of Southern Maine captured its only title in 2010.

            The Panther MEN’S LACROSSE team will open play in the LEC Tournament with a first-round road game on Tuesday.  The Panthers, 9-5 overall, finished in a tie for fourth place in the conference with a 3-4 mark, and earned the sixth seed in this week’s tournament.  PSU will travel to third-seeded Western Connecticut State University for Tuesday’s 3:00 p.m. opening face-off.  WestConn, which has a 4-3 LEC record and 9-6 overall mark, defeated PSU 10-9 in overtime on Apr. 21 in Plymouth in their only meeting this season.

            The LEC men’s lacrosse tournament has had just three different champions in its 11 years – Eastern Connecticut with six titles, Keene State with four, and Western Connecticut with one.  Keene State has claimed the last two LEC titles.

            The Panther SOFTBALL team won 15 of its last 20 games to carry some momentum into the LEC Tournament. PSU, 20-18 overall, tied for fourth in the conference with a 7-7 record and earned the fourth seed in the double-elimination tourney, which will be hosted by top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University.  The Panthers will meet third-seeded Rhode Island College in Game 3 Thursday at 4:00 p.m.  PSU and RIC split a doubleheader last Saturday in Plymouth.

            Eastern Conn. won its first two LEC Softball Championships the past two years, breaking a previous 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 with a single non-conference game Tuesday vs, Middlebury and a conference doubleheader Friday against Western Connecticut State University.

            The LEC Champion in all sports receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Championships. 

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