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May 6, 2002

PSC earns first post-season bid since 1994

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State College earned its first softball post-season berth since 1994 when the Panthers were selected Monday to compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Division III Tournament.

PSC received the fourth seed in the eight-team field, and will host fifth-seeded Fitchburg State College Wednesday (May 8) at 4:00 p.m. in a single elimination game at D & M Park. The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to a double-elimination event this weekend (May 11-12) at the site of the highest remaining seed. All tournament games at PSC are free admission.

The rest of Wednesday's first-round ECAC games include #8 University of Southern Maine at #1 Clark University, #7 Babson College at #2 Endicott College, #6 Rhode Island College at #3 Coast Guard.

Plymouth State was selected to the ECAC Tournament after posting a 24-12-2 overall record, a dramatic improvement over last year's 10-20 mark. The Panthers placed second in the Little East Conference during the regular season with a 10-4 record, its highest finish ever, and won a consolation round game in the LEC Tournament before being eliminated. Fitchburg State will arrive with a 23-12 overall record. The Falcons were 12-2 in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference during the regular season and won their first MASCAC Tournament game before being knocked out.

The Panthers, led by second-year head coach Harry Blood, are playing in the ECAC Tournament for the fourth time in school history. PSC captured the ECAC North championship in its first appearance in 1985, and also made tournament appearances in 1992 and 1994.

"We're very excited about our season, and thrilled to be seeded fourth in the ECAC Tournament," said Blood. "Our goals were to win 20 games and to finish in the top four in our conference. We considered the Little East our playoffs, so to make the ECAC Tournament is special."

The post-season invitation is another achievement to what has already been a very successful season for PSC. The Panthers have set more than 20 school individual and team records, including victories in a season.