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Troy State Lady Trojans try to end losing skid against FSU

If a team is riding a six-game losing streak, it normally does not want to face a ranked opponent.

However, the Troy State softball team (9-9) does not get much of a choice. The Lady Trojans face the No. 14 Florida State Seminoles (14-6) today at 3 p.m. in a doubleheader.

"Of our six losses, four have come against teams that were in the NCAA Regionals last year," Troy State coach Melanie Davis said. "Of those four losses, three of them were games we could have won. We strengthened our schedule this year to give us a better chance to make it to the NCAA Regionals because they increased the field to 64 [from 48], but we have to win some of those games."

Troy State will not be the only motivated team. Florida State has lost the last two meetings against Troy State, including a loss in Troy two years ago. That game, though, was not at the Lady Trojan Softball Complex.

"We beat them two years ago on senior day at the Sportsplex," Davis said. "This will be nice to face them in the new ball park."

Several players said they looked forward to the opportunity to end the losing streak at home.

"I'm very excited about this game," Trojan catcher Tamra Howren said. "I can't wait to play. We beat them last

year and they will be wanting to play us."

Howren also said the team is ready to fight for a win.

"We're going to fight hard," she said. "We will all be fighting for the win."

Howren is the leader at the plate for the Lady Trojans. She is hitting .375 with three home runs and 14 RBI.

Florida State will be led by Jessica van der Linden, who has drien in 14 runs and is hitting .560. Casey Hunter is deadly from the plate, boasting an ERA of .78 in 15 games.