TSU: First round key

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 6, 2003

For the second straight season, the Troy State softball team will play host to the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.

This season, the Lady Trojans will try to remember to show up for the tournament.

Like last season, Troy State enters as the No. 2 seed in the tournament that begins Thursday at 9 a.m. Last year, the Trojans lost the first game and ended up winning only one game the entire weekend.

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This year, they want to do something a little different.

"We had a young team last year that really didn't know what to expect," Troy State head coach Melanie Davis said. "This year, all these seniors have been through it."

As the No. 2 seed, the Lady Trojans faced the fifth-seeded Georgia State Panthers. This year, the No. 5 seed is Mercer, and some of the Lady Trojans remember last year's sting of defeat.

"I'm only worried about Mercer," said senior short stop Erin Flater. "I don't even know who would match up against after them."

The Trojans are trying to focus on the first game of the tournament rather than the daunting task of knocking off Florida Atlantic. The Lady Owls have won the past six conference tournaments.

"I don't think FAU is the team to beat this year," said senior pitcher Christie Curran despite the fact FAU is the top seed for the fifth straight season. "Any team can win this tournament."

Stetson and Central Florida are seeded No. 3 and No. 4, but both teams swept Troy State during the season. Both teams stand a good chance of winning the tournament.

Jacksonville State will also play in the tournament as the No. 6 seed. The Lady Gamecocks will play FAU in the first round.

The first game will match UCF against Stetson at 9 a.m.

The two teams did not face each other during the regular season because their season-ending series was rained out.

The tournament concludes Saturday with the championship game.