SoCon Softball Championships Return to Chattanooga

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

SPARTANBURG, SC (May 11, 2004)- The 2004 Southern Conference Softball Championships will take place this Thursday through Sunday, May 13-16 at Chattanooga's Jim Frost Stadium with eight teams vying for an automatic bid to the NCAA championships. Tournament hosts and four-time defending champions Chattanooga are slotted as the top seed after winning the SoCon regular season title. The Lady Mocs (41-23, 16-4) finished two games ahead of the College of Charleston (40-21, 14-6) in the league standings despite being swept by the Cougars in Chattanooga last weekend. UTC boasts two of the conference's top pitchers in junior Lacey Swarthout and freshman Brittney Whittier. Swarthout has posted a 25-17 overall record while setting a SoCon single season mark with 307 strikeouts in 302.2 innings pitched. Whittier is 15-3 in the circle since being converted from shortstop early in the season. Charleston is paced by a prolific offense that has been setting records since the first game of the season. Senior outfielder Amanda Cone has led the Cougars offensive output with a .430 batting average, 17 home runs, and 64 RBI, setting conference records for hits, runs, RBI, and home runs in a single season. Third-seeded Georgia Southern (29-27, 11-10) will be looking to claim its second SoCon tournament title while fourth-seeded Elon (31-21-1, 11-10) hopes to win its first conference title in any sport. Thursday's first round play begins at 10:00 a.m. with third seed Georgia Southern taking on East Tennessee State (28-32, 8-13), the sixth seed. GSU took two of three games from the Bucs in early May, but ETSU holds a 1-0 series lead in SoCon tournament play, having defeated the Lady Eagles in the first round last season. Game two on Thursday starts at 12:30 and features local rivals Elon and UNC Greensboro (30-28, 8-12) facing off in the first SoCon tournament game ever for the Phoenix. The second session of the day on Thursday will get underway at 3:30 as second seed College of Charleston battles seventh-seeded Furman (15-46, 7-13). The Cougars have won two of three tournaments games against Furman and seven of nine games overall, including a three-game sweep of the Lady Paladins in Charleston earlier this season. Thursday's final game pits host Chattanooga against the eighth seed, Appalachian State (19-35, 7-14). UTC took three games in Boone during April while in the midst of a school-record tying 17-game winning streak. The eight-team tournament is a double-elimination format with each team playing a minimum of two games. Competition begins Thursday, May 13 at 10:00 am and concludes with the championship on Saturday, May 16 beginning at 1:30 p.m. with the "if necessary" game at 4:00 p.m. For full results and to follow the championship action live, log on to www.SoConSports.com, the official website of The Southern Conference, and www.etsubucs.com the official website of ETSU athletics. Thursday, May 13 Game 4: #3 Georgia Southern vs. #6 East Tennessee State, 10:00 a.m. Game 2: #4 Elon vs. #5 UNC Greensboro, 12:30 p.m. Game 3: #2 College of Charleston vs. #7 Furman, 3:30 p.m. Game 1: #1 Chattanooga vs. #8 Appalachian State, 6:00 p.m. Friday, May 14 Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10:00 Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 12:30 Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 3:30 Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 6:00 Saturday, May 15 Game 9: Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 6, 10:00 Game 10: Loser Game 8 vs. Winner Game 5, 12:30 Game 11: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 3:30 Game 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 6:00 Sunday, May 16 Game 13: Loser Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12, 11:00 Game 14: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 13, 1:30 Game 15: Rematch of Game 14, if necessary, 4:00 --SoCon--
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