Softball Starts Season in Sunshine State





Softball Starts Season in Sunshine State

2/5/2004

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. ? After a two-day trek, the Marshall University softball team arrived in Florida, Thursday, in anticipation for the Herd?s first tilt of the season -- a game against Southern Illinois on Friday at 9 a.m.

Marshall will square off with the Salukis at Treaty Park in the opening game of the Triple Crown Classic.

The Herd?s first test, which is also the first game a Mid-American Conference team plays this season, will likely not be an easy one.

The Salukis of SIU return nine starters from last year?s squad that went 39-14 while finishing #23 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. The game also pins two vote-getters in this year?s poll against each other, as MU along with Southern notched votes in the 2004 preseason edition of the poll.

Additionally, the Herd will do battle with two Atlantic Sun Conference members in Stetson University and Central Florida, and end with a showdown with the 2003 MEAC Champions, Bethune-Cookman.

The Herd?s final opponent of pool play gained national attention last season as well.

While capturing the MEAC championship in 2003, Bethune-Cookman led the country in both batting average (.332) and scoring (6.21 runs per game).

High hopes headline the Herd?s outlook for the tournament, especially with the news of a pair of preseason championship nods from the league?s office prior to getting on the bus set for St. Augustine.

?We are so excited,? head coach Shonda Stanton said. ?It was great to be voted preseason MAC East and tournament champions, but it is even better to be going to Florida and getting the opportunity to take on such good competition early on.?

For the latest updates on MU softball and all Thundering Herd athletics, log on to www.herdzone.com.


TRIPLE CROWN CLASSIC
St. Augustine, Fla.

Friday 9 a.m.
Southern Illinois v. Marshall

Friday 2 p.m.
Marshall v. Stetson

Saturday 2 p.m.
Central Florida v. Marshall

Saturday 4:30 p.m.
Marshall v. Bethune-Cookman

Sunday TBA
Playoff/Championship