Meridian to host GSC fast-pitch tournament this weekend
By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
May 3, 2001
Once again the Gulf South Conference softball tournament will be held right here in Meridian this weekend at Northeast Park on Newell Road off of Hwy. 39 North.
The West Alabama Tigers will not be participating in this year's field, but they will be the host team for the event.
However, Mississippi's lone GSC team, Delta State, will be vying for a tournament crown and a berth in the NCAA Division II fast-pitch tournament.
2001 marks the 16th year of the tourney and the 16th time that the Lady Statesmen have qualified for the field.
DSU currently sports a 31-29 record, good for the No. 2 seed in the Western Division.
Coach David Kuhn's DSU squad will take on East No. 3 Valdosta State (25-20, #3 GSC East) in the opening round of the tournament at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The Lady Statesmen have used dominant pitching and opportunistic base-running to earn the second seed in the West. DSU has 98 stolen bases this year, while limiting the opposition to 36.
The pitching foursome of Nicki Genre, Duana Meseyton, Chrissa Hughes, and Meggan Lee have a combined earned run average of 1.56, and have recorded a single season record 18 shutouts.
But a closer look at the Lady Statesmen, reveals that the club went just 7-6 against the other seven teams in the double-elimination tournament.
Valdosta State brings a dangerous pitching staff of its own. The Lady Blazers staff has posted an ERA of 1.80, and has limited opposing batters to only a .222 hitting percentage.
VSU has won the last six meetings with Delta State, and has an overall record of 7-1 against the Lady Statesmen. DSU's only win against Valdosta State was a 6-1 victory in the 1992 Gulf South Conference championship game. This year's No. 1 seeds are Alabama-Huntsville from the West and Arkansas-Monticello out of the Eastern Division.
The championship game will be held at noon Sunday and will be televised by Comcast Sports. Admission is $5 per day for persons over 10 years of age.
GSC YES Clinic: This free skills clinic will be held Friday night from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The clinic, sponsored by the NCAA, will also be staffed by coaches and players from the GSC tourney field, will target players from ages 8-18.
Each girl attending the clinic must provide her own bat and glove.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. You can call him at 693-1551, ext. 3234 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.