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franklin county times

GSC here to stay in Meridian

By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
May 7, 2002
Look for the Gulf South Conference Women's Fast-pitch Softball Tournament to make a return visit to Meridian next year. And according to GSC Commissioner Nate Salant, it may stay that way for the foreseeable future.
The two-day, eight-team tournament wrapped up its run on Sunday afternoon with Valdosta State dethroning three-time defending GSC champion Alabama-Huntsville 7-6 in the title game here at Northeast Park.
Salant exalted the attributes of Meridian and specifically the North Meridian Optimist Club for its efforts in hosting the tournament.
That's good news for Thomas, a Meridian City councilman, who helped bring the tournament to Northeast Park.
Another factor for Thomas, though, is that the GSC Tournament is a senior college event.
Delta State athletic director Dr. Jim Jordan is another who wants the tournament to stay in Meridian.
That sentiment is echoed by DSU head softball coach David Kuhn.
What Meridian fans get to see is an event from a league that has made vast improvements as a regional and national force in women's softball. A GSC team has won the NCAA Division II South Regional title for the past three years, advancing on to the College World Series.
Alabama-Huntsville has made it twice, including last year. West Florida, a runner-up in the GSC Tourney in 2000 to Huntsville, won the region title a week later.
An automatic bid 10 years ago, was just a dream.

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