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Briarcliffe presents challenge for MCC softball team today

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
May 16, 2002
KISSIMMEE, Fla. First-round opponents Meridian Community College and Briarcliffe (N.Y.) College are both back from last year's NJCAA Division I Fast-Pitch Softball National Championship.
MCC went 2-2 in 2001 and tied for seventh place, while Briarcliffe went two and out, losing 3-2 to Indian Hills (Iowa) and 4-3 to Utah Valley State College.
The two will meet at 1 p.m. today in first-round action. Opening-round losers play again today at 5 p.m. with the winners to play tonight at 7 p.m.
MCC coach Robert Eakins has some idea about what to expect from the Long Island squad.
Briarcliffe coach Ken Passante didn't know who his Seahawks would play until they arrived at Wednesday's luncheon for the teams at the Kissimmee Civic Center as the District O champion was the last of the 16 to be decided.
Briarcliffe spent much of March playing in Georgia and Florida.
The two could become quite familiar in the future. Briarcliffe is the only Division I team in its region and MCC will be the only one in Region 23 after Bossier Parish joins a region in Texas next school year. Instead of playing the Region 22 (Alabama) winner to advance, MCC will likely be in with Briarcliffe and the North Carolina champion.
Kissimmee it goodbye
This is the third and final year the NJCAA Division I Fast-Pitch National Championship will be played at Kissimmee. Next year, the event will remain at Florida but at a different location. The tournament is bidded out.
Been there, done that
If the field for the 2002 NJCAA Division I Fast-Pitch Softball National Championship sounds familiar, it's because 12 of 16 teams that played in last year's event are back. The most notable absentee is defending national champion Lake City (Fla.) Community College.
Playing the field
Several of the tournament teams have met each other during the 2002 regular season. Central Arizona College has wins over Utah Valley State 1-0, 7-1, and 12-6; Midland (Texas) 1-0 and 9-1; Dodge City (Kan.) 2-0; St. Louis-Meramec 13-0, 7-2 and 13-0; and Seminole (Okla.) 11-0 and 8-0.
Indian Hills (Iowa) beat St. Louis-Meramec 3-1. Midland (Texas) beat Dodge City (Kan.) 9-0; Chattanooga (Tenn.) State 8-0; and Seminole (Okla.) 4-3 and 4-3; and has lost to Central Arizona 1-0 and 9-1 and to Seminole 9-8.
St. Louis-Meramec lost 13-0, 6-2, and 10-0 to Central Arizona; lost 7-6 and 10-5 to Wabash Valley; lost 3-1 to Indian Hills; and beat Seminole 4-3. Gulf Coast Community College of Panama City, Fla., defeated Abraham Baldwin 3-0 and 7-4; beat Wabash Valley 4-0; beat Briarcliffe 5-2, 8-0, 3-0, and 10-2 while losing 2-0 to the Seahawks; and split with Johnson County (Kan.), winning 2-0 and losing 5-2.