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UWA Lady Tigers will play role of underdog

LIVINGSTON, AL- With softball season right around the corner, the Gulf South Conference released the GSC Preseason Coaches Poll and All-GSC Team on Tuesday afternoon. The coaches in the East Division picked the Tigers to finish seventh, while also selecting two West Alabama players to the Preseason All-GSC Team.

“We are going to be a young team in 2004, but I feel our talent level has only increased and we will be much deeper, especially on the mound,” said Head Coach Janet Montgomery. “Preseason polls are important, but have no bearing on how the season will play out. We will remain focused on our goal of qualifying for the GSC Tournament at season’s end.”

Tamara Neal, fresh off of a First Team All-GSC sophomore season, returns as the starting shortstop for UWA. Neal hit a team leading .381 last season to go along with 13 extra-base hits, including five round trippers and a team-high three triples. She also led West Alabama with a .452 on-base percentage to go along with 17 RBI.

Christen Chaney was also selected Preseason All-GSC following a brilliant freshman campaign the saw her compile a record of 16-12 on the mound. She also won a school record 10 straight decisions and led the team with 120 strikeouts. Chaney appeared in 35 games, including 24 starts and tallied a 2.34 ERA in 194.2 innings of work.

West Alabama opens action on Feb. 20-21 when they travel to the West Georgia Tournament in Carrollton, Ga. Home action begins on Thursday, Feb. 26 when Belhaven travels to Livingston for a 4:00 p.m. doubleheader.