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February 27, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 25 Carolina softball team travels to Plant City, Fla. this weekend for the Plant City Strawberry Fest Tournament, March 1-3. The Gamecocks are scheduled to play No. 8 Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan State and Central Michigan. Pitcher Megan Matthews is expected to return to the lineup. Matthews was out last week recovering from the flu. Senior Adrianna Baggetta might also return but would see limited action. Baggetta has been out 11 games since she suffered a concussion earlier this season.

No. 8 Michigan is 8-3 and just won the silver bracket at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Wolverines defeated three straight teams ranked in the top 11. The Ohio Bobcats are 3-2 and have not played any ranked teams yet this season. USC is 4-3 against the Wolverines and 5-0 against the Bobcats.

On day two, Carolina will play Missouri (6-8). Missouri is where head coach Joyce Compton began her NCAA coaching career and served as the head coach prior to coming to South Carolina in 1986. This will mark only the third time Coach Compton has faced Missouri. Against them, she is 2-0.

Michigan State enters the tournament with a 2-6 record but is the only opponent that USC will face this weekend that leads the series against them. Against MSU, Carolina is 3-4.

The Gamecocks will wrap up the tournament on Sunday when they play Mid-America opponent Central Michigan. The Chippewas are 2-3 and had two players earn conference player of the week honors last week. USC is 9-4 against Central Michigan.

So far this season, Carolina is 5-3 in tournament play and 1-1 against ranked teams.

Plant City Strawberry Fest Tournament
Friday, March 1 vs. Michigan – Noon
Friday, March 1 vs. Ohio – 4:30 p.m.
Sat., March 2 vs. Missouri – 11 a.m.
Sat., March 2 vs. Michigan State – 1 p.m.
Sun., March 3 vs. Central Michigan – 1 p.m.

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