March 6, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. -
The Long Beach State softball team returns home this week to host the 12-team Long Beach State Invitational. The tournament will be played at three sites, with all five of the 49ers games taking place at the Mayfair Softball Complex in Lakewood.
The 49ers open tournament play on Thursday when they play a pair of games. LBSU meets Eastern Kentucky at 4 p.m. and then faces Oregon State at 7 p.m. Long Beach State returns to action Friday when it hosts No. 17 UCLA. On Saturday the 49ers entertain North Carolina at 7 p.m. before wrapping up the tournament Sunday against Charleston Southern at 3:45 p.m.
The actual tournament starts Thursday morning when Eastern Kentucky and North Carolina meet at 11 a.m. There will be four games at Mayfair on Thursday, five on both Friday and Saturday (9 a.m. start both days), and four on Sunday (8:45 a.m. start). Tournament games will also be played at the 49er Softball Complex on Long Beach State's campus, as well as at Cal State Fullerton. There will be two games Friday, three games Saturday and two games Sunday at the 49er Softball Complex. Cal State Fullerton will host three games on Friday.
The banged up 49ers head into the tournament with a 7-15 record. Junior Cya Neal leads LBSU offensively with a .382 average in 17 games. Junior Ashlynn Booker is hitting .340 in 18 games, with a team-best four home runs and 12 RBI. Booker also has a team-high five doubles, and a .660 slugging percentage.
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