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Broward College Next Up for Eastern Florida Softball as It Seeks Postseason Berth

April 9, 2014 - Playing a team with nothing to lose can be a minefield especially for a team with a postseason berth at stake. But Eastern Florida softball head coach Ed Yanes is approaching Thursday's doubleheader at Broward College from a different perspective.

"We as a staff have strived from the opening day in August to impart on these young ladies that regardless if we are playing a travel ball team — as we do in the fall for scouting purposes — or playing Division I or Division II teams, our approach is we play against the ball," Yanes said.

Eastern Florida is 6-4 in the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference, tied for second with Miami Dade College and one game behind first-place and nationally second-ranked Indian River State which is 7-3. Broward is 0-8 in the conference.

The top three finishers in each of the FCSAA's four conferences advance to the state tournament in May and the goal for Eastern Florida since August is the same as it has been since Yanes took over in 2004: qualify for the state tournament and win the conference. The Titans have reached the postseason for nine straight years and are in position to do so again with six games remaining.

Beyond Broward are the final two regular-season doubleheaders, 4 and 6 p.m. next Wednesday against Indian River and 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, April 19 against Miami Dade, both at home on the Palm Bay Campus. Admission is free.

"Regardless of who is in the other dugout when the lines are down on field its time to go and let the chips fall where they may," Yanes said.

"These kids know what is at stake from here on out, our job is to prepare them that and continue to focus on our team's motto, 'Learn, Think, Succeed.' Each and every time we take the field it's a learning experience.

"Monday's games with Indian River (a doubleheader split) as well as the Palm Beach games (also a split) proved that again. We covered this in the meeting yesterday. We missed opportunities to play the 'game inside the game' by missing key RBI situations, base running miscues, throwing balls to the wrong base, failing to keep runners out of scoring position by keeping the force play in order, the little things in our game that make the difference in wins.

"All fall games and the 25+ games leading into the conference have showed us that these kids can play with anyone in our league on any given day."

Eastern Florida proved that on Monday at Indian River in rebounding from a 10-0, five-inning mercy rule defeat in the first game to win 7-5 in a nerve-wracking eight-inning second game.

The Titans swept Broward 6-0, 6-0 on March 20 and have split four games with Palm Beach State and two with Indian River and Miami Dade. Palm Beach is fourth in the conference at 5-5.

The contenders all have crucial games remaining. Indian River visited Palm Beach on Wednesday night. Palm Beach visits Miami Dade on Saturday while Broward visits Indian River. The Indian River-Eastern Florida doubleheader next Wednesday wraps up Indian River's conference schedule.

Miami Dade visits Broward on April 16 and wraps up its schedule at Eastern Florida. Palm Beach wraps up at Broward on April 18.

Eastern Florida, which is 20-21 overall, has been led offensively by sophomores Brooke Formby, Devin Williams, Manya Lopez and Bri Seaman. Formby who pitches and plays leftfield is hitting a team-leading .439 with a team-high 65 hits, six triples and 83 total bases. Center fielder Williams has a team-high 42 runs scored. Shortstop Lopez has a team-high 40 runs batted in and 10 doubles and right fielder Seaman a team-high four home runs.