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Carolina Diamonds Hope to Keep Momentum

July 6, 2012 - National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) - Carolina Diamonds News Release

SALISBURY - The Carolina Diamonds head to Louisiana State University for a four-game road trip against Florida's USSSA Pride with hopes to keep the momentum after a sweep of the Akron Racers last weekend alive.

"Everybody is upbeat and we just made it that this is their team. They understand what they need to do and they need to get out there and execute," new head coach Lisa Navas said.

Navas is not focused on recreating the sweep in this weekend's National Pro Fastpitch softball league action, but more in keeping the good feelings, fun atmosphere and looseness going amongst the team.

"They are tired and this road trip isn't fun in terms of just being home and sitting, but we have broken it up (the drive) and they have got a good morale," Navas said.

The Diamonds enter the series 6-10 with a four game winning streak while the Pride is 8-8.

The series kicks off tonight at LSU's Tiger Park and continues Saturday with a double header before the long ride home after the final game Sunday afternoon. Carolina and the Pride have met already once this season when the Diamonds journeyed to Florida two weeks ago and were swept.

"Just in talking to the kids, even though they may not have won the games that they played ... they had a good approach to it and felt confident," Navas said.

It is easy for a team to get caught up in playing against their opponent rather than their own game, which is something the Diamonds will be aware of on top of expected high temperatures again and compacted time issues arising from four games within 48 hours of one another.

"Some of the kid's parents are coming and they will have some outlets there. But we are pretty much driving down, playing for four games and driving back," Navas said of the scheduling.

This also comes after wrapping up a series with Akron on Monday and having two days of practice before a 5 a.m. bus call Thursday morning. Practice went well this week, though, and Navas feels the staff is not teaching the players anything new at the moment. Instead they took more time going over some defensive preparations and situations plus allowing time for the pitching staff to get its workout in.

These preparations also covered outfield Caitlin Lever's upcoming departure on Sunday for more international duty with Canada.

Carolina's pitching staff is lead by Katie Burkhart (4-4, 3.48 ERA, 55 strike outs) and rookie Angel Bunner (1-3, one save, 3.98 ERA,14 strike outs). The Akron series last weekend at home also saw the bats going strong. Bianca Mejia, Rachel Folden, GiOnna DiSalvatore and Angeline Quiocho lead the Diamonds with three home runs apiece.

"I was proud of both Burkhart and Bunner, that as the game went on they got stronger," Navas added of the two's starts last weekend.

To view the Carolina Diamonds schedule, purchase tickets to an upcoming game or stream live game video, visit www.yourcarolinadiamonds.com .

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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