February 2, 2001 - by
17th-Ranked Seminole Softball Opens Season At Georgia Southern

Feb. 2, 2001

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Florida State


Florida State entered the 2000 West Regional with the daunting task of facing No. 20
Long Beach State, No. 15 Iowa State and No. 3 UCLA if the team hoped to advance to
its sixth College World Series. The Seminoles opened the regional with a 2-0 win
over Long Beach State and a 4-1 victory over Iowa State. FSU, ranked No. 24 at the
time, then dropped their next game to the hometown Bruins by the score of 6-1. FSU
bounced back and staved off elimination with an impressive 4-2 win over the Hawkeyes.
Florida State had to once again go up against the Bruins if the squad wanted the
opportunity to head to Oklahoma City for the CWS. The Seminoles dropped the
match 7-1 to UCLA in the championship game and ended their season at 51-27. FSU
once again has its sites set on a trip to Oklahoma City for a shot at the national
championship.


The Seminoles enter the 2001 season very optimistic and excited due to the way they
finished the 2000 campaign. Although the squad started off slow due to a large
turnover in starters and coaches, they finished strong and established themselves as
one of the teams to beat in 2001. It was a tough ending to the 2000 season since the
Seminoles finished two game short of the College World Series but UCLA, who beat
FSU in the regional final, ended up finishing second in the World Series.
The Southern Conference released the 2001 softball preseason polls on Jan. 25,
and Georgia Southern was picked to finish third by the league’s coaches and sports
information directors. Chattanooga once again was the overwhelming favorite to
win the SoCon, while Furman was picked to finish second in each poll.
The 2001 squad is also excited about their ACC competition, which continues to
improve every year. It will be tough for the Seminoles to win their seventh straight
conference championship but that is always one of their goals. This year’s team
features a great group of kids coming back and a bunch of super newcomers that
should lead to a very exciting season. Head coach JoAnne Graf believes the 2001
squad is going to have a lot of fun and will play well together. The Seminoles are
looking forward to another great year.


Georgia Southern


The Georgia Southern softball program will enter its 16th year of competitive
fastpitch play when the 2001 Eagles kick off the new season on Feb. 3. GSU will
enter the season-opener on the heels of a 30-38 record last year, which ended in
the Southern Conference Tournament semifinals by virtue of a 1-0 loss to eventual
champion, Chattanooga. The Eagles finished fourth in the conference standings
with a 9-11 league record. Highlighting the list of returnees for 2001 is junior
pitcher Aimee Littlejohn (Corona, Calif./Corona-Centennial HS) — a four-time
SoCon Player-of-the-week honoree, a member of the 2000 All-Southern Confer-ence
Team, and the winner of the 1999 Southern Conference Tournament Most
Outstanding Player award. Junior Stacie Cooper (Ladson, S.C./Stratford HS) will
resume her usual duties at second base, but it is her success with the bat that will
highlight GSU’s top returning offensive threats.

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