April 30, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Following a week-long break for final exams, the 20th-ranked Florida State University softball team returns to competition with a doubleheader at North Florida on Tuesday, May 1, beginning at 4 p.m.
The Seminoles (42-11) have five regular-season games remaining before participating in next week’s ACC Championship in Chapel Hill, N.C., from May 10-12. FSU’s final two non-conference games against UNF will prove vital toward its quest of achieving its first 50-win season since 2004. In total, FSU has 15 50-win seasons in program history.
In non-conference play this season, FSU is 27-8. In FSU’s 35 non-conference games, senior right fielder Shayla Jackson leads the team with a .327 batting average (34-for-104). Junior second baseman Tiffani Brown is batting .314 against teams outside the Atlantic Coast Conference, while Courtney Senas is also hitting well with a .313 average.
FSU leads UNF all-time with a 5-1 record, winning last year’s doubleheader in Tallahassee by scores of 9-7 and 6-1. The Seminoles’ 9-7 victory included erasing a 7-0 deficit as Brown and Jackson led FSU with three hits apiece. FSU is 1-1 when playing the Ospreys (27-24) at their home park in Jacksonville, Fla., splitting in 2009.
Brown has been FSU’s catalyst all season on the offensive end, leading the team with a .313 batting average, 41 runs scored, 57 base hits and 38 stolen bases. Brown is one stolen base shy of tying former Seminole Shamalene Wilson (1995) for 10th place on the single-season list with 39.
Making a strong return to the lineup in FSU’s last conference series was redshirt freshman Maddie O’Brien, who missed the team’s previous seven games with concussion-like symptoms. The Palm Harbor, Fla., native finished 4-for-7 with two home runs, six RBIs and two doubles against Boston College to raise her average to .276.
Despite missing a couple weeks of competition, O’Brien continues to lead FSU with 39 RBIs this season. She is within striking distance of reaching the eighth-most runs driven in in school history, as former players Teresa Edenfield (2000), Cindy Lawton (1995), Elisa Vasquez (2003) and Brittany Osmon (2008) each recorded 46.
The Seminoles’ matchup against the Ospreys mark their fourth meeting of the year against a team from the Atlantic Sun Conference. FSU shows a 5-0 record against the A-Sun, having defeated Mercer, Jacksonville and Florida Gulf Coast.
The Ospreys are batting .258 as a unit, led by Mariah Reynolds’ .313 average with four home runs and 26 RBIs. Danica Mandarano is right below with a .294 batting average and four doubles.
Kaylie Wallace has led UNF with a 13-6 record this season and a 1.77 ERA, striking out 118 and walking 36 batters.
Both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader will be streamed on the Atlantic Sun Conference’s multimedia website, Asun.tv. In-game updates will also be provided on FSU softball’s official Twitter handle – @FSU_Softball.