Feb. 13, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 12 Florida State softball team (4-1) will have its home opener this weekend as the Seminoles host North Dakota State and Southern Miss in the Renegade Classic from February 14-16. Hofstra was originally scheduled to participate in the tournament but will not make it to Tallahassee due to weather and travel issues in the Northeast.
North Dakota State (3-1) played in the Auburn Plainsman Invitational to open its season last weekend. The Bison defeated Notre Dame, 4-1, in their final game of the tournament. NDSU is the two-time defending regular season champion of the Summit League was again tabbed as the favorite to win the conference in 2014. The Bison return 13 players from last year including four first or second team all-league members.
Southern Miss (0-3) played a three-game series against the Arizona Wildcats in Tuscon, Ariz. The Golden Eagles were outscored 35-2 over the weekend by the Wildcats who are now ranked No. 22 in the country. Southern Miss fields a very young team, with only two seniors and one junior on the squad.
Florida State looks to build on the success it found out in New Mexico. The `Noles narrowly lost their first game against No. 9 Nebraska by a score of 4-3 on February 7. FSU outscored New Mexico State, UTEP and Saint Mary’s by a combined score of 31-3 in which all three games were ended due to mercy rule. In a rematch against Nebraska, timely hitting by Tiffani Brown and solid pitching by Lacey Waldrop enabled Florida State to secure the 5-1 victory. It marked the first time that the Seminoles have defeated a top-10 opponent since taking down No. 6 Georgia Tech on April 24, 2010.
The Renegade Classic schedule has been changed due to Hofstra being unable to attend. Florida State, North Dakota State and Southern Miss will now play a round robin format where NDSU and Southern Miss will each play five games over the weekend and Florida State will play six.
Friday’s games will be at 1:30 p.m. (USM vs. NDSU), 4:00 p.m. (USM vs. FSU) and 6:30 p.m. (NDSU vs. FSU). Saturday will have games at 12:00 p.m. (NDSU vs. USM), 2:30 p.m. (NDSU vs. FSU) and 5:00 p.m. (USM vs. FSU). Sunday will have two games, with the `Noles playing USM at 12:30 p.m. and NDSU at 3:00 p.m.
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