March 2, 2007
#19/19 Florida State at NC State
Saturday, March 3 1 p.m. (DH)
Sunday, March 4 12 p.m.
Raleigh, N.C. Walnut Creek Softball Complex
First Pitch (What You Need To Know):
Florida State is back on the road for the second weekend in a row as it opens ACC play this weekend at defending league champion NC State.
The Seminoles are 14-1 in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener after beating North Carolina 2-1 last season on March 13. The Seminoles won the game by scoring two runs in their last at-bat.
Florida State is 9-2 during the regular season against the defending conference champion. Last year FSU went 2-1 versus Georgia Tech. The Seminoles are 3-1 on the road versus the reigning champion.
Last season Florida State was 2-3 against NC State, 1-2 in the regular season, with the Wolfpack winning the ACC Tournament championship game, 4-1.
Right-hander Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) set a career-high with 19 strikeouts against NC State last year, but lost 2-0 in nine innings as FSU managed just four hits.
Player of the Year candidate Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) has hit four home runs in her last seven games. She has 22 for her career and is two short of tying Tiffany Daniels for second in school history.
Florida State has dropped three games in a row after losing both games of Wednesday’s doubleheader – 4-3 & 3-2 – to No. 9 Michigan.
Junior Kelly Langston (Sopchoppy, Fla.) hit the first home run of her Division I career when she nailed a two-run shot to left field in the sixth inning of game one against Michigan.
Florida State Opens ACC Slate At Defending Champion NC State
Although the calendar just flipped over to March, the Florida State softball team opens league play this weekend. The No. 19 Seminoles will find out immediately how they stack up against the Atlantic Coast Conference as they travel to defending champion NC State for a three-game set. Florida State (11-5 overall) and NC State (12-5) will play at 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday (March 3), followed by a single, 12 p.m. contest. All three games will be played at the Walnut Creek Softball Complex.
Seminoles And Wolfpack Get Early Start On Conference Action
Believe it or not, this weekend is not the earliest Florida State has started conference play. The soonest the Seminoles have opened ACC competition was the 1995 season when they played a February 25 doubleheader at Georgia Tech. Florida State swept both games with scores of 9-4 and 10-1.
FSU Goes On The Road To Begin League Play For Fifth Time
Given that the weather is usually better in Florida this time of year than the rest of the conference, FSU typically opens conference action at home. This weekend will be just the fifth time the Seminoles have started the league slate on the road. In the previous four instances, Florida State has a 7-2 mark The last time was the 2005 campaign when the Seminoles won 2-of-3 at North Carolina. The previous three seasons all opened up at Georgia Tech. This is the first time – home or away – that FSU opens with the Wolfpack.
Seminoles Have Good History With Defending Champs
When it’s not defending its own championship, Florida State has a pretty good track record of taking down the reigning title holder. In the five meetings the year after another ACC team won the title, the Seminoles are 9-2 versus those schools. This will be only the third time FSU has had to face the champs on the road, where it holds a 3-1 record. The Seminoles swept Georgia Tech, 2-0, in 2003 and split with Maryland in 1998. Last year FSU went 4-2 against the Yellow Jackets by taking two regular season games and a pair in the ACC Tournament.
Close But No Cigar As FSU Drops Two One-Run Games To Michigan
It’s tough to spot the No. 9 team in the country a lead then try to come back, but that’s what the Seminoles did in their Wednesday doubleheader with Michigan. FSU pulled to within 2-1 in the fifth inning of game one before giving up two in the sixth. A Kelly Langston two-run home run got FSU back to 4-3, but that was as close as it got. Two unearned runs in the first were the difference in game two as the Seminoles came back with a run in the third and fifth before losing 3-2. FSU has lost seven-straight to UM.
Two Out Trouble
FSU has been struggling of late to close out innings. In their last five games, the Seminoles have given up 12 runs with two outs. FSU has been helping opponents out in those innings with four walks, four hit batters and two errors to keep the innings alive. All season FSU has surrendered 17 of its 39 runs with two outs.