March 19, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 21st-ranked Florida State University softball team prepares for a back-to-back slate as it hosts Jacksonville University in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 20, beginning at 5 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field. FSU then makes the short trip to Florida A&M’s campus for a single game on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
The Seminoles (23-5, 3-0) have reached the halfway point of their regular-season schedule and are coming off consecutive losses to Rutgers and nationally-ranked USF on Sunday afternoon in Tampa, Fla. Returning to JoAnne Graf Field could spark some more success for FSU, as it holds a 14-0 record at home this season.
FSU holds a 13-4 all-time record versus the Jacksonville University Dolphins (17-12), with their last meeting occurring in 2010 and resulting in an 8-0 win by the Seminoles on the road. Both teams were scheduled to meet last season but the game was canceled in Jacksonville due to inclement weather.
The Seminoles and Rattlers will be meeting for the 108th time, with FSU holding a 100-7 overall record against their Tallahassee neighbors. Both teams played at each other’s venue in 2011, with FSU winning 8-5 at JoAnne Graf Field and 9-2 on Florida A&M’s campus.
FSU’s offense will look to support the team’s pitching staff that boasts a 0.97 earned run average. Making even more strides at the plate this season has been sophomore centerfielder Courtney Senas, who owns the highest batting average of the everyday position starters with a .329 mark. The biggest improvement made has been her plate discipline, striking out just 10 times through her first 28 games played this season.
In her freshman year in 2011, Senas struck out 30 times in her first 28 games played.
The most runs allowed by the Seminoles this season has been six, which occurred in their 10-6 win over Mississippi on Feb. 10. In 26 of its 28 games this season, FSU has allowed three runs or less.
Between March 10-17, the combination of pitchers Monica Perry, Lacey Waldrop, Jessica Nori and Bailey Schinella produced five consecutive shutouts over N.C. State (twice), Chattanooga, Northwestern and Fairfield. The last time the Seminoles recorded five or more shutouts in a row was early in the 2010 season when they defeated Coastal Carolina, South Dakota State twice, Gardner-Webb twice and Jacksonville.
As the team’s head coach as well as the pitching coach, Lonni Alameda has guided her pitching staffs to 60 shutouts since she became FSU’s head coach in 2009. This year’s team already has nine shutouts halfway through the season, already surpassing last year’s total of seven.
Fans can follow this week’s action via CBS GameTracker, as well as through FSU Softball’s official Twitter handle – @FSU_Softball.