April 14, 2011
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Riding a five-game winning streak, the Florida State University softball team prepares for an important conference series weekend when it travels to Boston College. Saturday’s doubleheader in Chestnut Hill, Mass., starts at 1 p.m., and Sunday’s game begins with an early start time of 11 a.m.
The Seminoles (23-21, 5-7) are looking to rise in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, currently sitting at sixth place and just a half game behind the Eagles (10-22, 5-6). FSU has won two of its four conference series this season, defeating North Carolina State and Virginia in two of three games while losing to North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
“It’s time for us to get on the road again. We have to make these games count,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “This is a big weekend for us and we are feeling good about it. This team is coming together and we believe we can make something happen as we make this last surge before the ACC Tournament.”
With chilly temperatures in the forecast, the possibility of low-scoring games looms. FSU will look to play well behind the performance of senior pitcher Sarah Hamilton, who shows 933 career strikeouts and needs just seven more to break the school’s career record held by former standout Tiffany McDonald (2005-08). For the season, Hamilton is 14-13 with 18 complete games, six shutouts, a 1.81 ERA, 217 strikeouts and is holding opponents to just a .176 batting average.
In her last 12 starts dating back to FSU’s victory over South Alabama on March 16, Hamilton has been a dominating presence inside the circle. In that span, the Tallahassee native is 9-2 with a 0.87 ERA, four shutouts, 100 strikeouts in 72.2 innings pitched and has held opponents to a .135 batting average.
In FSU’s doubleheader sweeps over Mercer and North Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, it showed significant improvement at the plate. In those four games, the Seminoles recorded a .364 batting average (39-for-107) and stole 12 bases in 15 attempts. Sophomore Tiffani Brown has led FSU this week by going 7-for-13 with five runs scored.
Redshirt freshman pitcher Jessica Nori has made two appearances this week, piling up 11 strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched while allowing no earned runs.
FSU holds a 16-2 series record against Boston College dating back to their first matchup in 2001. Since playing as ACC members, the Seminoles have never lost a series to the Eagles.
B.C. has only played two games at home, defeating N.C. State in both contests of a doubleheader on April 3. They were boosted in conference play by starting the ACC season with a three-game sweep at Virginia, but have fallen in six of eight conference games since.
The Eagles have two talented hitters who are guiding their offense this season. Tory Speer is leading the team with a .340 batting average and has seven home runs and 26 RBIs, while Brittany Wilkins is hitting .337 with 11 home runs and 27 RBIs.
B.C. shows a 4.47 team ERA. Starter Allison Gage is most often used, leading the team with 16 starts and 97 innings pitched and carrying a 4-9 record with a 3.97 ERA.