May 29, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The 2002 Florida State softball team capped off the most successful season in 12 years with the second-highest final ranking in program history since making the switch to fastpitch in 1984. The Seminoles moved up 17 spots in the final USA TODAY/NFCA to finish the season ranked No. 4 in the nation. The jump from No. 21 to No. 4 is the largest of any team in the poll and marks the highest finish for the Tribe since finishing No. 3 in the country after going 2-2 in the Women’s College World Series in 1990.
“Our goal is always the same and that is to get to the World Series and win National Championships,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “We try not to get caught up in polls but it is nice to finish as one of the top four teams in the entire country and I think it is justified based on how we played and where we finished at the World Series.”
Only four teams in the final poll of the year completed their season with more wins than the Seminoles who went 55-20. Florida State ended up playing 22 games versus teams ranked in the final Top 25 and posted a record of 11-11 in those contests. The Garnet and Gold recorded wins over No. 5 UCLA and No. 6 Nebraska at the World Series and also downed No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 11 DePaul, No. 14 Washington, No. 16 Texas, No. 18 Georgia Tech and No. 25 Florida Atlantic on their way to the Final Four of the WCWS.
It has been eight years since Florida State finished a season ranked amongst the top 10 teams in the country and they are the only non-Pac 10 team to finish in the top 5 this year. The Seminoles went 2-2 in the College World Series this past week after entering the tournament as the No. 3 seed from the eighth-seeded regional. They opened WCWS play by upsetting the No. 1 seed and top-ranked UCLA Bruins and advanced to the Final Four with a win over the Cornhuskers. The Seminoles only losses came to National Champion Cal 1-0 and 2002 WCWS runner-up Arizona in 11 innings.
OTHER FSU SOFTBALL NEWS – Junior first-team All-American Brandi Stuart left today for Chula Vista, CA where she will compete for a spot with Team USA through June 2. The Cerritos, CA native will tryout for newly named Team USA softball coach Mike Candrea of Arizona and is looking to play for a U.S. National Team that will compete in the Canada Cup, the World Championships and the Japan Cup.