Nov. 23, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Twenty-eight home games, eight-or-more games against 2004 NCAA Tournament teams, two premier tournaments, and a tough non-conference schedule highlight Florida State’s 50-plus-game 2005 softball schedule, released Tuesday. The Seminoles will open the season with a pair of games at cross-town rival Florida A&M University on Wednesday, February 9, at 5 and 7 p.m. That weekend (Feb. 11-12), FSU will host Missouri and Nicholls State in the 2005 Seminole Classic.
The following Tuesday, Feb. 15, the Tribe will travel to Statesboro, Ga., for a doubleheader against Georgia Southern before returning to Tallahassee for the Sunshine State Tournament against Southeast Louisiana and Syracuse the weekend of Feb. 18-19. The Seminoles will then take a week off before traveling to one of college softball’s premier tournaments, the 10th Annual NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., Feb. 25-27. The Leadoff Classic and Fullerton’s Kia Classic are considered among the most competitive tournaments each year in college softball.
Six of the eight teams that participated in the Women’s College World Series played in last year’s Leadoff Classic, which was highlighted by record attendance. The Seminoles finished as the runner-ups after falling 3-2 to LSU. Twenty-four of the nation’s top collegiate teams return in 2005, highlighted by WCWS participants FSU, LSU, Michigan and Oklahoma. Twenty of the squads qualified for regional play in 2004. Pool assignments will be announced at a later date.
“We have a really tough, strong schedule,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf, who enters her 27th season. “Both the Leadoff and Kia Classic are the best tournaments in the country and this year will be no different. I think it’s important to play top teams early on so it gives us idea of where we are to give us time to make adjustments to get ready for conference and post-season play. I’m really excited about our team and schedule and this season.”
The following Wednesday after the Leadoff Classic sees Maine traveling to Florida State for a double-header on March 2, before FSU leaves for a six-game ACC road swing that makes stops at North Carolina (March 3-5) and NC State (March 7-8). The 2005 season marks the first year that ACC play includes three-game series instead of two-games as in the past. The Seminoles return to Tallahassee that weekend to play host of the Florida State Invitational that welcomes 11 total teams. Times and match-ups have not yet been determined. Two days later (Tues., March 15) the Iowa State Cyclones visit the Seminole Softball Complex at 6:00 p.m.
March 18-20, Florida State heads to California for its final regular season tournament at Fullerton for the 2005 Kia Classic. The Seminoles are seeded in Pool D with three tough teams including Texas, Arizona and Long Beach State. The Longhorns and Seminoles face-off first on Friday, March 18, at noon and at 4:30 p.m. the Tribe takes on the 49ers. FSU turns around Saturday and battles Arizona, with the first pitch taking place at noon before bracket play begins all day Sunday.
The remainder of the season sees the Seminoles hosting Jacksonville, FAMU, and UCF, as well as ACC foes Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Virginia. FSU will face Florida, Troy State, BYU, and Utah on the road. The only away league series left includes an early trip to Georgia Tech as the Seminoles battle the Jackets March 26-27.
The 2005 ACC Tournament will be held in College Park, Md., May 12-15.
Florida State has been to the NCAA Tournament for five straight years.