March 15, 2007 - by

FSU Softball Travels To West Coast For Judi Garman Classic

March 14, 2007


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#24 Florida State at Judi Garman Classic
Thursday-Sunday, March 15-18
All Day
Fullerton, Calif.
Titan Softball Complex

March 15:
vs. #12 Washington (11:15 a.m.) Live Audio Broadcast
vs. CS-Northridge (6:15 a.m.)

March 16:
vs. #7 Michigan (9 a.m.) Live Audio Broadcast

March 17-18:
Bracket Play (TBA) Live Audio Broadcast

First Pitch (What You Need To Know):
• After sweeping a pair of games from Southern Miss, the Florida State softball team is on the road for its final regular season tournament of the year as it travels to Southern California for the Judi Garman Classic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton.


• The Seminoles saw two of their three pool opponents last year the Classic, dropping an 11-3 decision to Michigan while their contest with Cal State Northridge was rained out in the fifth inning.


• Florida State and Washington have not met since the 2004 season when the Seminoles ended the Huskies year with a 2-0 win in the Women’s College World Series.


• The 2006 Judi Garman Classic was the site of FSU’s best regular season victory as it beat No. 10 Arizona State in 10 innings.


• Pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) reached double digit strikeouts for the second time this season as she fanned 12 batters in the 2-0 victory over Southern Miss.


• Florida State has hit 22 home runs this season which is nearly two-thirds of its 2006 total of 34. The 22 dingers is already the sixth-highest total in school history.


FSU Travels To West Coast For Judi Garman Classic
For its final tournament of the regular season, the Florida State softball team will face some of its toughest competition of the year. The No. 24 Seminoles play in one of the premier tournaments in the country when they travel to Southern California for the Judi Garman Classic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton. FSU opens the four-day affair on March 15 against No. 12 Washington at 11:15 a.m. (PDT), followed by Cal State Northridge at 6:15 p.m. (PDT). The Seminoles wrap up pool play at 9:15 (PDT) versus No. 7 Michigan. Bracket play begins Saturday and runs through Sunday.


Pool Opponents Bring Back Memories Of `06 Classic
Last year Florida State faced two of the three opponents in this year’s pool during 2006 bracket play. The Seminoles lost an 11-3 contest to Michigan to start bracket play – the fourth meeting against the Wolverines last season – then almost got a complete game in against Cal State Northridge. The Matadors held a 3-2 lead over the Seminoles in the fifth with Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) 60 feet away with the tying run when the game was halted by lightning and eventually canceled.


Seminoles Hope Meeting With Huskies Leads To OKC Again
If history is any indication, the Florida State softball team could be in for an end-of-the-year trip to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series. Each of the last two times it has faced Washington in a regular season tournament, the Seminoles have advanced to the WCWS. In 2004 FSU beat the Huskies, 7-1, at the NFCA Classic and later beat them 2-0 to eliminate UW from the World Series. The two teams met during a pair of tournaments in 2002 with Washington winning 6-4 at the Seminole Classic and FSU taking a 3-2 decision at the Kia Classic, which last year became the Judi Garman Classic.


FSU Coming Off Doubleheader Sweep Of Southern Mississippi
Looking to continue the momentum it got from winning six games over the weekend, Florida State had one final tune-up before the Judi Garman Classic with a doubleheader on Tuesday (March 13) against Southern Mississippi. The Seminoles got a pair of stellar pitching performances from Tiffany McDonald and Terese Gober (McDonough, Ga.) as they swept the twinbill, 2-0 in game one and 6-1 in the nightcap.


Seminoles Try To Bust Out Of Slump Versus The Wolverines
If it’s March than Florida State must be playing Michigan somewhere. On Friday the Seminoles and Wolverines will meet for the seventh time in two years. Unfortunately for the Seminoles the last time they beat the Wolverines, Jessica van der Linden was on the mound. After dropping both games of a February 28 doubleheader, the Seminoles have lost eight-straight games to Michigan. FSU got as close to beating UM as it has since `04 as it dropped 4-3 and 3-2 decisions with errors and mental mistakes keeping it from breaking through for its first win. The eight-game slide is the tied with Arizona for FSU’s longest losing streak to a single team.


Wootson Makes Final Appearance In Her Home State
Four years ago Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) left the West Coast for the Gulf Coast and this year she returns for the final time in her collegiate career. Somewhere in between she earned a pair of All-America awards and has become one of the top player in the nation. Already cemented in the Seminole annals, she continues to move up numerous conference and school top ten lists. Over the weekend she moved up to fourth in ACC history with 169 runs scored. Currently she ranks in the top five in six different categories and is only three home runs away from breaking the school record.


Do You Want Fries With That?
The last three starts for junior pitcher Tiffany McDonald have been night and day compared to her three previous. For the first time in her collegiate career she lost three-straight games – grant it was to Southern Illinois, Michigan and NC State – and for the first time since her freshman year she didn’t make it through a complete game against an ACC team as she was pulled in the fourth against the Wolfpack. Since then, she has returned to her old form with her only loss being to No. 21 Georgia. Against Southern Mississippi she was her old dominant self, striking out 12 batters – two off her season-high – while only allowing one hit in the 2-0 shutout of the Eagles. McDonald could use a little run support as the Seminoles have only managed three runs and left 18 batters stranded in her last two outings.


Florida State Has Strong California Connection
California has always been kind to head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf when it comes to finding talent. Four players from this year’s team hail from the state: Veronica Wootson (Fontana), Melissa May (San Diego), Brittany Osmon (San Diego) and Monica Montez (Corona). Without question the best player the Seminoles pulled out of the state was National Player of the Year Jessica van der Linden who came from Cerritos. All-Americans Christy Larsen and Brandi Stuart are also Californians as was Larsen’s older sister and FSU Hall of Famer Julie Larsen.


March Has Been Buckmon’s Month
No one has enjoy the month of March more than outfielder Whitney Buckmon. The junior is hitting 76 points higher during the month (.382 vs. 306) and has stolen six of her ten bases during the month. The month started great for her as she collected five hits during the three games at NC State and a pair of hits in the nightcap against Southern Miss has given her a four-game hitting streak.. In game two versus the Eagles she tied a career-high with a pair of RBIs as she drove in the winning run for the first time this season with a two-run single. Overall her average has jumped 37 points during the month to .343, which ranks fifth on the team.


Seminoles Have Been Very Offensive This Month
Sparked by a stretch of nine games at home, the Seminoles have kicked started their offense this month. The team average is up 25 points from .302 to .327 during the month and Florida State has gotten a big boost from the long ball. In four fewer games this month, the Seminoles have hit only two fewer home runs. Another facet of the game that has improved is team defense as Florida State’s fielding percentage for the month is .967, compared to .949 during the previous month. A


licart Climbing Career Lists In Only Her Second Year
While she’s only played less than a season and a half at Florida State, shortstop Yuruby Alicart is already putting her name down with some of the best players in school history. The school record holder with 19 doubles last year, she hit a pair in the second game against Southern Miss to move into a tie for eighth place at 25 two-baggers. Over the weekend she hit a pair of home runs – helping her earn All-Tournament honors – to up her career tally to 18 and moving her all the way up to fifth. Since the last game of the NC State series she has raised her average 50 points with four multi-hit games


Wootson Keeps Hit Streak Alive, Just Barely
Player of the Year candidate Veronica Wootson needs to thank Southern Miss’ Lauren Castellvi for keeping her hit streak alive. Wootson was the fourth batter in the sixth inning of a game that was well in hand and Castellvi made sure she got up as she made a pair of errors that allowed Wootson to drill a double to center field and increase the hit streak to 12 games. Her streak is the longest by a Seminole since Natasha Jacob completed her 28-game streak that was the 11th longest in NCAA history.


FSU Has A Fever And The Only Prescription Is More Home Runs
Less than half way through the season and this year’s edition is on its way to being the most prolific home run hitting team in school history. Florida State has already hit 22 home runs which is just 12 back of last year’s total and half way to the school record of 44. Seven different players have hit at least one dinger with five of the seven leaving the yard twice. Shortstop Yuruby Alicart is tops on the team at six home runs – halfway to her school record of 12 set last year – while Veronica Wootson is second at five. Michelle Snyder has already matched her home run total of three from last year.


News and Notes:
Outfielder Monica Montez has made three starts in the last week after going nearly a whole month without a start. The rookie is hitting .400 (4-of-10) when she starts, including a 2-for-3 day against Maine … Freshman Courtney Rosen (Sugarland, Texas) has been the top reserve for the Seminoles this year and she has scored in nine of the 16 games she has played in. Her nine runs rates seventh on the team … Terese Gober threw her third complete game of the year. In her eight starts, Gober has a 1.33 ERA when she can go the distance, compared to 1.87 when she doesn’t go the distance … First baseman Brittany Osmon tied a career-high with three assists in game one versus Southern Miss while going 2-of-3 from the plate … FSU has stolen 45 bases so far this season, which is more than the 1989, 1990 and 1988 seasons and 35 back of last year’s total.

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