Dec. 21, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State University softball coach Dr. JoAnne Graf knows how to spot talent, whether it’s the players on the field or the coaches in the dugout with her. Reaffirming her acumen is the recent news that a pair of fall signees have garnered top honors in the state of Georgia while a former player and assistant coach will be part of the 2006 NJCAA Hall of Fame.
Incoming outfielder Carly Wynn has been named the 4A Player of the Year in Georgia, while hurler Terese Gober has taken home the state’s 5A Pitcher of the Year accolade. At the national level, former FSU pitcher Marla Looper will be joined by former Graf aide Connie Clark in the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
Wynn, a native of Sharpsburg, Ga., is one of the top hitters not just in the state, but in the entire southeast region. She capped off a tremendous prep career by hitting .517 with 28 RBIs, 34 runs, six home runs and an impressive .908 slugging percentage. She was also named POY by The Times-Herald.
One of the most highly touted prep pitchers in the country, McDonough native Gober will strengthen an already talented pitching rotation. After three years at Stockbridge High School, she played her final year at Union Grove HS where she led the Lady Wolverines to the semifinals of the GACA state tournament. A GACA Class 5A All-State selection, she compiled a 19-5 record with one save, a 0.23 ERA and 313 strikeouts in 180 innings.
“Terese brings the power pitcher back to our team,” Graf commented. “The three pitchers we have now are more movement pitchers, but Terese brings pure speed. Carly gives us another good bat to in the line-up. She has good instincts and we lose three outfielders this year to graduation so she is going to see a lot of playing time.”
Looper came to Florida State from Crowder College in Missouri. In her first season in Tallahassee (1993), she was named NFCA All-American. During her two seasons, she led the Seminoles in appearances, innings pitched, wins, strikeouts, and ERA. Currently, she is number six on the school’s career ERA list at 0.78. A two-time All-ACC selection, Looper was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team.
Clark was an assistant under Graf from 1990-95 and helped build the Seminole into a national power. Under Clark’s watch the Seminoles advanced to four WCWS and made the NCAA Tournament every year. In six seasons, Clark helped three pitchers reach All-America status with seven All-Region honors for the staff. Through Clark’s direction, nearly every Seminole pitching record was broken. In 1994, one of Clark’s protégés Rebecca Aase, set the then-NCAA record for consecutive victories with 50, while the FSU pitching staff established a then-NCAA mark for most consecutive scoreless innings at 124.2.
Clark is also an alumnus of Florida State, earning a master’s degree in athletic administration in 1995. During her playing career, Clark led Central Arizona to back-to-back NCJAA National Championships in 1984 and 1985 before going to Cal State Fullerton. Currently, Clark is head coach at Texas while Looper is her pitching coach. In 2003, their staff was named the Speedline/NFCA Division I Coaching Staff of the Year.