TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second consecutive season, Tallahassee will be one of the four sites of the annual ACC/Big Ten Softball Challenge as No. 3 Florida State (6-0) welcomes Northwestern (1-4) and Nebraska (0-4), along with fellow ACC member No. 24 Pitt (5-0), for a three-day tournament on February 17-19.
Each ACC team will play two games against each of the Big Ten teams – one on Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday – throughout the course of the weekend. Tallahassee joins three other locations (Atlanta, Chapel Hill and Raleigh, N.C.) that are hosting a four-team tournament as well. The Big Ten won the inaugural Challenge in 2016, 20-12.
“I love that we’ve been able to put this challenge together and that we’ll be able to regularly test ourselves against quality competition so early in the season,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Northwestern and Nebraska are a lot better than their records show and each of them will come in here ready to play and we need to attack them from the first pitch.”
The Seminoles will play Northwestern at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and will play the Wildcats again on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. FSU and Nebraska will play the first of two games at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and close out the tournament on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with FSU, 11-8, though the Noles have won each of the last three meetings – two games in Tallahassee in 2015 and one in a season-opening tournament in New Mexico in 2014.
The Seminoles lead the all-time series with Northwestern, 7-2, but the Noles and Wildcats have only played twice since 2001. FSU lost to NW, 3-0, at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in 2011, but earned a 1-0 victory in the 2012 USF Classic.
All Florida State games of the weekend are going to be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, the streaming service through WatchESPN. Shawn Davison and former Seminole Maddie O’Brien will be on the call for all four games, while the FSU Softball Radio stream on Seminoles.com from Robin Ahrberg and Bella D’Errico will still be available, along with links for live stats for each game of the weekend.
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