Jan. 22, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
The 2003 Florida State softball team will take the diamond for the first time this spring Saturday, January 25, 2003 when they scrimmage West Florida at the newly renovated Seminole Softball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and the game is expected to last for three hours. This will be the first time the Tribe has played at home since its run to the 2002 College World Series semi-finals. It is also the first chance fans will have to see the 2003 squad and sit in the newly installed stadium seats.
“After two weeks of practicing against one another, I think this will be a great opportunity for all of us to see some different players and be in a game situation,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “We have four games versus top quality competition over the first four days of the season. Hopefully this will help prepare us for next weekend.”
Graf will use Saturday’s scrimmage to get a look at how the team is working together despite having to replace just three starters from last season’s squad. Junior Elisa Vasquez is poised to fill one open spot as she takes over starting duties behind the plate due to the graduation of Kimmy Carter. Unlike at the catcher position, Florida State may fill holes at third and in left field with first-year players Lesley Palmer and Natasha Jacob. Both are highly-decorated high school players but neither has seen action at the Division I level.
“This scrimmage will give everyone on the team the chance to show the coaches what they are capable of and give some of our newcomers their first taste of college ball,” said Graf. “Every player will get an opportunity to play so it should be educational for everyone involved.”
Saturday’s scrimmage not only marks the debut of this year’s team but it is also the unveiling of the brand new stadium seats in the Seminole Softball Complex grandstand. The seating, which was installed last week, replaces the benches that were originally installed in 1999 when the complex first opened its doors. The stadium upgrade is just one of many on-going renovations to one of the newest facilities on the Florida State campus.
“The new seating really looks great and is something that I know our fans will be very happy to see,” said Graf. “When you think back to the final day of NCAA Regionals last year and the three games we played that day, this new stadium seating will be a big relief for our fans on days like that.”
The fourth-ranked Seminoles officially open the 2003 campaign on the road in Statesboro, GA February 1 as the face Georgia Southern in an afternoon doubleheader. The Tribe returns to Tallahassee to open the home portion of their schedule February 4 in a doubleheader against 2002 NCAA Tallahassee Regional foe Auburn. In between the games versus Auburn, FSU will hold its official 2002 World Series celebration as players will receive their WCWS rings and the 2002 NCAA Regional trophy will be unveiled and on display.