TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Four of the nation’s best teams will be in Tallahassee this weekend as No. 8 Florida State is a host site for the third-annual ACC/Big Ten Softball Challenge on February 16-18 on JoAnne Graf Field. No. 14 Minnesota (5-0) and No. 20 Michigan (3-2) will be the Big Ten member schools, while RV Notre Dame (3-2) will be the other ACC representative.
Each team will play four games over the weekend, with two games (one as home team/one as visitor) versus each school from the other conference. The Noles will play on Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Minnesota and again versus the Golden Gophers on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Michigan and FSU will start at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and then the Noles and Wolverines will close out the weekend on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
“We always look forward to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge as they are quality RPI games for us and the conference, as well as a good way to compete against quality opponents early on in the season,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “It is a chance to work on some situations, seeing how we handle different types of adversity and also just play some quality softball against two solid teams. The weather looks like it will be a perfect weekend for softball, so we’d love to see the stands full of fans!”
Tallahassee, along with Atlanta, Ga., and three sites in North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham are the five sites for this year’s challenge. The Big Ten won the inaugural challenge in 2016 with a record of 20-12, but the ACC won the challenge in 2017 with a 19-13 record.
Minnesota and Michigan are repeat attendees from the 2016 ACC/Big Ten Challenge held in Tallahassee, while Notre Dame replaces Virginia Tech as the other ACC representative that season.
Florida State is 7-1 all-time against Minnesota, with three straight wins in the series. Neither team has won by more than three runs since 1999, and three of the last four games have been one-run contests.
Michigan leads the all-time series with Florida State, 24-6-1, with the lone tie coming in 2017 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic as the game ended after seven innings tied at 5-5 and travel restrictions forced a tie. The Noles and the Wolverines have played nine times in the last four years, with U-M holding a record of 5-3-1 over that span.
Admission is free for all games over the weekend, with action starting at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and 10:00 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Live stats for all games will be available on Seminoles.com and each Florida State game on the weekend will have a live radio broadcast on Shoutcast.com, with the games on Friday and Saturday airing live on ACC Network Extra.
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