April 1, 2011
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State University softball team prepares for a festive three-game series with Virginia Tech as it hosts its first ACC series on `Paint it Pink’ Weekend at JoAnne Graf Field from April 2-3. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 1 p.m., followed by the series finale at noon on Sunday.
FSU looks to get back to its winning ways after falling to North Carolina last weekend in three close games. The Seminoles (16-17, 2-4) are hoping for their second ACC series victory this season after defeating North Carolina State two weeks ago on the road, winning two of three games.
“We have to go from here and do things one pitch at a time,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “Virginia Tech is a very scrappy ballclub and in a season you always have that one team that is kind of that nemesis for you, and that’s what Virginia Tech is for us.”
FSU returns to JoAnne Graf Field for the first time since defeating South Alabama on March 16. The Seminoles are 11-5 at home this season, and carry a .306 batting average, an average of six runs, a .447 slugging percentage and are reaching base nearly 40 percent when playing in Tallahassee – numbers that are higher than their overall statistics.
The pitching staff led by senior right-hander Sarah Hamilton continues to progress, keeping the team in each game of last weekend’s series. Hamilton, a Tallahassee native, continues to amass more strikeouts than innings pitched, showing 146 K’s to her 120.2 innings pitched in 24 appearances this season. Having a solid start in ACC play last weekend was redshirt freshman Jessica Nori, who pitched five strong innings against the Tar Heels.
The weekend will feature free giveaways that include pink shakers (pom-poms), `Paint it Pink’ stadium cups and pink T-shirts. Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to purchase new `Paint it Pink’ T-shirts, with each shirt costing $10 and all the proceeds going to the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
“We are very excited to be home in front of our crowd with great weather,” Alameda added. “We also are honored to be able to host Maye Walker for a first pitch – having the opportunity to support amazing people who give for such a great cause really hits home for us and we are happy to be a part of this.”
Throughout the weekend, fans can also register for Sunday’s Home Run Derby, which will occur shortly after the conclusion of the noon matchup.
The Seminoles face a quality opponent in Virginia Tech, which is led by sophomore pitcher Jasmin Harrell’s 13-2 record. She has appeared in 22 games this season and shows a 2.39 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .201 batting average. Leading the Hokies’ (26-8, 4-2) offense is freshman shortstop Dani Anderson, who is batting .410 with four home runs and 33 RBIs.
Virginia Tech and FSU have shared some common nonconference opponents this season. The Hokies recently defeated UNC Greensboro in both games of a doubleheader, but lost to South Alabama on March 5 and 6 by scores of 3-2 and 6-4. Virginia Tech also defeated UCF, 7-3, on March 4, as the Seminoles face the Golden Knights next Wednesday in Orlando.
As always, admission to each and every softball home game is free throughout the season.