May 12, 2005
Complete game notes can be downloaded on the softball page.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It is now or never as the second-seeded Florida State softball team knows its post-season hopes rely on the 14th Annual ACC Championship that begins Thursday, May 12, on the campus of the University of Maryland. The Tribe takes on Virginia Tech during the first round at approximately 1:30 p.m. (ET). No audio will be available this weekend so fans are encouraged to follow the tournament on GameTracker.
The Seminoles enter the tournament with a 33-24 record and have double the amount of losses as last season’s Women’s College World Series-bound team that went 62-12. While its losses are heavy, the good news is that the Seminole’s RPI is rated No. 29 in the country and all the squad can do is hope that the NCAA committee takes that into consideration. Until Boston College is added to the league in 2006, the winner of the ACC Championship is not an automatic to post-season play. However, head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf, who has led the Seminoles to conference titles in 10 of the last 13 seasons, feels confident that winning the ACC tournament will perhaps be enough to get the Tribe into the next phase of the season.
“I think getting there [post-season] is going to be the hard thing this year,” Graf said. “I think that if we win this weekend, all the pressures off.”
No. 17 Georgia Tech (46-12, 11-4) earned the league’s top seed and received a bye in the first round. Virginia Tech, seeded seventh, is 39-12 on the season and 4-13 in conference action; The Seminoles swept the Hokies (3-0) when the two squads met up April 2-3 in Tallahassee.
On Wednesday evening, four Florida State players were awarded with All-ACC accolades. Junior Natasha Jacob was named to the first team and freshman Melissa Wood and senior Casey Hunter garnered second-team honors, respectively. Rookie pitcher Tiffany McDonald was named the 2005 Co-Freshman of the Year.
Jacob has led the Seminoles offensively the entire season and she owns an 18-game hit streak entering the tournament. Jacob finished the regular season ranked sixth in the league in batting average (.350), hits (62), total bases (75), steals (13) and on base percentage (.440). She was a finalist for the 2005 ACC Player of the Year award. Clean-up hitter Melissa Wood paces the Tribe in slugging percentage with a .440 mark and she has a team-best 24 RBIs on the season. She and senior Tatiana George have a team-high six home runs this year.
In the circle, Hunter is the ace with a 19-15 record and 1.69 earned-run average while McDonald is 14-8 and she boast of a team-low 1.60 ERA. McDonald missed the entire “fall ball” season of her freshman campaign and had to almost completely learn how to pitch. Once recovering, she opened the season with a 10-1 record and since then has made 30 appearances. Her 152.2 innings of work are the most by any Florida State rookie in the program’s illustrious history. She finished sixth in the ACC in earned-run average, ninth in innings pitches, ninth in strikeouts, fourth in shutouts (4), and ninth in complete games.
For the Hokies, Megan Evans and Kelly Brown guide the team with .322 and .321 batting averages, respectively. Katie Maynard (17-12) is the ace in the circle with a 3.37 ERA.
If the Seminoles win the first game, they will face the winner of “Game 3” (No. 3 Virginia vs. No. 6 Maryland) on Friday at 11:00 a.m.
14th Annual ACC Softball Championship
College Park, Md. – University of Maryland
Thursday, May 12, 2005
GAME 1: #4 NC State vs. #5 North Carolina 11:00 am
GAME 2: #2 Florida State vs. #7 Virginia Tech 1:30 pm*
GAME 3: #3 Virginia vs. #6 Maryland………. 5:00 pm*
GAME 4: #1 Georgia Tech vs. Winner NCS/UNC 7:30 pm*
Friday, May 13, 2005
GAME 5: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3 11:00 am
GAME 6: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3……. 1:30 pm*
GAME 7: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 5……. 5:00 pm*
GAME 8: Loser Game 4 vs. Winner Game 6… 7:30 pm*
Saturday, May 14, 2005
GAME 9: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 12:00 pm
GAME 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 3:30 pm*
GAME 11: Loser Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10 7:00 pm*
Sunday, May 15, 2005
GAME 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 11 12:00 pm
GAME 13: Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12 4:30 pm*
(Game 13 will be televised live on RSN if necessary; if championship game is determined in Game 12, Game 12 will be taped delayed at 4:30 pm on RSN)