March 13, 2006
Florida State hosts No. 25 North Carolina
March 13-14 6 p.m. & 4 p.m. (DH) Tallahassee, Fla.
JoAnne Graf Field at Seminole Softball Complex (1,000)
Florida State (18-9)
North Carolina (19-6)
Base Hits (What You Need To Know):
Florida State is 13-1 in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener after beating North Carolina 2-0 last season. This will be the third time FSU has started league play against the Tar Heels (1998 – FSU 3, UNC 2 & 2005 – FSU 2, UNC 0).
The Seminoles lead the all-time series with the Tar Heels 44-11 with a 13-1 record at home. FSU had won six in a row until UNC won the final game of last year’s series 3-2.
The host won the Silver bracket of the Florida State Invitational. The Seminoles went 5-1 in the tournament and beat St. John’s 7-2 in the Silver championships game.
Florida State went 7-1 last week and is 8-2 over its last ten games, the school’s best ten-game stretch since it started the year with the same mark.
Shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) had a break-out week, hitting .480 to raise her overall average by 80 points to .320.
The Seminole pitching staff posted a 1.84 ERA last week in 57.0 innings of work. Both Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) and Kayla Collins (Niceville, Fla.) had ERAs below a run with five complete games.
FSU Starts ACC Play With North Carolina
The 15th season of softball in the Atlantic Coast Conference starts Monday (March 13) between the league’s two most successful teams. Florida State (18-9 overall) and North Carolina (19-6) kick off the ACC schedule at 6 p.m. The two teams concluded the three-game set Tuesday at 4 p.m. with a doubleheader.
Florida State Dominate In Carolina Series
FSU holds the all-time series lead against UNC with a 44-11 advantage. The Seminoles are 13-1 at home against UNC having won 10 straight dating back to the Tar Heels’ only win in 1989. The teams last meet in Talllahassee during 2004 in the ACC tournament with the Seminoles prevailing 8-0. Overall, FSU has won nine of the last 11 contests, but UNC did win the last meeting, 3-2 in Chapel Hill last year.
Seminoles Strong On Opening Day In ACC
Florida State always seems to get off to a strong start in conference action, holding a 13-1 record in its ACC opener. The only loss came during the 2000 campaign when Georgia Tech beat FSU 2-1. The Seminoles are 8-1 when starting the conference season at home with wins in its last three following the loss to GT.
ACC Opener Pits League’s Top Two Coaches
Anytime Florida State and North Carolina meet on the diamond its a contest between the two winningest coaches in the league. Between FSU’s Dr. JoAnne Graf (1,329) and UNC’s Donna J. Papa (764) there’s a combined 2,193 wins. Nine of the 14 ACC Coach of the Year awards have gone to the two dug out bosses — Graf (6), Papa (3). Graf is the all-time leader in ACC wins (93) with Papa second at 60.
Host Team Wins Silver Bracket Of Florida State Invitational
It wasn’t the title the Seminoles were looking for, but they did come away with a championships as they won the Silver bracket of the FSU Invitational. The odd team out of a tiebreaker, the Seminoles went to the Silver bracket where they opened with a win 5-2 over Georgia State. Sunday (March 12), FSU beat crosstown rival Florida A&M 5-3 then took down St. John’s 7-2 for the bracket title. The Seminoles started pool play with a 5-3 win over UConn in nine innings before losing their only game of the week 4-2 to Kent State.
Florida State On A Roll With 7-1 Week
Having survived a 1-5 stretch during late February-early March, the Seminoles have rebounded to win nine of their last 11 games, including a 7-1 mark last week. For the second time this year, the Seminoles are 8-2 during a ten-game stretch. Last season Florida State did not produce its second 8-2 stretch until the end of April.
Alicart Is En Fugo
No Seminole is hotter at the plate right now than shortstop Yuruby Alicart. Last week she hit a team-best .480 (12-of-25) to up her average by 80 points to .320, which is the second-best rate on the team. The junior transfer from Thomas University had six extra base hits for the week with three doubles, two home runs and one triple on her way to FSU Invitational All-Tournament honors. Last week’s production moved her into the team lead for doubles (6), home runs (4), RBIs (19) and slugging percentage (.613).
Brieske Flashes Some Leather…
Coming into her senior year, outfielder Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla.) only had one career assist. The co-captain tripled her total this week with three outstanding defensive plays. In the second game Tuesday against UConn, Brieske started one relay home, then threw out another run on her own in back-to-back plays that preserved the Seminoles’ 1-0 victory. Then on Sunday against Florida A&M she almost singled handily dampened a Rattler rally when she threw out a runner at the plate in the first inning.
…And Also Gets It Done At The Plate
Carly Brieske may have had the most complete week of any Seminole last week as her performance in the field may have only been topped at the plate. She was just three points behind Yuruby Alicart for the best batting average on the team during the FSU Invitational. Brieske hit .474 for the tournament and .417 in the eight games last week. She added a team-best eight runs and had a .500 on-base percentage.
Bats Are Pinging For The Seminoles
Last week was one of FSU’s best at the plate as it hit .318 as a team in the eight games to up the team average by 21 points to .273. Seven different players hit .300 or better with three topping .400. Its the highest team average since FSU was at .282 after the first Florida A&M game. FSU had three double-digit hit games, led by 15 against UConn.
Welcome Back Brittany
It didn’t take sophomore Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) much time to knock off the rust. After missing the first 13 games of the year, the first baseman had an offensive awakening last week, hitting .364 during the eight-game stretch to up her season average to .313. Osmon tied a career-high with three hits against Georgia State while setting new season marks with two runs against Western Illinois and a pair of RBIs versus UConn. She was second on the team for the week with five RBIs and drew a team-best six walks.
McDonald Keeps Getting Better
Taking advantage of a rare day off against Connecticut, Tiffany McDonald was outstanding during the FSU Invitational. The right-hander was a perfect 3-0 with a 0.88 ERA in 24 innings pitched to earn Florida State Invitational All-Touranment accolades. The sophomore threw three complete games and her 26 strikeouts upped her season total to 108. Less than halfway through the season, she is only 40 strikeouts short of her freshman-year total. McDonald threw a career-high nine innings in the 5-3 win over UConn.
Collins Owns The Big East
Following two hideous outings to start her FSU career, freshman Kayla Collins could have folded up the tents. Instead, the righty bounced back with two outstanding performances last week. Collins pitched a pair of complete games to get wins over Connecticut and St. John’s with the later coming in the Silver bracket championship game. Last week she posted a team-best 0.86 ERA to lower her season total to 5.25 from 36.00 at the start of the week. Collins also picked up her first collegiate hit against the Huskies.
Ground Rule Double (News & Notes):
The contest between Florida State and Georgia State featured the only two active head coaches with their home fields name after them. The Lady Panthers play on Bob Heck Field, named for the GSU mentor…Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) set a career-high with two doubles versus Georgia State…Whitney Buckmon went to the plate a personal-best five times against UConn…Natasha Jacob needs three steals to tie Leslie Barton for tenth-place in ACC history with 57 stolen bases. She needs just one hit to break into the Florida State all-time Top 10.