March 24, 2006 - by
Seminole Softball Game Day: FSU Plays Host To Boston College This Weekend

March 24, 2006

Florida State hosts Boston College
Sat-Sun, March 25-26 • 1 p.m. (DH)/1 p.m. • Tallahassee, Fla.
JoAnne Graf Field at Seminole Softball Complex (1,000)

Live Audio

Saturday, March 25
Game One (1 p.m.) GameTracker
Game Two (3:30 p.m approx) Game Tracker

Sunday, March 27
Game One (1 p.m.) GameTracker

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Complete Release in Statistics Format
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Florida State (22-14, 1-2 ACC)
Home: 19-8
Away: 2-1
Neutral: 1-5
ACC: 1-2

Boston College (8-10, 0-3 ACC)
Home: 0-0 
Away: 5-5 
Neutral 3-5 
ACC: 0-3

Base Hits (What You Need To Know):
• Both games of Saturday’s 1 p.m. doubleheader between Florida State and Boston College will be televised live on Sun Sports. Tom Block (play-by-play) and Barry Milligan (color) will call the action.

• This weekend’s games will mark just the second time Florida State and Boston College have met on the diamond. The only other meeting came in 2001 when the Seminoles won both games during the Sunshine State Tournament.

• The Seminoles are undefeated in their first game against a new conference opponent and have outscored their fresh league foes 48-3. Last year Florida State beat Virginia Tech 4-2 in its first meeting in the ACC against the Hokies.

• Senior outfielder Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) stole a pair of bases against Florida International on Thursday to move into tenth in ACC history with 58 swipes, passing former Seminole Leslie Barton.

• Following Sunday’s game their will be a free softball clinic for all kids in attendance. Saturday is Easton Day as there will be giveaways and prizes courtesy of Easton.

Seminoles Get Back Into ACC Play Versus Boston College
Back on the winning track, the Florida State University softball team returns to Atlantic Coast Conference action this weekend with three game series against Boston College. The Seminoles and Eagles will play a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday (March 25), followed by a single game at 1 p.m. on Sunday (March 25). Both games of the Saturday twinbill will be broadcast live on Sun Sports (Tallahassee Comcast: Channel 28; Direct TV: Channel 632; Dish Network: Channel 422).

Florida State And Boston College Meet For First Time In ACC
By the time this weekend is finished, Florida State and Boston College will more than double the number of games in series as the two squads have only played each other twice. Both games came during the 2001 Sunshine State Tournament, including the championship game where the Seminoles prevailed 5-4 thanks to a solo home run by All-American Brandi Stuart in the bottom of the seventh. The Seminoles won the first game, 1-0,

Seminoles Beating Up The New Kid
Florida State hasn’t exactly rolled out the welcoming wagon when it comes to playing new conference opponents. The Seminoles are a perfect 7-0 in their first game against a new league opponent, and have outscored opponents 48-3 for an average of nine runs scored and only 0.5 given up. This is the third year in a row Florida State has taken on a new conference school with North Carolina State (2004) starting a new program and Virginia Tech (2005) and Boston College (2006) joining the league.

McDonald Pitches FSU to 1-0 Win Over #10 Arizona State
Since the 2004 Women’s College World Series, the Seminoles did not have that marquee win to hang their hats on. During the opening day of the Judi Garman Classic, Florida State got that win as it beat No. 10 Arizona State 1-0 in ten innings. Riding the right-arm of starter Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.), the Seminoles got their first win over a top 10 school since beating No. 7 Washington at the WCWS. It was also FSU’s first upset of a Top 10 team since No. 10 FSU beat No. 7 Oklahoma at the 2004 NFCA Leadoff Classic.

Whole Hitting Batman! Seminoles Come Alive Against FIU
With conference action just 48 hours away, the Seminoles picked a good time to get the bats going as they swept Thursday’s (March 23) doubleheader with Florida International. Florida State broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning of game one on its way to a 3-1 victory in the opener. The bats exploded in the nightcap as the Seminoles pounded out 12 hits, including three home runs, for a 8-0 run-rule victory in six innings. The eight runs were as many as FSU had score in its previous five games and the 12 hits were the most since 13 against Georgia State in the FSU Invitational.

Jacob Becomes A Master Thief, Joining ACC Top 10 In Steals
If they’re looking for Ocean’s 14 maybe it should be Natasha Jacob because the All-America candidate is a master thief on the base pads. The right-fielder swiped a pair of bases in game two against Florida International to move into sole possession of tenth place in ACC history, passing former Seminole Leslie Barton. Already ninth in school history, she needs just four more to move up two spots on the FSU charts. Her 14 swipes this season match last year’s total and are only four short of her single-season career-high.

McDonald Continues To Be The Workhorse Of The Staff
It may sound like a broken record, but Tiffany McDonald has gone above and beyond the call of duty in only her second year at Florida State. The right-hander has already match her win totals from 2005 with a league-best 14 victories and has surpassed her strikeout totals at 151, but more impressive is that she has done it in four few starts (19) and 10 less innings. Ranked in the ACC in nearly every category, including the league’s best in innings, appearances, wins, starts and complete games, she has appeared in 72% of FSU’s games (26-of-36), has 73% of its strikeouts (151-of-206), 64% of wins (14-of-22) and 62% of innings pitched (148.2-of-241.0).

It Must Have Been A Homer Because The Pitcher Just Went Doh!
The long ball that had been absent from the Seminoles’ offensive attack made a roaring comeback in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader with FIU. Coming into the game, Florida State only had one home run in 14 games, but exploded for a season-high three against the Golden Panthers. It was the most homers by the Seminoles since they hit three versus Jacksonville last season. FSU’s last four-home run game came March 12, 2004, against Robert Morris.

FSU Is Getting A Little “Moe” Hitting
Of the regular starters, no player has been hotter over the last 10 games than catcher Melissa “Moe” Wood (Lilburn, Ga.). The everyday backstop is hitting .333 in her last ten and blasted her first home run of the season to score the eighth and final run against Florida International. Wood, who ranks second in the ACC during conference games with a .667 average, picked up a hit in all three games of the conference-opening series against UNC. Over the last ten games her average has gone up by almost 50 points.

Young Pitching Staff Is All Grows Up
During the preseason, the biggest question for the Seminoles was their young pitching staff. Just over halfway through the season, the tremendous upside that the staff possesses is starting to come to fruition. Over the last month, the staff’s ERA has dropped by a full run to its current mark of 2.61, which has moved them from seventh to fifth in the ACC. During the last 12 games, the Seminoles have only given up more than three earned runs on two occasions. Florida State leads the conference with a league-low ERA of 0.33 during the first round of ACC games. One of the more telling signs of the staff’s improvement is the average innings per appearance. Through the first 16 games, the staff was only had one pitcher with over four innings per appearance (Tiffany McDonald), but over the last 16 all three hurlers have been over 4.75 with McDonald leading at 6.82.

Win The Close Ones? Score More Than Six? Score First? Lead Late?
What are four keys to victory for the Seminoles, Alex. Both of Florida State’s wins last week came during one run contests as it beat No. 10 Arizona State, 1-0, and No. 25 North Carolina, 2-1. This season, the Seminoles are 7-3 in one-run games….Florida State has not lost a game when scoring six or more runs with an unblemished 9-0 mark…Getting out to an early lead is big for Florida State as it is a perfect 16-0 when scoring the first run of the game, but just 6-14 when the opponent scores first…A sixth-inning lead is nearly a lock for the Seminoles as they own a 16-0 record when they are ahead after six innings and are 3-14 when trailing going into the last frame.

Florida State Exceeds Ranked Regular Season Wins From 2005
In the span of six days, the Seminoles did something they couldn’t do during the entire 2005 regular season as both of their wins last week came against Top 25 teams. First was a win over No. 25 North Carolina to start the ACC schedule, then the 10-inning marathon against the No. 10 Sun Devils. Last year, FSU’s only ranked victory during the regular season came against No. 25 Fresno State at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, but it did win a pair over No. 18 Auburn in the NCAA Regional. The Seminoles only have one currently ranked opponent left to play, the No. 18/19 Tigers but ACC foes NC State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are receiving votes, as is rival Florida.

Wenatchee Wonder Wakes Up Against Florida International
No player may have needed an offensive surge against Florida International like freshman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.). In the six games prior to Thursday’s double dip, the third baseman had just one hit in her last 14 at-bats and her average had dropped to a low-water mark of .250. Against the Golden Panthers she exploded for five hits, including a three in game two to get her average back up to .287. The rook is second on the team behind Natasha Jacob with nine multi-hit games.

Seminoles Getting More Aggressive On The Bases
The Seminoles have been more aggressive on the base paths this year, as is evident with its 44 stolen bases after only 51 during last season. Both Natasha Jacob and Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) have already reached double digits — marking the fourth time in Jacob’s career she’s swiped ten or more. Sophomore Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) is next on the squad with a perfect 9-for-9. The Seminoles currently rank third in the conference in stolen bases, trailing Georgia Tech (69) and Virginia Tech (61).

Catcher Injured In Northridge Game, Out Four-to-Six Weeks
More important than the statistics that were lost from the Cal State Northridge game, Florida State lost an important player during the game. Seminole catcher BillieAnne Gay (Tallahassee, Fla.) sustained a hand injury against the Matadors when a CSUN player slid into home play. Gay is expected to be out for four to six weeks. Sophomore Melissa Wood will handled the majority of the catching duties with a backup yet to be determined. Gay had played in 21 games this season with 15 starts. The Lincoln High School product was hitting .375 over the last ten games and had scored the winning run in two of Florida State’s last three victories.

Ground Rule Double (News & Notes):
The home run by senior Carey Galuppi (Boca Raton, Fla.) on Thursday was her first since April 5, 2004, during her sophomore year…Freshman pitcher Kayla Collins (Niceville, Fla.) has two of FSU’s four shutouts this season…Florida State is the league leader with 13 triples this seasons and rates fourth with 65 extra-base hits…Senior Kim Hoffer (Houston, Texas) picked up her first extra base hit since Nicholls State (2/11) with a triple in game two vs. FIU…After this Saturday’s doubleheader, Florida State will be on Sun Sports again on April 15 against NC State…The pitching staff has allowed 19 home runs this year, just five short of the record for round trippers given up. The 1997 squad surrendered 24 home runs that year…Thursday was FSU’s third doubleheader sweep of the year. Last year’s third sweep didn’t come until the first weekend of April.

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