March 10, 2006
Florida State hosts Florida State Invitational
March 10-12 All Day Tallahassee, Fla.
JoAnne Graf Field at Seminole Softball Complex (1,000)
Florida State (13-8)
Big East: 0-0
Kent State (4-4)
Western Illinois (1-7-1)
Base Hits (What You Need To Know):
Florida State holds a 34-7 advantage against its pool opponents in the FSU Invitational having swept Connecticut (8-2 & 1-0) on Tuesday. The Seminoles are 5-0 versus Kent State and 7-3 against Western Illinois with WIU winning the last meeting, 1-0, in 1999.
The Seminoles got a pair of complete-game victories on Tuesday from its freshman pitcher. Left-hander Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) got the win in game one, while righty Kayla Collins (Niceville, Fla.) picked up her first collegiate victory in the nightcap.
All-America candidate Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) hit a rare inside-the-park home run to lead off game one on Tuesday. She cleared the fence in her first at-bat of game two to double her career home run total.
Seminoles Host Final Tournament With Florida State Invitational
For the last time this season, the Florida State University softball team will welcome multiple squads for its last tournament of the year. Fifteen teams descend on Tallahassee this weekend for the Florida State Invitational, March 10-12. This year’s field include four teams from the 2005 NCAA Tournament and a pair of currently-ranked schools — No. 17/18 Nebraska and No. 25 North Carolina. Pool play begins Friday (March 10) and continues Saturday morning with Gold and Silver bracket play starting Saturday afternoon. The champion of both brackets will be crowned on Sunday.
FSU Takes On Huskies, Golden Flashes & Westerwinds In Pool Play
Standing between Florida State (13-8 overall) and the Gold bracket of the Florida State Invitational will be Connecticut (3-5), Kent State (4-4) and Western Illinois (1-7-1). The Seminoles open with UConn at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by the Golden Flashes at 6 p.m. FSU wraps up pool play Saturday versus the Westerwinds at 12:30 p.m. The Seminoles are 22-4 versus Connecticut after beating UConn twice on Tuesday. Florida State has never lost to Kent State, holding a 5-0 advantage, and is 7-3 versus Western Illinois. The Westerwinds won the last meeting, 1-0, in 1999 when WIU head coach Holly Van Vlymen was playing for her alma mater.
Seminoles On The Upswing After DH Sweep Of UConn
FSU won its fourth game in five tries when it took both games against Connecticut on Tuesday. The Seminoles cranked out a season-high 15 hits in game one on their way to a 8-2 victory in the opener then won a 1-0 decision in game two. For the Seminoles it was their second doubleheader sweep at home after beating Georgia Southern twice on Feb.14.
Tasha, Tasha, Tasha, Why Is It Always Tasha?
That’s the question the Connecticut pitching staff might be asking itself after Natasha Jacob’s performance earlier this week. The senior All-America candidate went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and two RBIs Tuesday night. The left fielder led off both games with a home run, the first one being a rare inside-the-park home run. Her round tripper in game two was the lone run of the game. The home runs doubled her career total. She last hit one in the first game of doubleheader against Florida International on March 25, 2004.
Freshmen Hurlers Step Up Versus Huskies
With Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) throwing in 84 percent of FSU’s games, the sophomore needed a break and she got one Tuesday from the rookies on the staff. Left-hander Melissa May threw a complete game in the opener while righty Kayla Collins went the full seven innings during the nightcap. After two rough appearances, it was the first win for Collins, while May picked up her second win in three starts. Both rookies also picked up their first collegiate base hits.
McDonald Ranks Among League’s Best
Virtually every pitching category in the ACC contains Tiffany McDonald’s name. The right-hander is tops in the conference for innings pitched (79.2) and appearances (16), while sharing the top spot in complete games (8) and saves (2). The two saves she has already this year ranks as the third-highest for a season at FSU since 2000. McDonald is also second in the league for starts (10) and third in wins (8) and strikeouts (82).
Davis Jump Starts Offense Versus Huskies
No player may have needed an offensive boost like right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) got against Connecticut. The junior All-America candidate set a career-high as she went 4-for-4 in the opener versus the Huskies with an RBI. She added a hit in the second game to raise her average to .310, the third-highest rate on the team. The five hits in the two games upped her average by 81 points to its highest point since Feb. 14. Besides a career-high, the four base hits were the most by a Seminole this season.
Jacob Keeps Climbing Florida State Ladder
Natasha Jacob’s triple in game one, her second in three games, was her 13th, tying her with Serita Brooks for ninth in Florida State history. Already tenth in Seminole lore, her next stolen base will be her 51st, tying her with Kristy Hull in ninth. To break into other top-ten lists, she needs one walk to tie Leslie Barton for tenth at 70 free passes, has to cross the plate one time to equal Tatiana George and Kimmy Carter with 116 runs and collect six base hits to tie Jesse McGregor at 205 hits. Jacob, the team leader with a .349 average, is creeping up some ACC top ten lists. She needs just seven stolen bases to tie Barton for 10th at 57. Barton has 66 swipes at FSU but the first nine came before the school was in the league. In addition, four more triples would put Jacob in a tie for 5th on the FSU charts and tenth in ACC lore.
Pitching And Defense Has Been The Key To Success
It goes without saying that those two are needed for victory, but never more so for the Seminoles. Ten of FSU’s 13 wins have come when holding an opponent to two runs or less with 12-of-13 when limiting opponents to three runs or fewer. Eight of the Seminoles’ victories have come when they commit one error or less such as was the case in game two against Connecticut.
Seminoles Learning How To Win The Close Ones
Despite only having four players with more than one year of starting experience, the Seminoles are playing like a group of veterans when it counts. The Seminoles are 5-2 this year in one-run games with one of the two losses coming against No. 2 Tennessee. Florida State also knows how to take the suspense out of the game, winning seven games this year by five runs or more.
Snyder Flying Under The Radar
Over the last three weeks, only two players have not had their average slip below .300. The first name is easy, Natasha Jacob, but the second might be harder to come up with. Third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) has been hitting over .300 since the second game against Iowa State. After picking up a pair of hits in the opener against UConn, to raise her aveage to .321, the rookie leads the team with six multi-hit games.
Ground Rule Double (News & Notes):
The 15 base knocks in game one against UConn are the most by the Seminoles since they put up 15 on the board against Florida A&M on April 3, 2005…On the heels of a 5-0 loss to No. 7/8 Michigan, the Seminoles are 5-3 in the next game following a loss with a 2-2 mark after losing to a ranked opponent…FSU had a season-high six extra base hits in the UConn opener with two doubles, two triples and two home runs….Tuesday’s doubleheader was the first time this season that Tiffany McDonald didn’t throw in consecutive games…FSU’s streak of striking out at least one batter ended at 49 in game one Tuesday when the Seminoles failed to strikeout out a Huskie…For the eighth time this year, shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) was involved in the game-winning play when her two-run home run in the third inning scored the eventual winning run.