March 7, 2006
Florida State hosts Connecticut (DH)
March 7 5 p.m. Tallahassee, Fla.
JoAnne Graf Field at Seminole Softball Complex (1,000)
Florida State (11-8)
Big East: 0-0
Base Hits (What You Need To Know):
Florida State holds a 20-4 advantage in the all-time series against Connecticut having won the last seven games. The Huskies haven’t won a game since 1997.
Sophomore pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) has thrown in 84 percent (16-of-19) of FSU’s games this year. She is on pace to pitch in 49 games, excluding the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. The single-season school record for appearances is 58.
All-America candidate Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) moved into the school’s top ten list with her 12th career triple against Maryland. She is on the cusp of breaking into top ten on several other lists.
Starting Tuesday, Florida State will play at least ten games at home over the next eight days. Following the doubleheader with UConn, the Seminoles will play host to the FSU Invitational this weekend then play its first Atlantic Coast Conference games against North Carolina next Monday and Tuesday.
Florida State put three players on the Sunshine State All-Tournament team in Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela), Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Natasha Jacob. It was the first honor for Alicart and Buckmon this season and Jacob’s third.
Florida State Hosts Connecticut
Prior to hosting its last tournament of the year, the Florida State University softball team will take on Connecticut in a Tuesday (March 7) doubleheader. The Seminoles (11-8) are coming off a second place finish in the Sunshine State Tournament after losing in the championship game to No. 7/8 Michigan. The Huskies (2-3) started their season last week with a trip to the Buzz Classic in Marietta, Ga. Florida State holds a 20-4 advantage in the all-time series having won the last seven games, including three by run rule. The two teams last played at Florida State in 2004 with the Seminoles winning 8-0 and 7-4. UConn’s last win was a 1-0 triumph at FSU in 1997. FSU is 81-21 all-time against the current Big East.
Home Team Goes 2-2 In Sunshine State Tournament
The Seminoles split their two games of the Sunshine State Tournament last weekend, beating Western Michigan and Maryland while dropping a pair to No. 7/8 Michigan. Florida Sate won both games in dramatic fashion, scoring two runs in the sixth to beat the Broncos, 2-1, then getting three in the bottom of the seventh to take down the Terrapins, 6-5. FSU couldn’t hold on in game one against Michigan as the defending champions scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth for the 6-3 victory. UM won the tournament title, behind a 15-strikeout performance from All-American Jennie Ritter, as the Wolverines prevailed 5-0.
Seminole Put Three On All-Tournament Team
Florida State was well represented on the Sunshine State All-Tournament Team as Yuruby Alicart, Whitney Buckmon and Natasha Jacob all earned spots for the Garnet & Gold. For Jacob it was her third all-tournament selection of the season and the eighth of her career, moving her into fourth in school history. Two-time All-American Darby Cottle is all-time leader with 14 awards. The honor was the first of her collegiate career for Buckmon while Alicart picked up her first at FSU. The junior was a two-time NAIA National All-Touranment selection at Thomas University.
McDonald Has Been Working Overtime
Take in a Florida State softball game and odds are you’re going to see Tiffany McDonald pitch. The sophomore has thrown in 84 percent of Florida State’s games this year (16-of-19) and is on pace to throw in 49 regular seasons games. The school record for appearances is 58, set by All-American Leslie Malerich in 2000. Malerich is the only Seminole to make 50 or appearances in a season having done it twice (58 – 2000 & 55 – 2002). Only nine times in school history has a pitcher made 40 or more appearances in a season, but it has happened four times in the last four years (Malerich (55) – 2002, Jessica van der Linden (42) – 2004, Casey Hunter (41) – 2004 & (47) – 2005).
Sophomore Hurler Rates Among ACC’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).
From The Home Office In Coppell, Texas, Jacob Breaks Into Top 10
The two-run triple Natasha Jacob hit against Maryland was the 12th of her career and vaulted her into the top-ten in school history, tying Penny Siqueiros and Kristy Hull. Her next triple will tie her with Serita Brooks for ninth. Already tenth in Seminole lore, her next stolen base will be her 51st, tying her with 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 four times to equal Tatiana George and Kimmy Carter with 116 runs and collect ten base hits to tie Jesse McGregor at 205 hits.
Osmon Breaks Up No Hitter With First Hit Of The Season
After missing the first 14 games of the season, sophomore Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) was just happy to get into the game against the No. 7/8 Michigan Wolverines. She, and the rest of the team, was even happier when her first at-bat of the season resulted in a double into right field gap during the bottom of the sixth inning. Besides kick-starting her season, the two-bagger broke up a combined no-hitter by the Michigan pitching staff. Florida State hasn’t been no hit since March 26, 2005 at Georgia Tech.
Set `Em Up And Knock `Em Down
The Florida State pitching staff ran its streak of consecutive games with a strikeout to 48 over the weekend. The streak was in jeopardy against Western Michigan as the Seminoles didn’t hang a K on a Bronco batter until the sixth inning when Tiffany McDonald came on in relief to strikeout out a pair and end Western Michigan’s scoring threat. The streak began on March 27, 2005, when McDonald struck out four at Georgia Tech.
Seminole Show Some Resolve In Comeback Victories
Up until this weekend, Florida State needed to be leading after four innings or so in order to pick up the victory, but the Seminoles showed they can fight back in the Sunshine State Tournament. Down 1-0 in the sixth inning to Western Michigan, Natasha Jacob led off with a walk, stole second then scored on a single by Veronica Wootson (Fonatana, Calif.). Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla.) delivered a double to plate Wootson with the winning run. Those three veterans stepped up in the clutch again against Maryland. Jacob and Wootson each stole a base to put runners on second and third then Brieske laid down the perfect squeeze bunt to score Jacob then Wootson scored the winning run on an errand throw by the third baseman on the bunt attempt. Twice this year Brieske has driven in the winning run while Wootson has scored the deciding run three times.
Ground Rule Double (News & Notes)
Speaking of the game-winning play, shortstop Yuruby Alicart is tops on the team with seven game-winning plays having scored the decided run three times while driving in the game winner on four occasions. The junior transfer scored all three runs, including her second home run, in the 6-3 loss to Michigan…Freshman Kayla Collins (Niceville, Fla.) made her first plate appearances over the weekend and even got the start as the designated player in the Sunshine State championship game against Michigan…Florida State is 0-5 this year against ranked opponents…Second baseman Veronica Wootson is tied for the ACC lead with three triples this season. She is also fourth at eight stolen bases, tied for sixth at 14s RBI and tied for seventh at 30 total bases…For the first time this season, Florida State lost when a Seminole hits a home run after Alicart’s solo shot in the sixth inning against Michigan. FSU had been a perfect 5-0 when someone clears the bases.