April 27, 2007
Florida State Softball
Florida State at North Carolina
Saturday-Sunday, April 28-29 1 p.m.(DH)/1 p.m.
Chapel Hill, N.C. Williams Field at Anderson Stadium
First Pitch (What You Need To Know):
In the midst of an eight-game winning streak, its longest since 2004, the Florida State softball team has been off this week during final exams. The Seminoles resume play this weekend when they complete ACC action at North Carolina.
North Carolina took two of three games last year in Tallahassee and the two teams have split the last six meetings. FSU leads the all-time series 45-13 and 15-6 in Chapel Hill.
By getting the victory on Sunday, Terese Gober (McDonough, Ga.) picked up her 10th win of the year. It’s the first time since the 2001 season that Florida State has had three pitchers with at least ten wins: Tiffany McDonald (13), Melissa May (11), Gober (10).
Florida State has been playing outstanding defense during its eight-game winning streak as it has committed just one error during the stretch to up the overall team defense to a season-high .962.
Going into the final full weekend of conference action, the Seminoles are tied with Georgia Tech for the third seed. The Yellow Jackets own the tiebreaker after winning two of three games in Atlanta.
During the Seminoles’ eight-game winning streak, seniors Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) and Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) are leading the way with .444 and .409 batting averages, respectively. FSU has scored 55 runs during the streak and given up 8.
Freshman Monica Montez (Corona, Calif.) is the top hitter during conference games with a .457 average, while teammate Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.) is 10th at .372.
Seminoles Conclude ACC Slate At North Carolina
With six weekends of conference action in the books, the Florida State softball wraps up its 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference schedule this weekend. The Seminoles (36-19, 11-7 ACC) look to improve their seeding for the ACC Tournament as they travel to North Carolina this weekend. The Seminoles and fifth-place Tar Heels (42-15, 10-7) start their three game series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday (April 28), before wrapping up the ACC ledger the following day at 1 p.m. All three games can be heard live via internet radio.
FSU And UNC Neck And Neck Last Two Years
It’s been almost two full ACC seasons since the Seminoles and Tar Heels have meet. The two teams opened conference play last year during the second weekend in March and now meet during the final rotation of the 2007 campaign. Mistakes plagued the Seminoles last year as they lost the last two games of the series after rallying for two runs in the bottom of the seventh during the opener. During FSU’s last trip to Chapel Hill to play the Tar Heels, FSU won the first two contests before UNC took the finale. That win snapped a seven-game winning streak for FSU over UNC. The Seminoless were sucessful on the UNC campus last year as they advanced to the title game of the ACC Tournament. Overall, FSU leads the series 45-13, 15-6 in Chapel Hill and 23-8 during ACC contests.
Pitching Is The Name Of The Game For Tar Heels
With only one hitter over .300, North Carolina has relied on a talented pitching staff this year that boasts an ERA of 1.85. Sophomore Lisa Norris, who went 1-1 against the Seminoles last year, is third in the league with a 23-10 record and an 1.78 ERA. Fellow sophomore Amber Johnson is close behind with a 14-4 record and 1.92 ERA. The Tar Heels top hitter is outfielder Brianna Brown with a .367 average. After a rough start to the year, the Tar Heels won 28-games in a row. North Carolina head coach Donna Papa has a 13-42 record against the Seminoles.
Seminoles Try To Improve On The Road Versus Conference Teams
It’s been a tale of two teams for the Seminoles between home and road games during the conference slate. All three areas – hitting, pitching and defense drop off when Florida State hits the road. Freshman Monica Montez is the only player hitting above .300 at home and on the road with her .556 rate at JoAnne Graf Field and a .353 norm on the road. Junior hurler Tiffany McDonald holds a .095 ERA at home but it increases to 2.10 on the road. Overall, FSU is just 10-12 away from home with a .257 average, 2.58 ERA and .953 fielding percentage.
Seminoles Break Out The Brooms Against The Cavaliers
It wasn’t the dramatic finish FSU had in 2005 against Virginia as Tatiana George hit a walk-off home run in the series finale, but there was an offensive outburst as the Seminoles swept Virginia last weekend. FSU pounded out 12 hits on its way to an 8-2 win in the opener before taking the nightcap 4-2 thanks to three unearned runs in the second inning. Terese Gober threw a one-hit gem in the series finale to give the sweep with the 8-0 decision in five innings.
Winning Streak Reaches Eight After Weekend
It’s hard to believe that Florida State’s current eight-game winning streak is the longest since the 2004 campaign. Twice this year the Seminoles got to six wins, only to fall to Kansas (1-0) and #21 Georgia (2-1). Last year Florida State got to six wins early on, only to fall to South Carolina, 4-2, due to a pair of unearned runs in the fifth. Later that year FSU ran its streak to five, only to lose game two to North Carolina, who snapped a five-game winning streak in 2005. Towards the end of the 2005 campaign the Seminoles won six in a row before dropping a doubleheader at Troy.
FSU Making Sweeps A Habit
The sweep of Virginia over the weekend was the Seminoles’ third of the year over a conference opponent, joining Maryland and Boston College. The trio of sweeps is the most the Seminoles have had in a season since the 2004 campaign when they swept four contests. However, all four of those were two-games sweeps, versus the scheduled three-game series. The sweep of Maryland earlier in the week was the first since the 2005 season when Florida State took all three against the Cavaliers.
Seminoles Have A Chance To Post Most ACC Wins In School History
Even if the Seminoles only win one game this weekend they will set a school record for ACC victories at a dozen. The 2005 edition posted a 11-6 mark when the league first went to the three-game series format. The highest winning percentage in Seminole lore is a tie between the 2003 (8-0), 2002 (6-0), 1995 (6-0) and 1993 (4-0) squads that all went undefeated. Coming into this weekend the Seminoles have won five-straight ACC games, their best stretch since the end of 2004 and start of 2005 when FSU won eight in a row.
Johnny Wholestaff Getting It Done In the Circle
Florida State is one of the rare teams in the country, let alone the conference, that can throw three different pitchers at opposing teams with three difference looks. Amongst the league schools, only Florida State has three pitchers with at least ten wins: Tiffany McDonald (13), Melissa May (11) and Terese Gober (10) and three pitchers in the top ten for ERA: McDonald (2nd – 1.21), May (3rd – 1.60) and Gober (8th – 2.04). It’s the first time since the 2001 campaign that Florida State has had three pitchers with at least ten wins when Leslie Malerich (26), Jen White-Stokes (19) and Jessica van der Linden (13) combined for the feat. Overall, Florida State has had seven pitching staffs with three ten-game winners.
Wootson & Davis Donning Mortar Boards Friday, Uniforms Saturday
As much as Veronica Wootson and LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) have accomplished on the field, their biggest award will come this Friday with the two seniors take part in Florida State’s commencement ceremony. Following Friday night’s pomp and circumstance, they will get on a plane Saturday morning to join the team in Chapel Hill. Wootson – the first member of her family to graduate from college, will receive a degree in health education while Davis will get her bachelor’s in creative writing.
Marvelous Montez Tearing Up The League
Freshman outfielder Monica Montez has been terrorizing conference pitching this year as the top hitter during ACC games with .457 batting average. She is also first with 0.15 triples per game, second at a .525 on-base percentage, third with a .800 slugging percentage and fourth at 1.23 hits per game. Last weekend against Virginia she hit a team-best .714, including a double and a trip, while driving in three runs and scoring three more. The Corona, Calif., native has a hit in nine of her last 10 ACC games with six multi-hit games.
Gober Is Getting It Going
Over her last three starts, freshman hurler Terese Gober has turned in some terrific performances. The right-hander has only allowed one unearned run during this span and has only given up two hits in her last 14 innings. After throwing her first collegiate no hitter against Jacksonville, she came back against Virginia and only gave up one hit. Since getting roughed up at Georgia Tech, Gober has seen her ERA drop by 0.67 to its current rate of 2.04, which is the lowest its been since she beat Mississippi State in the NFCA Leadoff Classic (1.44) and rates ninth in the ACC.
It Ain’t Nothing But A Breeze
Similar to last season, junior Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) has stepped up her play during the second half of the year. “The Breeze” has upped her average by 66 points (.290-to-.356) for the second best average on the team, trailing only Whitney Buckmon. During this time she has scored ten runs, driven in nine and posted a team-best .689 slugging percentage. In her last five games, Osmon has six hits, including a 2-for-3 day in the series finale against Virginia where she tied a career-high by scoring a pair of runs.
Defense, Defense, Defense
While the offense has been outstanding and pitching positively pinpoint, the Seminoles’ divine defense been a huge reason for FSU’s recent success. Florida State has not committed an error in its last five games and has only had one miscue in the last eight contests. To find an errorless streak this long, you have to go back to the 2002 season when FSU went six games without committing an error. Over the last three seasons, the longest run is four games and the 2004 team had a stretch of just one error in nine contests. Florida State has been playing strong defense during conference games, as they rate second in the ACC with a team rate of .973.
News and Notes:
Florida State ranks in the top 20 nationally in three categories: double plays per game (10th – 0.47), ERA (15th – 1.6) and triples (16th – 0.27). The highest rated individual player is Tiffany McDonald as her 1.22 ERA is 19th in the country. Catcher Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) is 24th at 0.24 sacrifice per game and Veronica Wootson’s 0.58 stolen bases is 27th … In addition to its eight-game winning streak, FSU has won 13 of its last 17 games. During that time, FSU has outscored its opponents 110-38 with 25 of the runs being scored by Georgia Tech and Florida … With at least ten games remaining (eight regular season, two ACC Tournament) Florida State needs only four more wins for its 26th 40-win season … Wootson needs just two RBIs to become the first player in the conference to post 30 runs scored, 30 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. FSU has not had a member of the 30-30-30 club since 2002 when All-American Brandi Stuart scored 63 runs, drove in 45 runs and stole 42 bases … Yuruby Alicart has 30 doubles over the last two years (19 in 2006, 11 in 2007), which is the most over a two-year stretch … The 13 runs scored by FSU Super Sub Amanda Moore (Niceville, Fla.) is the most by a player who hasn’t made at least one starts since Skyla Cox scored 18 runs in 45 games without a start during the 2001 season … Florida State is just two stolen bases away from equaling its total from all of last season and three more swipes would make this year’s team the first to steal 80 bases since the 2003 edition nabbed 99.