March 16, 2006 - by
Seminole Softball Game Day: Seminoles Take To the Road For Judi Garman Classic

March 16, 2006

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Florida State at Judi Garman Classic
March 16-19
All Day Fullerton, Calif.
Titan Softball Complex (1,000)

Thursday, March 16
Cal State Fullerton (9:15 PM EST) GameTracker
Arizona State (11:30 PM PST) GameTracker

Friday, March 17
Notre Dame (4:30 PM EST) GameTracker

Florida State (19-11, 1-2 ACC)
Home: 17-8
Away: 2-1 
Neutral: 0-2
ACC: 1-2

Cal State Fullerton (15-13)
Home: 6-4 
Away: 1-2 
Neutral 8-7 
Big West: 0-0

No. 10/11 Arizona State (26-1)
Home: 9-0
Away: 8-0
Neutral: 11-1
PAC-10: 0-0

Notre Dame (9-8) 
Home: 0-0
Away: 4-3 
Neutral 5-5 
Big East: 0-0

Base Hits (What You Need To Know):
• Even though it is 10-13 all-time against its pool opponents in the Judi Garman Classic, Florida State did win the last meeting versus all three foes with a trio of wins in 2004.

• FSU took second at then 2004 Kia Klassic on it way to the Women’s College World Series. The Seminoles beat Arizona State, Nebraska, Fresno State, UNLV and Fullerton

• The Seminoles got their first victory over a ranked opponent when they beat No. 25 North Carolina to open up the ACC season. FSU’s last victory over a ranked foe was a 2-0 win over No. 18 Auburn in the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

• Shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) was named ACC Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .480 in eight games. Florida State is the all-time leader with 75 ACC POW Awards

Seminoles Take To the Road For Judi Garman Classic
After hosting its final tournament last weekend, and kicking off the 15th season of Atlantic Coast Conference play, the Florida State University softball team is back on the road as it takes part in the Judi Garman Classic, March 16-19 hosted by Cal State Fullerton. The tournament was formerly known as the Kia Klassic, but was renamed this year for the legendary Titans head coach.

FSU Swimming In The Deep End During Pool Play
One of the premier preseason tournaments in the country, the Judi Garman Classic always features some of the best teams in the country and 2006 is no exception. Florida State (19-11 overall, 1-2 ACC) has a trio of perennial powers in its pool. The Seminoles open up the tournament with the host Titans (15-13 overall) at 6:15 p.m. (PST) on Thursday (March 16). Florida State turns around to play No. 10/11 Arizona State (28-1) at 8:30 p.m. The Sun Devils only loss is to ACC member Virginia Tech. The Seminoles wrap up pool play on Friday (March 17) at 1:30 p.m. (PST) versus Notre Dame (9-8). Bracket play begins on Saturday and concludes Sunday.

Recent History Versus Pool Teams Is Good News For Florida State
Even though it is 10-13 against the three teams in its pool, Florida State has won the last meeting against all three teams. Ironically, all three wins came during the Seminoles Women’s College World Series run of 2004. Arizona State has a 4-3 lead on the Seminoles, while Fullerton owns a 6-3 advantage. Florida State does have a 3-1 lead over Notre Dame. Florida State took on both the Sun Devils and Titans in the 2004 Kia Classic, opening the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Arizona State, before beating CSU-Fullerton 3-0 in the quarterfinals. The Seminoles beat Notre Dame 4-3 in ten innings during a single contest on March 11.

Errors Cost FSU A Pair Of Games Versus North Carolina
After winning the opener 2-1 over No. 25 North Carolina in the bottom of the seventh, it looked like the opening ACC series would go the Seminoles’ way. Unfortunately, Florida State couldn’t get it done with the glove as it dropped both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader. UNC took advantage of six FSU’s error for 5-3 & 3-1 victories.

Alicart Collects FSU’s First ACC POW Award Of The Season
It’s the week she’s been waiting have and it earned her recognition from the league office. Yuruby Alicart raised her average by 80 points last week and in doing so picked up Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Player of the Week honors as announced by the conference office on Monday (March 13). Alicart is the first Seminole to win the weekly award from the ACC this year. The last conference honor for FSU came on March 7, 2005 when LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) picked up the award. The honor is the 75th for Florida State, the most handed out to a single school

Seminoles Improve Offensively From `05 At Halfway Mark
At the halfway point of the 2006 season, the Seminoles have shown improvement in virtually every offensive category. The area where the improvement is noticed the most is batting average and runs scored, where Florida State is hitting better by 13 points and has scored 22 more runs than at the halfway mark last year. The Seminoles have been more aggressive on the bases this year, as is evident with their increase of nine stolen bases. Last year Florida State only had three players with double digit steals, but already has two 30 games into `06. FSU is more disciplined at the plate so far, striking out 25 times less than last year.

McDonald Continues To Get Better With Age
Even though she’s only a sophomore, Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) is pitching like the veteran on the staff. During the conference opening series with North Carolina, the right-hander did everything she could to get the Seminoles a pair of victories. McDonald threw a pair of completes games against the Tar Heels, upping her league lead to 13 complete games, giving up just one earned run with 14 strikeouts. Unfortunately, FSU committed five errors in the two games and McDonald was saddled with the loss in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.

Mo’ Hitting
After an eight-game slump during late February/early March in which she went 0-for-20, catcher Melissa Wood (Lilburn, Ga.) had an wakening during the Florida State Invitational that continued through the North Carolina series. Starting the Seminoles’ Silver Bracket game against Georgia State, the Seminoles starting backstop is on a five-game hitting streak, the third longest stretch on the team this year. “Moe” Wood has raised her average by 90 points in the last five games.

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 .313, which is the 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 (21) and slugging percentage (.578).

Seniors Make The Plays That Count
The senior tandem of Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) and BillieAnne Gay (Tallahassee, Fla.) have produced Florida State’s last two game-winning plays. In fourth inning of the FlSU Invitational’s Silver Bracket Championship game against St. John’s, the left fielder Jacob roped a triple to right center to plate Gay, who had singled. Then on Monday, Jacob’s sacrifice fly to left field plated the catcher, afte another single, with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. The All-America candidate Jacob has scored the game-wining run or driven it in, in four of FSU’s last seven victories. Young

Pitching Staff Is All Grows Up
After giving up 14 earned runs to #14 Louisiana-Lafayette, the pitching staff’s ERA was at 3.69. Since that game, the staff — made up of one sophomore (Tiffany McDonald) and two freshmen (Kayla Collins & Melissa May) — has lowered its rate to 2.66 runs per game, its lowest mark since it was at 2.54 after Jacksonville. Over those last 18 games, the staff has only given up more than two earned runs in five games, but none in the last six contests. Two of the five came against defending national champion Michigan.

Buckmon Making Big Strides
Offensively After going in and out of the line-up last season and missing almost the entire fall practice, sophomore Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) is finding her groove offensively. Over the last ten games she’s hitting .333 to up her season average to .289, which is the third-highest rate on the team. Her average has gone up 39 points the last 11 games, thanks to four multi-hit games, including a pair of rips in each of the last two games against North Carolina. Once on the bases, Buckmon has been on a tear, going a perfect 6-of-6 in stolen bases, which is just three short of her entire 2005 total.

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 .275. 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.

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 4.82 from 36.00 at the start of the week. Collins also picked up her first collegiate hit against the Huskies. She took her first collegiate loss in the first game of the UNC doubleheader.

Ground Rule Double (News & Notes):
Florida State has three players from the state of California – junior Veronica Wootson (Fontana, sophomore Brittany Osmon (San Diego) and freshman Melissa May (San Diego). FSU also has two other West Coast players, sophomore Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) and freshman Michelle Snyder (Wentachee, Wash.)…May tied a career-high when she struck out five batters when she came on in relief during game one of the Tuesday UNC doubleheader….Florida State lost its first home regular season game to North Carolina since 1989. The Seminoles also lost their first ACC series to the Tar Heels since 1996…With 54 career stolen bases, senior Natasha Jacob needs just three more tie fellow Seminole Leslie Barton for 10th in ACC history.

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