April 3, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 21st-ranked Florida State University softball team prepares for another test as it hosts in-state rival and sixth-ranked Florida on Wednesday, April 4, for a 6 p.m. tilt that will be televised on FOX Sports Florida at JoAnne Graf Field. Tom Block and Nick Belmonte will be on the call.
Wednesday’s game includes another batch of great promotions. Fans entering the complex will receive a free gameday T-shirt as well as the first set of FSU softball trading cards while supplies last.
“We’re looking for another great atmosphere on Wednesday night,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “There’s always the instant intensity when you face your biggest rival, and we know how difficult Florida is and we’ll have to be on our A-game to come out on top.”
The Seminoles (33-6, 8-1) are hoping to reverse their recent misfortunes versus UF, currently on an eight-game skid that dates back to the 2007 season. FSU has not defeated the Gators (31-4, 12-2) since 2006.
The Seminoles and Gators have a relatively short series history compared to their other sports. On the softball field, UF leads FSU 15-13 dating back to their first meeting in 1997. At home, FSU is 6-7 all-time versus Florida. The Seminoles won by scores of 6-5 and 4-0 at JoAnne Graf Field in 2006.
Since the 2006 season, FSU and UF will be meeting for the fourth time as nationally-ranked squads.
UF is powered by a sound offense that is batting .322 and has produced 44 home runs this year. Senior Michelle Moultrie is one of the nation’s best hitters, batting .438 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs. Junior Kelsey Horton leads the team with nine home runs and is hitting .333.
UF’s pitching is sparked by sophomore Hannah Rogers, who is 17-2 with a 0.79 ERA and totals 118 strikeouts.
FSU is coming off a strong 3-1 victory over conference rival North Carolina, as redshirt junior pitcher Monica Perry led the way with a complete-game, 11-strikeout performance. She is now 15-2 this season with a 0.82 ERA, and has 147 strikeouts in 119 innings thrown.
FSU’s pitching staff altogether has two separate streaks this season of allowing two runs or less. From Feb. 11-March 2, FSU went 14 straight games allowing two runs or less, and accomplished the same feat for 17 straight games from March 4 to March 29.
The bat of junior Tiffani Brown has been a big spark for FSU’s offense, as she is hitting .326 and currently has an 11-game hitting streak. Brown has recorded two triples in her last three games, and over the course of her 12-game hit streak she has batted .405 (17-for-42) with 12 runs scored.
Another bright area for the Seminoles has been the emergence of junior left fielder Kirstin Austin. The Temple Terrace, Fla., native is batting .293 and has garnered at least one base hit in eight of her last 11 games played. In that time span, she has batted .375 (9-for-24). Austin stepped up with an important RBI double to jumpstart FSU’s 3-1 win over North Carolina on Monday on ESPNU.
Fans can follow Wednesday’s non-conference affair on CBS GameTracker off the Seminoles.com page, as well as on FSU Softball’s official Twitter handle – @FSU_Softball.
Perry Named ACC Pitcher of the Week
For the second time this season, redshirt junior Monica Perry has been named the ACC Pitcher of the Week following her two victories over North Carolina as well as a mid-week win over Florida Gulf Coast.
In the three games, Perry held her opponents to a combined .176 batting average in 20.0 innings pitched while striking out 26 batters with only two walks.