April 2, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State softball team faces an important doubleheader on Wednesday evening as it hosts No. 13 LSU at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET on Military Appreciation Night at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Seminoles (28-12) will honor those in the military by wearing specially-made camo uniforms. Florida State softball will recognize family members of its student-athletes with military experience during one of the games, as well as those in attendance who have served.
Florida State holds a ratings percentage index that is 25th nationally, showing a 13-9 record against Top 75 RPI competition this season. The Tigers (30-7) enter the doubleheader with the 15th-best RPI to create a tremendous opportunity for the Noles.
“Playing anyone in the SEC is great because they are a power conference,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “LSU is pretty special in the sense that we do a home and away with them and last year we went to their place and snuck away with one and this year we do two here. They’ve got great pitching and it’s always good for our hitters to face that. It will be a good challenge for us.”
LSU is also 13th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll as Florida State seeks its third and fourth Top 25 wins of the season. The Seminoles show two nationally-ranked wins over then-No. 25 Hofstra earlier this season on Feb. 16.
Redshirt senior pitcher Monica Perry has earned five of Florida State’s six Top 25 wins since 2012. Last season, Perry earned victories over No. 14 UCLA, No. 23 LSU and 23rd-ranked North Carolina twice, followed by a victory over No. 25 Hofstra this season. Florida State defeated LSU 8-1 at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La as Courtney Senas and Kirstin Austin contributed mightily with separate two-run singles in the win.
LSU and FSU have a short series history with both teams splitting at 2-2. In 2012, the unseeded Tigers earned a spot in the NCAA Women’s College World Series after winning the Texas A&M regional and then winning the Missouri Super Regional.
Florida State continues to ride the hot bat of Senas. The Wahiawa, Hawaii native is back in the lead for the team’s Triple Crown (most HRs, RBIs, highest batting average). Senas has team-leading totals of a .386 batting average, 12 HRs and 45 RBIs. The feat has been achieved only four times in school history, including by All-Americans Shamalene Wilson (1996) and Tiffany Daniels (1987, 1989) as well as Carolyn Fiero (1986).
Florida State softball is coming off a mixed week, finishing 2-2 after falling at No. 3 Florida in extra innings but winning two of three at Maryland. The Seminoles were relentless at the plate over the course of their four games, finishing 39-for-112 for a .348 average. Freshman Victoria East led the everyday starters by going 7-for-15 with three doubles and one home run. Senas led the Noles with seven RBIs.
In the circle, sophomore Lacey Waldrop finished 2-1 with a 0.51 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 13.2 innings pitched.
In a rubber-game 14-9 win at Maryland on March 31, Florida State’s offense was clicking in several ways. The Seminoles set season highs of five doubles, 11 walks and manufactured runs as well by recording four sacrifice flies. In the contest, the Seminoles scored at least one run in six of seven innings and were powered by Senas’ five RBIs.
LSU is enjoying another strong season, owning quality wins over Arizona, North Carolina, Kentucky and Michigan. The Tigers put together a three-game sweep over No. 20 Kentucky in conference play on March 15-17.
Junior Jacee Blades leads LSU with a .381 batting average and is reaching base at a .408 clip. Freshman Bianka Bell has emerged as a good power threat, leading the team with eight home runs, 30 RBIs and a .327 batting average. The Tigers are hitting .297 as a team.
Senior Rachele Fico is back leading LSU in the circle, showing a 17-5 record with a 1.83 ERA. Opponents are batting .184 against her and she has surrendered just three home runs in 138 innings pitched this season.
Junior Meghan Patterson has also done well, owning a 5-2 record in 13 appearances with a 1.69 ERA. She has four complete games as well as two shutouts.
Following the mid-week twinbill, Florida State hosts Boston College on Saturday and Sunday for `Paint it Pink’ weekend at JoAnne Graf Field.