April 9, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Fresh off an important series victory on the road, the 21st-ranked Florida State University softball team begins a five-game homestand with a matchup against Florida A&M on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Seminoles (35-8, 10-2) turn their focus to some important mid-week matchups in non-conference play. Following its game against the Lady Rattlers (16-23, 2-3), FSU faces a strong South Alabama squad on Thursday at 6 p.m. before hosting another Sunday-Monday series versus second-place Georgia Tech that will be broadcast on ESPN3 and ESPNU.
FSU is hoping for a repeat performance versus Florida A&M, winning an earlier matchup on March 21 by a 10-1 score in five innings on the road. In that contest, the Seminoles set their season high with 15 base hits, with nearly every position player recording a hit.
“These early mid-week games hold plenty of significance for us and what we are trying to accomplish this season,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “Especially battling back to take our series last weekend, we need to make sure we don’t let up and continue to build momentum toward the end.”
Junior second baseman Tiffani Brown recorded her lone three-hit performance of the season in FSU’s first meeting at Florida A&M. For the season, Brown is batting .311 with 31 runs scored and 33 stolen bases. For her career, Brown ranks seventh all-time at FSU with 70 stolen bases, while her 14 career triples are just one shy of tying for 10th on the school’s career list.
The Seminoles’ production at the top of the batting order usually sets the tone for the rest of the lineup, with No. 2 batter Shayla Jackson playing a key role. The consistent senior from Pembroke Pines, Fla., is looking to finish a stellar career with another year over .300, as she shows a .308 average. Jackson is currently on a nine-game hitting streak, and has 226 base hits for her career to rank 10th all-time at FSU. Jackson’s 28 career doubles are tied for ninth in school history with Robin Ahrberg.
Tuesday’s meeting between the two cross-town opponents will be the 109th. FSU owns a 101-8 record versus Florida A&M, having won the last 13 meetings.
FSU’s improved performance at the plate includes a .277 team batting average, its highest mark since batting .279 following a win versus UC Santa Barbara on March 2 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In its series win over Virginia Tech, FSU batted .314 with eight extra base hits. Junior Briana Hamilton highlighted the weekend by going 4-for-10 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
FAMU’s Jasmin Donaldson leads the team with a .382 batting average and 18 stolen bases. Tera Gainer is hitting .347 with one home run and 19 RBIs.
In the circle, Whitney Robinson and Jenn Lindsey get a majority of the starts. Robinson is 7-9 with a 4.27 ERA, while Lindsey is 7-7 with a 2.64 ERA.
FSU’s Thursday night matchup with South Alabama features the “Home Wrecker Home Run Derby” brought to you by Moe’s Southwest Grill directly following the 6 p.m. game. Interested participants may call 850-644-7929 for more details on the event.