April 8, 2006
Sunday, April 9
Game One (1 p.m.) GameTracker
Florida State (29-18, 5-4 ACC)
Virginia (19-16, 2-7 ACC)
Base Hits (What You Need To Know):
Florida State is coming off a doubleheader sweep of No. 24 Florida after winning the nightcap in the bottom of the eighth.
FSU holds a 52-14 advantage over Virginia, including a 9-5 mark in Charlottesville. The Seminoles swept last year’s three contests.
Florida State needs just two more conference wins to become the first school in the league to amass 100 ACC victories.
The Seminoles continue to be the top hitting team during conference play. FSU hit .380 as a team against Georgia Tech to up its league-leading average to .364. Overall, the team average has gone up 30 points over the last two weeks.
After beating the Top 25 Gators twice on Wednesday, Florida State has won four of its last five games against ranked opponents.
With a pair of wins over Florida, the Seminoles are only three wins shy of last year’s regular-season total of 33 victories. Including this weekend at Virginia, Florida State has 17 regular season games remaining.
Seminoles Back On The Road To Take On Cavaliers
Looking for its third Atlantic Coast Conference series victory in a row, the Florida State softball team takes to the road for a three-game set this weekend at Virginia. The Seminoles (29-18 overall, 5-4 ACC) and Cavaliers (19-17, 2-7) start with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday (April 8), then play a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. GameTracker will be available for all games, but there will be no radio broadcast.
Florida State Looking To Stay Hot Versus Virginia
Florida State has been nothing short of dominant against Virginia the last six seasons. The Seminoles have won 15 of the last 16 meetings to take a commanding 52-14 lead in the all-time series. Florida State owns a 9-5 record in Charlottesville after the two teams split a pair of games in 2004. New Virginia head coach Karen Johns is very familiar with Florida State, after serving as the head coach at Florida from 2001-05. Johns had a 3-7 record as the dugout boss in Gainesville.
Seminoles Break Out The Brooms Versus No. 24 Florida
Looking to bounce back from a tough loss at Florida A&M on Monday, the Seminoles brought their “A” game to Wednesday’s doubleheader with Florida, who that afternoon had broken into the Top 25. In game one, sophomore Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) threw one of her best games of the year, giving up just two hits as she shut the Gators out 4-0. McDonald came on in game two to throw the final four frames to help FSU to the 6-5 victory in eight innings. Designated player Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, then scored all the way from first on an RBI double by shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela).
She’s Not A Doublemint Twins, But Wootson Likes Homers In Pairs
If you see second baseman Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) hit a home run, odds are you’re going to see her do it again in the near future. For the second time this year, the All-America candidate belted a pair of home runs on the same day with a pair of solo shots in each game of the Florida doubleheader. Her last homers came on February 22 when she blasted a pair in the first game of the doubleheader at Jacksonville. Her second dinger versus the Gators was the 16th of her career, tying her with All-American Shamalene Wilson for fifth in school history.
American Top 40
If Florida State keeps producing hits at its current rate it’s going to need Casey Kasem to keep track of all of them. The Seminoles amassed 22 hits in the doubleheader with Florida, tallying 10 in game one, followed by a even dozen in the nightcap. The offensive outburst raised the team average to .298, the highest its been since the second week of the season. The Seminoles have had ten or more hits in eight of their last 12 games, just two short the entire total from a year ago. For the season, Florida State has 15 games of ten or more hits.
Seminoles Trying To Hit The Century
The top program over the last 15 years, Florida State is on the verge of yet another first in the ACC. The all-time leader in regular season championship (10), tournament championships (10) and All-ACC selections (61) the Seminoles are just two wins away from becoming the first program in league history to total 100 conference victories. Tops in the league at 98-27 (.784), the next closest school is North Carolina 67 wins. Florida State has averaged record of 7-2 during the first 14 seasons of ACC competition.
Getting Off On The Right Foot
Florida State has a pension for getting its conference series started on a positive note. After taking the opener 9-1 over Georgia Tech last weekend, the Seminoles have the opening game of 26 of their last 28 conference series. FSU had a streak of 21 going until last season when they were swept by the Yellow Jackets and Boston College handed the Seminoles a 7-5 loss on March 25.
Creatures Of Habit – At the Plate
Maybe its the Florida sunshine or they derive part of their energy from photosynthesis, but what ever it is, the Seminoles would match rather play during the day compared to the night. This season, Florida State has a 20-10 record in day games, compared to just 9-8 at night. Sure they’ve played 13 more games during the day, but the numbers don’t line. The Seminoles are hitting nearly 50 points better in the day — .314 compared to .226 at night — and are hitting a home run every two day games compared to every three night games. No player may enjoy the sun better than shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) as she is hitting 169 points better during the day (.419) compared to at night (.250). The night owl on the team must be right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.). The junior leads the team with a .423 average at night, which is 94 points higher than she is hitting during the day.
Creatures Of Habit – In the Circle
The entire team doesn’t enjoy the sun as the pitchers are a nocturnal bunch. The staff ERA drops to 2.21 from 3.01 at night and opponents averages dip by 20 points to .219. In addition, the pitching staff is striking out more batters at night while allowing slightly fewer walks. The pitcher it makes the most difference for is rookie Kayla Collins as her ERA goes from 5.76 during the day to 2.13 at night.
Seminoles Torching ACC Pitching
Florida State continued its offensive assault on the league’s pitching last weekend when it posted a .380 average against the Georgia Tech pitching staff. Seven different players hit .300 or better, led by Yuruby Alicart at .556 and Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) close behind at .500. In nine conference games, FSU has the top hitting team at .364, which is 83 points better than second-place Georgia Tech, with four hitters in the leagues top ten, topped by Alicart with her .556 norm during conference action. LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) would be the league leader, but she is two at-bats short of making the minimum requirement of two-at bats for every team game. Alicart also is tops in ACC games for hits, doubles and RBIs while Veronica Wootson leads with two triples and Melissa Wood (Lilburn, Ga.) has the best on-base percentage at .607
Buckmon Making DP Spot Her Own
Sophomore Whitney Buckmon is settling in nicely into the role of designated player, having started a team-high 25 games in the position with Florida State posting a 16-9 mark. She is becoming one of the most reliable hitters on the team, having gone hitless for only two games twice during the year. Buckmon has a hit in five of the last six games to up her average to .278. She had a tremendous second game against Florida, tying a career-high with three hits while scoring a pair — including the game winner. She is the team leader with 11 sacrifice hits.
FSU Getting A Little More Home Runs, Not Enough Cowbell
After some big power numbers at the start of the year, the Seminoles had cooled off in the home run department, but recently the ball seems to be clearing the fence a little bit more. Florida State has five home runs in its last five games, it’s most productive five-game stretch of the year. Helping the power numbers were a pair of players getting off the home run schnide. Rookie third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) broke a 40-game slide without a home run by hitting a dinger in the final game versus Georgia Tech. Veronica Wootson stopped her 31-game drought with a bomb in each of the Florida games. As a team, the longest drought without a home run is eight games from the St. John’s contest to the second game versus FIU.
And Now For Something Completely Different, A Natasha Jacob Note
Piling on hits like the lunch lady piles on pasty mash potatoes, left fielder Natasha Jacob had another multiple-hit game against Florida — upping her FSU lead to 17 multi-hit games — going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and added another single in the nightcap to up her average to .361 on the year. Her work against the Gators moved her up to fifth among the league leaders for avereage. With eight at-bats during the twinbill she moved into ninth in school history with 698 at-bats. Jacob is second in the league this season with 52 hits, while also rating fourth at 15 steals.
Ground Rule Double (News & Notes):
Senior Natasha Jacob is the only player on the team to bat in the same position in the line-up all season having made 47 starts as the leadoff hitter. The next closest is Whitney Buckmon with 39-of-47 starts in the two hole… Veronica Wootson tied her career-high with three runs scored in the second game against Florida…With the game-winning double against Florida, shortstop Yuruby Alicart took over sole possession of sixth place on the FSU single-season charts with her 13th double of the year. The junior is tied for seventh with seven home runs and needs just six more RBIs to break into the top ten…Sophmore Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) shot her average up 25 points with her performance against Florida. The first baseman has seven hits in her last five games to boost her average by 57 points…Following this weekend’s trip to Commonwealth, the Seminoles will return home for their last six home games, then end the year by playing eight games on the road before traveling to North Carolina for the ACC Tournament.