March 12, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 22nd-ranked Florida State University softball team prepares for another non-conference matchup at home when it faces the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field.
The single-game contest features one of FSU’s six reigning NCAA Tournament opponents this season in the Lady Mocs (14-8, 3-0). The Seminoles (20-3, 3-0) have faced one opponent so far which made the 2011 NCAA Championship in North Dakota State, defeating the Bison 2-1 in Tallahassee on Feb. 18.
“Chattanooga is a very strong program,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “They’ve won multiple Southern Conference titles in a row and have quality experience but also some good youth that will make them tough to beat now and down the road. They’ve shown this year they can hit very well and will give our pitching a challenge on Tuesday.”
FSU is 8-0 all-time against Tennessee-Chattanooga, last playing the Lady Mocs in the Tuscaloosa Regional in 2008. FSU won the contest, 5-3.
With their victory over N.C. State on Sunday, the Seminoles reached the 20-win mark and now boast a 20-3 record for the season. The 23 games it took FSU to reach the 20-win mark is the fastest since the 2010 squad needed just 22 games to reach 20 wins, showing a 20-2 record.
In the program’s illustrious history, the 2012 Seminoles are tied for the sixth-fastest team in school history in generating 20 wins. The 1992 squad, one of seven to make it to the Women’s College World Series, achieved 20 wins in 20 games for a 20-0 mark to hold the school record. It took the 1986 (20-1) and 1993 (20-1) teams 21 games, followed by the 1981 (20-2) and 2010 (20-2) teams.
The Seminoles’ stellar pitching continues to lead the way in 2012. In two starts last weekend versus N.C. State, redshirt junior pitcher Monica Perry did not allow a run in 11 innings pitched and walked just one of her 37 batters faced. She held the Wolfpack to a .083 batting average in aiding the Seminoles to an important conference-opening sweep.
Redshirt freshman Maddie O’Brien has swung a hot bat as of late, going 6-for-14 at the plate with two home runs and 10 RBIs in her last five games played. Also getting on base consistently has been freshman Erika Leonard, who is on pace to break FSU’s single-season walks record of 49 held by Brandi Stuart in 2002. Leonard has 23 walks in 23 games played this season.
Tennessee-Chattanooga shows a .345 team batting average, highlighted by junior infielder Sara Poteat’s .487 clip in 22 games played. Five position starters are batting .346 or better, including junior Kasey Tydingco and her team-leading six home runs and 25 RBIS.
In the circle, UTC is paced by pitcher Taylor Deason and her 9-3 record with a 2.23 ERA. In 10 games started, Deason has tossed seven complete games this season and also has one save in seven relief appearances.
Michelle Fuzzard is the other UTC pitcher who has earned time, showing a 5-5 record with a 2.78 ERA. Both pitchers have combined to hold the opposition to a .249 batting average this season.
Tuesday’s non-conference matchup can be followed on CBS GameTracker, as well through the team’s official Twitter handle – @FSU_Softball.