March 1, 2012 - by

Softball Travels to the Aloha State

March 1, 2012







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HONOLULU, Hawaii (seminoles.com) – The 20th-ranked Florida State University softball team looks to continue its hot start as it faces No. 22 Hawaii, UC Santa Barbara and Radford on March 2-4 at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational Tournament at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

The Seminoles (15-0) prepare for tournament host Hawaii on March 3 at 10 p.m. ET/5 p.m. HT as well as March 6 at 11 p.m. ET/6 p.m. HT. FSU and the Rainbow Wahine (12-0) could also meet on March 4 in either the seeded matchup in tournament play, the championship game or consolation game.

FSU begins the tournament facing UC Santa Barbara out of the Big West on March 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. HT. The Seminoles and Gauchos (6-11) have never met before. FSU will also take on Big South opponent Radford (4-3) on March 3 at 6 p.m. ET/1 p.m. HT.

“This is going to be a great experience for our players and coaching staff,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We’ve got to make sure we can fight off the time change as we prepare to face three good ballclubs. Before we even play on Friday our preparation on Thursday at practice will be very important, and despite being in a beautiful place like Honolulu our players will be able to stay focused and look at accomplishing the task at hand.”

The Seminoles’ scheduled contest versus Hawaii on March 6, which is separate from the tournament, will air locally on OC Sports Channel 12 and Channel 1012 (HD). Fans outside of the Aloha State interested in watching that contest can log online at
oceanic.streaming.com and pay a small fee to see the game.

Live statistics for all of FSU’s games in Hawaii will be produced by Sidearm Stats at Hawaii’s official athletic website, hawaiiathletics.com.

The Seminoles and Rainbow Wahine do not have a series history. FSU’s strong pitching staff that features Monica Perry, Lacey Waldrop, Bailey Schinella and Jessica Nori will look to counter Hawaii’s impressive offense that is batting .375 and features six student-athletes with multiple home runs in 12 games played this season.

The FSU softball pitching staff is currently on a streak of allowing two runs or less in 13 consecutive games. In that time span, FSU has recorded four shutouts. The last team to score more than two runs versus the Seminoles was Ole Miss on Feb. 10. FSU defeated the Rebels 10-6.

FSU’s 15-game win streak is the team’s longest successful stretch since winning 27 straight games in 2003. In program history, there have been 15 different win streaks of 15 games or more, topping out with 32 straights win by the 1985 squad.

Playing some quality competition in the Aloha State over the next five days, Alameda will be seeking some important wins for her NCAA postseason resume. Since she took over the FSU softball program in 2009, Alameda has guided the Seminoles to 10 nationally-ranked wins against Top 25 opponents. Should FSU get one or more victories against No. 22 Hawaii, it would be her ninth-highest Top 25 victory since being FSU’s head coach.

Offensively, junior Tiffani Brown has been solid at the top of the lineup in 2012. Brown has reached base in 12 consecutive games dating back to FSU’s 8-0 victory over Tennessee Tech in game two of a doubleheader on Feb. 11. During that time she has batted .366 with one triple, eight RBIs, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. Brown’s longest streak of reaching base is 17 during her freshman season.

Approximately a quarter through the season, freshman catcher Erika Leonard has shown that she possesses plenty of plate discipline. The cleanup batter is on pace to shatter the FSU single-season record for walks, totaling 16. The school record is 49 by Brandi Stuart in 2002.

Redshirt freshman Maddie O’Brien is not too far behind, also showing a high total with 12 base on balls.

Following FSU’s trip to Honolulu, the Seminoles return home to JoAnne Graf Field for ACC-opening weekend as they host North Carolina State on March 10-11.

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