May 15, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
In recognition of its selection to the NCAA Tournament, the Florida State University softball team will be honored Monday (May 15) as the spear on the Unconquered Statue in front of Doak Campbell Stadium will be lit at approximately 8:15 p.m. Seminole fans are welcome to join head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf and her team as they celebrate the accomplishment of being selected to play in the field of 64 teams who will compete for the 2006 National Championship.
The Seminoles will take part in the Athens, Ga., Regional at the University of Georgia and open play at 5 p.m. on Friday (May 19) against Coast Carolina, the champions of the Big South Conference. The host Bulldogs drew the No. 11 seed national and will take on Georgia Southern at 7:30 p.m.
Florida State earned its 19th-trip to the postseason, its seventh in a row, on Sunday. The Seminoles have won seven of their last 10 games, including a run to the title game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. FSU secured its 24th 40-win season over the weekend with a 6-0 triumph over No. 22 North Carolina State during the league summit. A record five ACC schools – Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech – were selected for the tournament with all five receiving number two seeds.
Unconquered, a 31-foot high sculpture that depicts a spear-brandishing Seminole astride a rearing horse was designed by Fritz White to capture the indomitable spirit of the Seminole people and those who have adopted that spirit as a symbol for their university.
Since its 2003 dedication, the spear has been set ablaze at sunset before FSU home football games only and it burns until sunrise the morning after the game. The new policy means the spear will be lit when FSU wins an Atlantic Coast Conference team championship in any sport, or an NCAA individual championship in any sport. In addition, the spear would be lit the night an FSU team is selected for NCAA Championship competition and will burn for 24 hours. For any sport in which the NCAA does not select full teams (currently swimming and track and field), the spear will be lit if five or more Florida State individuals qualify to compete. For sports with preliminary and final rounds of NCAA championships, if the team advances to the final site (i.e.: Final Four, College Cup, College World Series), the spear will be lit again to recognize the achievement.
The spear may also be lit to recognize the winning of a “National Player of the Year” award in any sport (i.e. Heisman Trophy, Rhodes Scholarship). The new policy will also allow the spear to be lit on the night of graduations and convocations, along with other special occasions as approved by the President.