TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The long offseason has finally to an end as Team 35 begins its fall team practice on Friday to begin the 2017-2018 season of Florida State softball. Along with that, head coach Lonni Alameda has announced the fall exhibition schedule as the Seminoles will be playing eight games throughout October and November.
“It’s been great to be back with the team and to see how ready everyone is to get back out on the field,” said Alameda. “Each year is a new team with a new fingerprint, and that is what we try to build during the fall. Creating a strong foundation of fundamentals and our identity as a team, so that when we come back in the spring, we can hit the ground running and build off of that.
“Really excited about all the new faces and looking forward to growing this family and see where the next nine months take us.”
The Seminoles return 14 players from the 2017 team that won its fourth consecutive ACC Championship and 15th overall, and reached the NCAA Super Regionals for the fifth straight season.
Senior All-Americans Jessie Warren and Morgan Klaevemann highlight a returning offense that set program records in batting average (.329), home runs (71) and slugging percentage (.544). Warren enters the 2018 season as the NCAA career active leader in home runs (62), RBI (203), runs scored (185) and total bases (451).
Redshirt junior Meghan King looks to take the next step in her development as the two-time All-ACC First Team member looks to take over the pitching staff after the departure of All-American Jessica Burroughs. King posted a 27-3 record in 2017, with a 1.50 ERA and three saves, striking out 129 batters over 182.0 innings.
Incoming freshmen Sydney Sherrill, Savanna Copeland, Raquelle Benavides, Mackenzie Puckett and Madison Kennedy, along with redshirt senior Kylee Hanson – an All-American pitcher who competed for three years at Florida Atlantic – make up the newcomers to the 2018 Seminole softball team.
Remaining with the team, but no longer in a playing capacity, are Ellie Cooper and Sydney Broderick. Cooper has taken a graduate assistant position with the team and Broderick will be a student manager as she remains in Tallahassee to finish her bachelor’s degree after transferring from BYU in 2015.
Also new to the FSU softball coaching staff is volunteer assistant coach, Kendra Lynch. Lynch comes to Florida State after an outstanding four-year career at North Carolina, where the dual-threat pitcher and outfielder earned NFCA Second Team All-American honors in 2017 after batting .374 with 21 home runs and 68 RBI at the plate and posting a record of 11-4 in the circle as the Tar Heels reached the NCAA Regional finals.
The 2017 fall schedule begins on the road in Athens, Ga., as the Seminoles will head to Georgia for an exhibition game on October 7, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Next up is a game against Florida on October 21 in Plantation, Fla., at the Rising Stars Tournament. The Noles and Gators will face off at 6:00 p.m.
The next four games are all at home at JoAnne Graf Field, beginning on October 27 against Thomas University. Beginning with a Garnet and Gold scrimmage at 3:00 p.m., the Seminoles and Night Hawks will play at 5:00 p.m. The Noles will play their third exhibition against an SEC school on Sunday, October 29, as Mississippi State comes to town for a game at 9:30 a.m.
The following weekend sees the final two home exhibition games, beginning on Friday, November 3 at 6:00 p.m. against Northwest Florida State, and ending on Sunday, November 5 at 1:00 p.m. versus Pensacola State. Both games will be preceded by a Garnet and Gold scrimmage that will begin two hours prior to game time.
Florida State will wrap up the fall season in Marianna, Fla., with a pair of games at Chipola College on November 10. The Noles and Indians will play at 4:00 p.m. ET, and FSU will close out the day against Embry-Riddle at 6:00 p.m. ET.
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2017 FSU Softball Fall Schedule
Saturday, October 7 – at Georgia (Athens, Ga.) – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 21 – vs. Florida (Plantation, Fla.) – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, October 27 – Garnet and Gold Scrimmage – 3:00 p.m.
Friday, October 27 – Thomas University – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 29 – Mississippi State – 9:30 a.m.
Friday, November 3 – Garnet and Gold Scrimmage – 4:00 p.m.
Friday, November 3 – Northwest Florida State – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 5 – Garnet and Gold Scrimmage – 11:00 a.m.
Sunday, November 5 – Pensacola State – 1:00 p.m.
Friday, November 10 – at Chipola (Marianna, Fla.) – 4:00 p.m. ET
Friday, November 10 – vs. Embry-Riddle (Marianna, Fla.) – 6:00 p.m. ET
(Home games in BOLD)