Feb. 4, 2005
Following is a series of weekly notes and quotes on Seminoles.com examining each Florida State softball player, position-by-position. Twice a week until the season opens on Feb. 9, we’ll preview different positions. Today: Infield
The infield is anchored by four returning starters including second team NFCA All-American Veronica Wootson (sophomore) at second base, four-year shortstop starter Tatiana George, senior second team NFCA All-Southeast Region member Lesley Palmer at third base, and junior utility player, Kim Hoffer, who started 61 games in 2004. George and Palmer combined to miss a total of 37 starts last season with a fractured wrist and torn ACL, respectively, but both are fully recovered as they enter their final year of play.
Around The Horn-
Wootson enjoyed nothing short of a spectacular rookie season as she became the first Seminole to ever be named an All-American in her freshman campaign. Last week, she and teammate Casey Hunter were named to the 2005 USA Softball National Player of the Year Watch List.
Hoffer split time at shortstop and third base for an injured George and Palmer during the 2004 campaign and she can play at any position on the field. Look for her to back up the two as well as playing at first base.
First base will feature a rookie starter as All-ACC standout Beth Wade was lost to graduation. The top preseason candidate to play at
first is left-handed freshman Brittany Osmon who is native of San Diego, Calif.
Also competing for playing time in the infield is second baseman Robyn Petrovich. The freshman has a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at FSU as her mother, the former Natalie Drouin, played softball at Florida State and was a 1982 All-American. This is the first mother-daughter duo that Graf has coached in her 27 seasons at the university.
The five returning position players fielded an average of .928 during the 2004 campaign.
According To Coach Graf:
“I think defense is one of our strongest points, and we have a great group of starters and back-ups at every position. We will have to replace two outstanding seniors in Elisa Vasquez at catcher and Beth Wade at first base, but I feel confident in the players we have that they will step up to the challenge.
“As for the infield, Kim Hoffer will be the backup to everyone. She is very good and understands her role and will find playing time at first, shortstop and third base. Brittany Osmon plays first base and she has to learn maturity and confidence on the field like any freshman that moves into a starting role. I am confident she will adjust pretty quickly.
“Veronica Wootson is back at second base and she had an outstanding season last year. She is very enthusiastic and pushes herself everyday in practice and is always looking to get better. Robyn Petrovich is the backup at second base, but she will be used more for spot duty like pinch running and so forth. Also, she has become our third catcher and has done a good job as a bullpen catcher.
“Tatiana George is at shortstop and she is very experienced. Over the last few years Tatiana has suffered injuries, but right now she is healthy so that is something positive. The final infielder is Lesley Palmer, our third baseman, and she is coming back from ACL surgery and is about 95 percent ready right now. Lesley’s conditioned a lot, so she is quicker and we expect a big year out of her.”