June 5, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla –
As it turns out, Veronica Wootson’s seventh-inning single against Alabama in the NCAA Tournament will not be her final competitive at-bat. The three-time All-American has been picked up by the Akron Racers of the National Pro Fastpitch league. In addition, she collected her second All-America award of the year with an Easton Second-Team selection.
Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) will be the 15th Seminole that has either played or been drafted by a professional softball team. Former All-American pitchers Leslie Malerich and Casey Hunter currently play for Connecticut Brakettes. All-American second baseman Brandi Stuart played for Akron during the 2004 season.
There will be little down time for Wootson as the 40-game schedule starts on Thursday (June 7) as the Racers take on the Chicago Bandits. The Bandits feature former Georgia Tech players Jessica Sallinger and Caitlin Lever as well as USA National Team pitcher Jenny Finch.
“Being invited to play on any professional team is an honor in and of itself,” Wootson said. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity and excited to play for the Racers; we have so many great players and I just hope I can help the team. After the Alabama game I was sad that I was finished playing at FSU, but I love the game of softball and Akron has given me an opportunity to keep doing something I love and I’m very thankful for that.”
Wootson picked up the final award of her collegiate career last week as she was named a Second-Team All-American by Easton. The award is given out to players from those schools that use Easton equipment. Last year Wootson was a First-Team All-America selection by the company.
The senior second baseman was the first FSU freshman to earn NFCA All-America accolades in 2004 with her Second-Team honor and last season she garnered a First-Team award. Prior to Wootson, the only player in school or ACC history to earn three All-America awards was outfielder Shamalene Wilson (1994-96).
A starter in all 273 games that she played in, Wootson stamped her name in the NCAA, ACC and Florida State record books. Her 875 at-bats are a conference record and rank her 13th in NCAA lore while her 199 runs is second in the ACC, 23rd in the nation. In addition, she is 5th for hits (282), seventh for triples (22), eight in stolen bases (78) and nine for home runs (29).
Within the Florida State charts she ranks in ten different offensive and fielding categories, which trails only Stuart for the most top ten rankings. Wootson is in the top five of nine of those categories, including a school-record 29 home runs. In addition, she ranks second in triples, runs and doubles (41) while placing third for RBIs (141) and hits (282).
The Seminoles return seven players next year that started 45 or more games, including its top five hitters. For the second year in a row the Seminoles bring back their entire pitching staff that dropped the staff ERA by almost a full run from a year ago. Graf has signed four letters to National Letters Intent, including infielders Kristie McConn and Ashley Stager who will try to carry on FSU’s middle infield legacy.