TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the first time, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference will compete in a softball challenge between member schools, much like the current successful challenges with men’s and women’s basketball. For 2016, No. 13 Florida State (5-1) has been chosen as a host site and will welcome No. 2 Michigan (4-1), No. 20 Minnesota (3-2) and Virginia Tech (1-4) for the three-day tournament on February 19-21.
Georgia Tech, NC State and North Carolina will also host the four-team challenge this weekend. At each site, each ACC school will play two games against each of the Big Ten schools over the course of the weekend. FSU will face Michigan on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 5:00 p.m., followed by Minnesota on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
“It will be a good opportunity for us this weekend to compete against solid pitching for four games,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Also, a good opportunity as pitchers to go against very veteran and experienced hitters. It is a postseason-type weekend that couldn’t be a better test for us.
“I think it is great for the whole conference to have this Big Ten rivalry going on. We’re a great conference and they’re a great conference and to get those battles second week in is outstanding for all of us.”
The Seminoles are 6-21 all-time against Michigan, dating back to 1990. All six wins have come in Tallahassee, including the game three victory in the 2014 NCAA Super Regionals that sent FSU to the Women’s College World Series.
FSU holds a 5-1 advantage over the Gophers in the all-time series. The Noles defeated Minnesota, 4-3, in their most recent meeting in 2013.
All FSU games on the weekend will be broadcast on ESPN3. Jonathan Schillace will provide play-by-play coverage for all four games while there will be a rotation among the color commentators. Three-time NFCA All-American and 2014 USA Softball National Player of the Year Lacey Waldrop will be on the call for Friday’s game against Michigan. All-American and ACC Player of the Year honoree Maddie O’Brien will fill in for both FSU games on Saturday. Former softball star at Merrimack College and current FSU Associate Director of Event Management Alex Gallant will cover the final game on Sunday afternoon.
Admission is free for all regular season games at JoAnne Graf Field and live stats will also be available on Seminoles.com.
Follow Florida State softball on Twitter (@FSU_Softball) and Instagram (fsusoftball), and like our Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUsoftball) to keep up to date with everything about Seminole softball.