February 27, 2007 - by
No. 19 Seminole Softball Back At Home Wednesday To Host #9 Michigan

Feb. 27, 2007

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#19/20 Florida State vs. #9/13 Michigan
Wednesday, February 28 l Tallahasee, Fla. l 4 p.m. (DH)
JoAnne Graf Field at Seminole Softball Complex (1,000)

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Game One Game Tracker
Game Two Game Tracker

First Pitch (What You Need To Know):
• After a week on the road, the Florida State softball team returns to JoAnne Graf Field for a 4 p.m. doubleheader on Wednesday (Feb. 28) against No. 9 Michigan.

• Both games of Wednesday’s doubleheader will be broadcast through ACC Select streaming internet video. To watch log onto: http://fsu.playonsports.tv/.

• Wednesday is Pack The House Night with FSU Rally Waivers being handed out to the first 100 fans in attendance along with various other prizes throughout the games.

• The Seminoles went 3-2 during their trip last weekend to the NFCA Leadoff Classic with wins over No. 21 Nebraska, Mississippi State and Seton Hall.

• After producing three home runs in its first nine games, Florida State hit seven over the weekend in Columbus, Ga.

• Player of the Year candidate Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) hit a home run in three-straight games, including the game winner in the bottom of the ninth against Nebraska. She moved up to No. 3 on the FSU career list with 21 dingers.

• Junior pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) recorded 16 strikeouts over the weekend to move up to seventh in school history with 510 career strikeouts.

• Last year Florida State and Michigan met four times, which was more than Michigan played any Big Ten school and more than five ACC schools for the Seminoles.

• Second baseman Veronica Wootson and shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) were named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team.

Seminoles Make Brief Appearance At Home To Host #9 Michigan
In the midst of an unusual early season stretch where it only has one home date for two-straight weeks, the Florida State softball team is back at JoAnne Graf Field Wednesday (February 28) to play host to Michigan. The No. 19 Seminoles (11-3 overall) and No. 9 Wolverines (14-1) square off in a 4 p.m. doubleheader that can be viewed on streaming internet video through ACC Select.

FSU Trying To Break Six-Game Slide Versus Wolverines
Few teams have been a bigger pain in the side of the Seminoles than Michigan. After dropping all four meetings last season, Florida State has lost its last six games to the Wolverines, dating back to a 1-0 victory over UM during the 2004 season. Last year the two teams played a single game before meeting twice during the Sunshine State Tournament, including the championship game. Then, as fate would have it, the two teams met a little over a month later in the consolation bracket of the Judi Garman Classic. Junior Tiffany McDonald was on the hook for all four losses last year. FSU was close to taking the second meeting between the two schools as it held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Wolverines tacked on five runs to take the game. Last year Florida State only played Georgia Tech and NC State – five meetings each – more than Michigan and the Wolverines had no more than three games with any Big Ten school.

Seminoles Go 3-2 In Weekend Trip To NFCA Classic
It was a weekend of mix results for the Seminoles during their weekend at the 12th Annual NFCA Leadoff Classic. The three-day tournament started off strong for the Seminoles as they swept Friday’s action by taking a 2-1 decision in nine innings against No. 21 Nebraska and beating Mississippi State 4-2. Third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) and two-time All-American Veronica Wootson hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth to give FSU the victory. Day two looked like it was going to start off well as FSU took a 5-1 lead into the top of the seventh against Tennessee Tech, but the Seminoles gave up eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings to lose 9-8. Florida State rebounded by beating Seton Hall, 4-2, to get into the Silver Bracket. Despite an early lead, FSU dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 24 Southern Illinois on Sunday.

Wootson And Alicart Named To Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team
There were several good performances over the weekend by the Seminoles, but the long ball prowess of second baseman Veronica Wootson and shortstop Yuruby Alicart stood out a little more than others as they earned All-Tournament honors. The ACC headlined the tournament as Florida State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech joined Michigan with two recipients. The conference had three schools in the Gold and Silver Brackets as the Seminoles, Hokies and Yellow Jackets all went 3-1 during pool play. Wootson and Alicart are Florida State’s first NFCA All-Tournament selections since Tatiana George made it in 2005. The most the Seminoles have had on the All-Tournament team is four during the 2004 Leadoff Classic when Jessica van der Linden, Natasha Jacob, Tatiana George and Casey Hunter helped FSU to the championship game.

Seminole Digging The Long Ball
Even though it had scored 65 runs through the first two weeks of the seasons, the Seminoles were doing it by keeping the ball in the park as they had only three home runs through the first nine games. Florida State more than double its total over the weekend at the NFCA Leadoff Classic as it belted seven dingers in five games with a pair of multi-home run games. Leading the way was Player of the Year candidate Veronica Wootson as she hit a home run in each of the first three games – including a walk-off round tripper in the ninth against No. 21 Nebraska. Yuruby Alicart hit a pair – Mississippi State & Seton Hall – while Michelle Snyder – Nebraska – and LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) – Southern Illinois – added one each.

Alicart Starting To Heat Up At The Plate
When the level of competition goes up, shortstop Yuruby Alicart seems to elevate her game. Against the best teams Florida State has seen so far, the senior led the team with her .375 batting average (6-of-16) and produced two home runs and two doubles for an .875 slugging percentage. She finished tied for first among the tournament leaders with eight RBIs, while also finishing in the top five for hits (4th), doubles (5th), home runs (3rd) and total bases (3rd – 14). Her three-run home run against Seton Hall in the first inning held up to be the game winner. Alicart is the team leader with a trio of game winning RBIs and game winning runs. Her two home runs at NFCA moved her up to a tie with Monique Marier for eighth place in school history at 15 home runs and she needs two more doubles to tie three players for the number eight spot on that list. Alicart is on the ACC top ten for home runs (7th – 3), doubles (7th – 4) and RBIs (4th – 16).

Wootson Continues Player Of The Year Campaign
With some of the best teams in the country on hand, Veronica Wootson made sure folks took notice of her bid to win USA Softball Player of the Year honors. The two-time All-American led the tournament with three home runs and 17 total bases as she added a double for a team-best .895 slugging percentage. In addition, she rated fourth at the NFCA Leadoff Classic at seven base hits. Three weeks into the season she ranks first in the conference with her two triples, ten stolen bases and 20 runs scored. She is also among the ACC leaders with a .378 batting average (eighth), three home runs (seventh), 32 total bases (seventh) and .711 slugging percentage (tenth).

Seminole Pitching Staff Is Tops In The ACC
It has truly been a team effort for the Florida State pitching staff as it has made its way to the top of the conference with an ACC-best 1.62 ERA through the first three weeks of the season. Leading the way for the staff is senior Tiffany McDonald, who is second in the league with her 0.74 ERA but is also followed in sixth place by Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) at 2.14 and a 2.18 rate by freshman Terese Gober (McDonough, Ga.). FSU has the distinction of being the only team in the conference to boost four pitchers with two or more wins, top by the rookie Gober’s four wins, which rates her sixth.

Gilmore Girl
While there may have been lofty expectation for sophomore transfer Jessica Gilmore (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) given that her resume includes a spot on the US Junior National Team and starting as a freshman at Georgia., but one has to remember that because of knee injury she hadn’t seen live for an entire year. Just like she did against the SEC when she was at UGA, as she saw better pitching this weekend at the NFCA Leadoff Classic she stared doing better at the plate. Gilmore was third on the team last weekend as she went 4-for-12 (.333) with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. While it might not seem like much, the four hits upped her average by more than a 100 points.

Collins Performing In The Circle And At The Plate
When given the chance to play, wether in the circle or at the plate, all sophomore Kayla Collins (Niceville, Fla.) has done is succeed. She is 2-0 on the year after throwing a career-high 10 strikeouts against Seton Hall. In her lone at-bat against Tennessee Tech, she poked a pinch-high single up the middle. Collins has a 2.40 ERA and .667 average (2-for-3).

Newcomers Playing A Big Role
Even though Florida State brought back a lot of offensive experience this season, the newcomers are still making big contributions. Senior transfer Brittany Krbec (Orlando, Fla.) is second on the team with a .368 batting average. Freshmen Courtney Rosen (Sugarland, Texas) and Amanda Moore (Niceville, Fla.) have come in to be two top pinch runners as they have scored eight runs between the two of them. Freshman pitcher Terese Gober ranks in the top ten of several ACC categories, including her 2.18 ERA.

Rookies Wynn And Ahrberg Making Big Contributions
The jump to college has been a pretty smooth one so far for freshmen Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.) and Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.). Wynn was fourth on the team in hitting over the weekend and rates third overall with a .364 rate. She has shown off a strong arm in the outfield with three assists. Ahrberg is one of only four players to start all 14 games and she has a .325 average. The rookie backstop is also third on the team with 11 RBIs and has thrown out four of the seven runners that have tried to steal against her.

Seminoles Flashing The Leather
Hitting and pitching haven’t been the only areas Florida State has improved on through the first two weeks of the season. The Seminoles defense – which ranked last in the ACC in 2004 – has made big strides through the first two weeks of `07. Last year at this point, FSU had a .948 fielding percentage, only turned four double plays and only had one outfield assist. So far this season, the Seminoles have improved their fielding percentage to .952 but have turned eight double plays, which is more than 25 percent of last year’s double play total, with five outfield assists.

News and Notes:
Catcher Robin Ahrberg hit her first collegiate triple against Seton Hall on Saturday to tie for first among the tournament leaders … Even though she only threw to the final batter in the Seton Hall game, Tiffany McDonald received a save – the sixth of her career – as she tied Leslie Malerich for second in school history. Her next save will tie her with Casey Hunter for the school record and she is five away from the NCAA career list … Beside trying to snap it’s four-game losing streak to Michigan, Florida State is looking for its first win over a Big Ten school since downing Michigan State 4-1 at the 2005 NFCA Leadoff Classic. All-time FSU is 51-21 against the league and 49-14 when you remove Michigan … So far this season Florida State has had two home runs hit in the same inning twice, compared to last year when it only happened twice all season. The 2005 team did it three times and the 2004 squad pulled it off on four occasions …

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