February 17, 2006 - by
Seminole Game Day: FSU Softball Plays Host To Seminole Classic

Feb. 17, 2006

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Florida State hosts Seminole Classic
Friday-Saturday (Feb. 17-18) • Tallahassee, Fla.
JoAnne Graf Field at The Seminole Softball Complex (1,000)

Tournament Central
Live Audio

Tournament Schedule 
Friday, Feb. 17
ISU vs. USC , 12 pm GameTracker
USC vs. FSU, 2 pm GameTracker
FSU vs. ISU, 4 pm GameTracker

Saturday, Feb. 18
USC vs. ISU, 12 pm GameTracker
FSU vs. USC, 2 pm GameTracker
USC vs. FSU, 4 pm GameTracker

Florida State (4-1)
Home: 4-1
Away: 0-0
Neutral: 0-0
ACC: 0-0

South Carolina (5-2) 
Home: 2-0 
Away: 1-0 
Neutral 2-2 
SEC: 0-0

Iowa State (18-32) – 2005 Record
Home: 7-8
Away: 4-14
Neutral: 7-10
Big 12: 3-15

Base Hits (What You Need To Know):
• Florida State has won its last four games, including two of them by run rule — 11-3 over Nicholls State and 10-2 against Georgia Southern.

• Sophomore pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) picked up the victory in both games against Georgia Southern, striking out 19 batters in 12 innings.

• The magical run for outfielder Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) came to an end against GSU as her hit streak stopped at 28 games.

• Florida State owns a 28-19 record against the two teams in the Seminole Classic, with a 20-19 mark versus South Carolina and an 8-0 record against Iowa State.

Nine-Game Home Stand Wraps Up With Seminole Classic
Riding a four-game winning streak, the Florida State University softball team plays host to its second tournament of the season this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 17-18) with Seminole Classic. The Seminoles (4-1 overall) will take on South Carolina (5-2) at 2 p.m. both days followed by a 4 p.m. contests with Iowa State (0-0). The Gamecocks are coming off a doubleheader sweep of Winthrop while the Cyclones are playing their first games of the season. Originally, Minnesota was suppose to be the fourth team in the tournament but the Gophers had to back out because of a scheduling conflict.

FSU Streaking After Doubleheader Sweep
The 2006 season is just over a week old, but the Seminoles already have a chance to match a season best from the 2005. A pair of wins on Friday would equal FSU’s best winning streak from a year ago when it won six-straight games. The six-game stretch started with a 2-0 win over Maryland on April 17 and included sweeps of Florida A&M and Virginia. The streak ended with a 5-3 loss May 1 at Troy.

McDonald Is Golden In Doubleheader Sweep of Georgia Southern
After a rocky first start, sophomore pitcher Tiffany McDonald has been outstanding in her last four appearances. Tuesday against Georgia Southern, she had her best outing since throwing a no-hitter against Jacksonville on March 30, 2005. The right-hander picked up the victory in both games versus the Eagles and struck out 19 batters on the day. Game one saw her come in just three batters into the contest, but she was lights out with six strikeouts against the first seven batters. She finished the game with a career-high 11 strikeouts. In the nightcap she limited Georgia Southern to just two hits and struck out eight more batters to collect her third win of the year. This season she has 30 strikeouts and her ERA has dropped nearly three runs in the last three games to 3.79.

Run-Rule, Not The Exception
Two of FSU’s four wins this season have been by run rule — Nicholls State (11-3) and game two against GSU (10-2) — equalling the number of run-rule victories from 2005. Last year the Seminoles’ second run-rule victory didn’t come until the 55th game of the season when they beat BYU 12-3 on May 6. The 2006 squad is the seventh-fastest to collect two run-rule victories behind 1984 & 2004 (2), 1992 & 2000 (3) and 1988 & 96 (4).

Jacob’s Hitting Streak Peaks At 28 Games
All good things must come to an end. For outfielder Natasha Jacob the end of her hitting streak came in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. The senior went 0-for-2 with a walk as her streak stopped at 28 games, an ACC record and the 11th longest in NCAA history. During the streak, which started on April 3, 2005, at Virginia Tech, she hit .426 (40-of-94) with 18 runs scored, had a .440 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .484. While Jacob was in the midst of her streak, only two Seminoles (Veronica Wootson (7) and Brittany Osmon (5) had hitting streak of five games or more.

Wootson Has Been Hot At The Plate
No one scorched the Georgia Southern pitching more than second baseman Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.). The junior All-America candidate was a blistering 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in the opener. Wootson went 1-for-2 with a run scored and two RBIs in the night cap to give her a four hits, two runs scored and three RBIs on the day. She also stole a pair of bases to up her total to a team-best three swipes. Wootson has a 1.000 slugging percentage and .588 on-base percentage in the early part of the season.

Just Five Games In, Seminoles Already Showing Improvement
It might be a bit early to start making comparisons, but if the early returns are any indication, the 2006 season is going to be a revival of the offensive firepower that has been the norm the last few years. The Seminoles have improved on last season’s numbers in virtually every category, including the most important stat: wins. One big telltale sign, Florida State has two more hits than at this point last season, but in 16 fewer at-bats. Given FSU’s current .330 batting average, 16 at-bats means almost five more hits.

Pitching Coach Megan Matthews Buning Faces Alma Mater
This is probably the only weekend of the season where pitching coach Megan Matthews Buning is concerned about how the opposition is doing. The reason for that is Matthews Buning pitched for South Carolina from 1999-2002. An All-American in 1999, she holds school records for appearances (194), strikeouts (1,090) and innings pitched (1110.1).

Davis Is Making The Most Of Scoring Opportunities
Taking full advantage of her speed on the bases, nearly every time right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) has reached first base this season, she has come around to score a run. The All-America candidate leads the team with six runs scored and has scored 66.7 percent of the time she has reached base with four hits, four walks and one hit-by-pitch. All six of her runs have come in the last three games, including a career-high three against Nicholls State (2/11) and two more in the Georgia Southern nightcap (2/14). The junior’s .563 on-base percentage rates second on the team and her .364 average is fifth.

Seminoles Have Sweet Valentine’s Day With Doubleheader Sweep
After rebounding to win two in row following a season-opening loss, the Seminoles continued their hot streak with a doubleheader sweep of Georgia Southern on Valentine’s Day. Florida State rallied from two-runs down to take the opener, 3-2, then had an offensive explosion for a 10-2 run-rule victory in five innings. Last season FSU only had three doubleheader sweeps and their first one didn’t come until the second month of the season against Maine (March 2).

The Eagles chased FSU starter Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) out of the first inning of game one with two runs, but Tiffany McDonald was strong in relief. The Seminoles tied the game with runs in the first and fourth then won on single in the fifth. Game two featured a strange first inning that took 40 minutes in which GSU pitchers walked six batters, including four in a row, but only gave up two hits as FSU scored nine runs.

Infield Fly Rule (News and Notes)
Dr. JoAnne Graf is four wins away from becoming the second coach in NCAA history to reach 1,100 wins…Even though she only has two hits during the first five games, shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) knows how to make them count as both have driven in the game-winning run…27 of FSU’s 34 runs have come in either the first (10), third (9) or fourth innings (8)…Pitcher Tiffany McDonald has appeared in all five games this year and factored into the decision in all of them with three wins, one loss and one save…Sisters Robyn and Kim Petrovich (Plantation, Fla.) are the first siblings to get into a game for FSU since 2003 when Shandra and Shundra Colzie played together.

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