May 5, 2006 - by
Seminole Softball Game Day: FSU Closes Regular Season At Maryland

May 5, 2006

Florida State at Maryland
Sat-Sun, May 6-7 • 1 p.m (DH)/1 p.m. • College Park, Md.
Terrapin Softball Complex (1,200)

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Saturday, May 6
Game One (1 p.m.) GameTracker
Game Two (3 p.m. approx) GameTracker

Sunday, May 7
Game One (1 p.m.)

Live Audio

Florida State (36-24, 8-9 ACC)
Home: 29-14
Away: 6-5
Neutral: 1-5
ACC: 8-9

Maryland (31-23, 6-11 ACC)
Home: 14-3 
Away: 7-13 
Neutral: 10-7 
ACC: 6-11

Base Hits (What You Need To Know):
• Florida State and Maryland have already met once this season with the Seminoles winning 6-5 during the Sunshine State Tournament on March 4.

• Overall, the Seminoles hold a 28-4-1 record against the Terrapins, including a 5-2 mark in College Park as well as a 16-3 lead in ACC games.

• Florida State needs just one win this weekend to get the fifth seed in next week’s ACC Tournament. FSU would then face Georgia Tech at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

• In throwing her ACC-leading 29th complete game against UCF, sophomore pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) moved into a tie for ninth in the country with her 24th win while ranking third in appearances (44) and second for innings pitched (254.0).

• Freshman pitcher Kayla Collins (Niceville, Fla.) picked up her first victory since beating Virginia on Tuesday when she shut down UCF 8-2 to help FSU get the doubleheader sweep of UCF. FSU went 11-2 versus teams from the state of Florida this year.

Brittany Osmon’s (San Diego, Calif.) hit her second home run in three games with a solo shot in game two at UCF. It was the 30th of the season for FSU.

Seminoles Travel To Maryland For Final Regular Season Games
Its hard to believe that season is winding down, but this weekend the Florida State University softball team will play its final regular season games. The Seminoles (36-24 overall, 8-9 ACC) travel to Maryland to take on the Terrapins (31-23, 6-11) in a three game set. The two teams play a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday (May 6) followed by a single 1 p.m. contest Sunday (May 7).

What’s The ACC Tournament Scenario?
The `90’s hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest won’t be needed to figure out the scenarios for the ACC Tournament. This weekend’s series between Florida State and Maryland is the last conference series of the year and will only determine the fifth and sixth seeds. All Florida State needs is one victory over the Terrapins to claim the fifth seed and earn the right to face No. 4 seed Georgia Tech in the opening round of the ACC Tournament at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday (May 11). If Maryland sweeps all three games this week, the Terrapins will hop the Seminoles in the standings, meaning FSU will be the sixth seed and face No. 3 Virginia Tech at 10 a.m.

FSU Make First Regular Season Trip To Maryland Since 2000
The Seminoles would like to forget their last trip to Maryland and think back to 2000 when they swept their last regular season games there. College Park was the site of last year’s ACC Tournament when the Seminoles went winless for the first in school history. Maryland bounced FSU from the league summit with a 2-1 victory. Florida State has never lost a series to the Terrapins and won 15 games in a row until Maryland prevailed 7-2 in the second game of last year’s series in Tallahassee.

Seminoles Rally To Beat Terrapins In First Meeting Of `06
Down 5-2 after the third inning, the Seminoles rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to prevail 6-5 over Maryland on March 4 during the Sunshine State Tournament. Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) came around to score the game winning run on a throwing error off a perfectly executed squeeze bunt from Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla.). Pitcher Tiffany McDonald came on in second and struck out seven batters over the final 5.1 innings to get the victory. Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) led the way with a 3-for-4 performance.

McDonald And Collins Strong In The Circle As FSU Sweeps UCF
Hurlers Tiffany McDonald and Kayla Collins shutout UCF for 13-of-14 innings as Florida State came away with a doublheader sweep on Tuesday (May 2). McDonald threw her league-leading 29th complete game for the 2-0 shutout in the opener, while Collins tied a career-best with eight strikeouts as FSU took game two 8-2. Natasha Jacob had three hits in the opener while Veronica Wootson and Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) added three each in the nightcap.

Semionoles Strong At The End Of Conference Play
Florida State always seems to know how to close out the league schedule. The last six season, the Seminoles have swept their final ACC series, including a 3-0 run against Virginia last year. Since the league went to a series format in 1994, Florida State has posted a 18-5 record in its last conference series. The only time FSU has been swept was 1996 when North Carolina took both games. Twice the Seminoles have played Maryland in their last series with a 3-1 mark against the Terrpains after a two-game sweep in 2001.

Just Win Baby!
For all the talk of the improved offensive numbers from last season, Florida State final improved in the one column that mattered the most: wins. The sweep of UCF gave Florida State 36 victories, moving it one past last year’s total, with three regular season games and at least two games in the ACC Tournament remaining. The Seminoles have also improved the number of home victories, non-conference wins and triumphs over ranked teams.Florida State is just four victories away from its 24th 40-win season.

FSU Passes 30 Home Run Mark, Still Looking For More Cowbell
The solo home run by Brittany Osmon in the second game of the UCF doubleheader was the 30th hit by the Seminoles this year and rates as the third-highest total in school history. In the two years with higher home run totals — 2002 (33) and 2004 (44) — Florida State ended its season at the College World Series. For the third year in a row, the Seminoles have three or more players with five home runs: Yuruby Alicart (10), Veronica Wootson (6) and Melissa Wood (5). The trio’s home run total is the third highest since 2002 with Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) and Wootson three dingers shy of the combined record set by Brandi Stuart (10) and Monique Marrier (9) in 2002.

Seminoles Not Only Stronger, But Faster In `06 During
Tuesday’s doubleheader at UCF, Florida State stole five bases to up its season total to 68, its highest total since swiping 99 during the 2003 campaign. For the third time in the last four years, the Seminoles have three players with ten or more steals, led by left fielder Natasha Jacob’s career-high 20 swipes. Her 20 steals are the most since Brandi Stuart swiped 36 in 2003. Right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) is three steals short of ten that would give FSU its first foursome – joining Whitney Buckmon (16) and Veronica Wootson (15) – of ten or more stolen bases since that 2003 campaign.

This Just In! Tiffany McDonald Has Thrown A Lot Of Innings
Not only has sophomore Tiffany McDonald been the top workhouse in the conference, but her performance this season has been one of the best in the country. The right-hander has thrown 63 percent (254.0-of-403.1) of FSU’s innings this year, which ranks her fifth in the nation for pitchers with over 200 innings. McDonald ranks second in the country for innings pitched (254.0) and third in appearances (44), trailing only Brittany Weil from Iowa at 257.1 innings and Weil and Tennessee’s Monica Abott at 46 appearances. She ranks ninth in the nation with 24 victories and her 255 strikeouts puts her in the top 20. McDonald is the league leader in complete games (29), starts (32), appearances and innings pitched.

McDonald Continues Climb Up Single Season Charts
The six-hit, complete game shutout by Tiffany McDonald at UCF moved her up a trio of single-season charts. The game was her 44th appearance, tying her with Toni Guttierez (1992) for fifth and the seven innings moved her one past Renee Espinoza (1996) for seventh at 254.0 innings. McDonald ran her strikeout total to 255, tying Leslie Malerich (2002) in seventh place. She needs 17 strikeouts to surpass the sophomore strikeout record of 271, set by Julie Larsen in 1986. Two more victories will tie McDonald with Malerich, Espinoza and Jennifer White-Stokes for tenth.

Just Get Her To The Fourth
The third inning has been the make-or-break inning for freshman pitcher Kayla Collins. In the eight of her 12 starts in which she’s gotten past the third inning, the right-hander has a 5-2 record and that doesn’t including the game against Florida in which she came out of the game in the fifth inning with the lead, only to get a no decision. In those eight starts when she gets to the fourth, Collins has thrown 50.1 innings with a 2.36 ERA, compared to her nine other appearances where she has an 11.24 ERA in 18.2 innings.

If The Breeze Gets Any Stronger We May Have To Get A Weatherman
Don’t look now, but sophomore Brittany Osmon may be getting hot at just the right time. Over the last three games, “The Breeze” is hitting .444 (4-of-9) with an outstanding 1.222 slugging percentage thanks to a pair of home runs. Osmon has also scored three runs and driven in five more.

And The Whistle Goes V-Woo-Woo!
In case you hadn’t noticed, and from the looks of it you haven’t, but second baseman Veronica Wootson is putting together a nice little second half of the season. Over the last 29 games, the junior All-America candidate is hitting a team-best .443 (39-of-88) with 18 runs scored, 21 RBIs and 13 extra base hits for a .716 slugging percentage. Wootson has had a hit in all but five of those 29 games including a 3-for-4 performance at UCF to up her average to .359 on the year, the highest its been since Feb. 22 when she cranked a pair of home runs in the first game of a doubleheader at Jacksonville.

Jacob Cracks ACC Top Ten For Hits, One Shy In Stolen Base Dept.
The single by Natasha Jacob in game two at UCF gave her 250 for her career and tied Georgia Tech’s Christine Sheridan for 10th in ACC history. The Yellow Jackets are off this weekend, giving Jacob the inside track to catch former Seminole Myssi Calkins in eighth – and fifth in school history – at 253 hits. Her next stolen base will be No. 65, equaling GT’s Lauren Schwartz and Heather Field from Virginia for ninth.

Ground Rule Double (News & Notes):
The second game against UCF was the 1,500 fastpitch game for Florida State head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf…Florida State ranks second nationally with 24 triples and Veronica Wootson is fourth on the individual charts at seven…FSU 2-0 win at UCF was just its second win (NC State 2-0) when scoring two runs or less since beating No. 10 Arizona State 1-0 on March 16. Ten of FSU’s last 12 wins have come when it scores four or more runs…Brittany Osmon’s eventual game winning home run was the first dinger to win a game since Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) hit a two-run bomb at Virginia.

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