Jan. 22, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The Florida State softball team heads into its much anticipated season with a national ranking, being picked 25th in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 preseason poll, announced on Tuesday by the NFCA.
The Seminoles are expecting another strong season considering they return all four of their stellar pitchers from a season ago while bringing back starters from nearly every position. Florida State had not been preseason ranked in the USA Today/NFCA poll since earning a No. 23 spot on Jan. 26, 2010.
"Earning a preseason ranking is always nice because it shows that there are expectations," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "We are focused on our outcome at the end of the season and the journey we experience during it. I'm impressed with the work ethic and skill that this team has and hopefully it translates into wins throughout the year."
Florida State awaits its first pitch of the season on Friday, Feb. 8 against cross-town opponent Florida A&M at 6 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field. The game kicks off the Panhandle Invitational that weekend, as the Seminoles also play host to North Florida, Bethune-Cookman and Jacksonville. Last season, Florida State finished 9-2 against Florida-based opponents.
Included in the preseason Top 25 are seven regular-season opponents: No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 10 LSU, No. 14 Florida, No. 16 Washington, No. 20 Hofstra, No. 21 Stanford and No. 22 North Carolina. The Seminoles' home games include a doubleheader against LSU on April 3, Florida on April 17, Hofstra on Feb. 16 and North Carolina on March 23-24.
Florida State has neutral-site contests versus Washington and NCAA national runner-up Oklahoma in Palm Springs, Calif. on Feb. 22 and 23, respectively. The Seminoles also play Stanford at the same site on Feb. 24, with all three games being part of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
The Tar Heels and Seminoles were the lone schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference to be placed in the preseason Top 25. Georgia Tech (29) and Virginia Tech (11) each received votes.
Be sure to follow the Seminole softball team on its official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUSoftball) as well as on Twitter at @FSU_Softball