Jan. 24, 2001
Tallahassee, FL - The Florida State softball team will open the 2001 season ranked 17th after receiving 210 votes in the first USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll of the season. The Seminoles finished the 2000 season with a mark of 51-27 and ended up two wins away from their sixth College World Series appearance. The 2000 season marked the 12th 50-win season for Florida State and the team finished the year ranked No. 17.
"I think this is a good place for us to start the 2001 season," said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. "I think the No. 17 ranking is representative of the way we finished last season and we are excited to be in the top 20. One of our goals will be to work our way into the top 10 during the course of the season."
Florida State was the only ACC team to enter the 2001 season in the top 25 although North Carolina also received votes in the first poll of the year. The Seminoles will face at least two opponents ranked in the preseason top 15. FSU will face No. 14 Cal State Fullerton in the Sand Diego State Tournament March 10 and then turn around four days later and take on No. 12 Nebraska March 14 at the Seminole Softball Complex. The Seminoles could also match-up with the 11th-ranked Michigan Wolverines who travel to Tallahassee for the Tallahassee Democrat/Lady Seminole Invitational March 16-18. FSU will face two teams ranked just outside of the top 25 also. On February 23, the Seminoles will travel to Boca Raton to take part in the Worth Invitational where they will face the 26th-ranked FAU Owls and they will then play host to No. 29 Massachusetts March 19 at the Seminole Softball Complex.
"Obviously it is good to play a lot ranked teams and playing teams that are ranked ahead of us gives us the opportunity to move up in the polls as the season progresses," said Graf. "I think it is also important to face some teams in our region that are either ranked or receiving votes. Florida, Florida Atlantic and North Carolina are all opponents that are receiving votes in the first poll. I think there is a good representative sample of the nation's best teams on our schedule this year."
The Seminoles open their season Saturday, February 3 with a doubleheader at Georgia Southern before returning home for a date with FAMU at the Tomahawk Bash Tournament.