March 22, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The Florida State softball team has an important weekend coming up as it hosts conference rival North Carolina in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 23, followed by a single game on Sunday at JoAnne Graf Field.
Saturday's twinbill begins at a revised time of 9 a.m., with the first game being streamed on ESPN3.com. Play-by-play will be done by Tom Block while former Seminole softball player Robin Ahrberg will provide the color analysis. The second game of the doubleheader is expected to begin around 11 a.m., while the Sunday contest is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. as well.
"Whenever Florida State and UNC play you know it's always going to be a battle," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "We were both picked to finish right at the top of our conference and we've had some real nail-biters in the last few seasons. This should be an excellent weekend for our fans to see some real quality softball and we'll need a good crowd for every game to help us against one of our biggest rivals."
In the ACC preseason coaches' poll, North Carolina edged Florida State as the preseason conference favorite by one vote (45-44). Both the Tar Heels (21-10, 3-0) and Seminoles (24-9, 3-0) enter the weekend as the only teams in the ACC with unblemished 3-0 conference records. Florida State swept NC State on the road on March 9-10 while UNC swept Boston College at home in the same time frame.
The two ACC rivals have been playing each other since 1984. Overall, the Seminoles lead the all-time series 56-23. Since both schools have been in the ACC, the Noles lead the rivalry 30-17.
Last season, Florida State won an intense regular-season series at JoAnne Graf Field. The Noles took two of three in the series as pitcher Monica Perry came up big by posting a 2-0 record with a 2.00 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched.
In recent seasons the Tar Heels have been pesky for the Noles in Tallahassee. UNC has won three of the last four series played at JoAnne Graf Field dating back to 2006.
The Noles defeated Auburn on the road this past Tuesday, 6-3. Freshman first baseman Victoria East was clutch for Florida State by going 3-for-4 with a huge three-run home run, a single and double with three RBIs. East is carrying an eight-game hit streak dating back to the first game of the March 12 doubleheader against FIU. In that time frame, she is batting .379 with three doubles and 10 RBIs.
The Tar Heels are an excellent offensive unit led by two hitters batting .375 apiece. Senior first baseman Constance Orr and senior outfielder Tisha Mahon have sparked UNC at the plate. The Tar Heels are batting .316 overall and boast eight everyday players batting above .300.
The top pitcher for UNC once again is junior Lori Spingola, who is 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA. Spingola has proven to be a strikeout pitcher in her career, totaling 140 K's in her 121.2 innings pitched this season. Teammate Ashley Bone is 5-1 with a 3.42 ERA.
UNC owns a road victory over LSU, which happened on Feb. 10 with the Heels winning 3-1. UNC also earned a Top 25 win over Baylor in Tempe, Ariz. on March 1, defeating the Bears 3-0.
Follow all of this weekend's action via live statistics on CBS GameTracker. In-game updates can be access on the Florida State softball official Twitter handle - @FSU_Softball.