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No. 25 Noles Face Important Road Test
Kelly Hensley has filled in nicely at second base.


Kelly Hensley has filled in nicely at second base.

April 9, 2013

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The 25th-ranked Florida State softball team heads back on the road for a mid-week matchup at No. 23 South Alabama on Wednesday, April 10 at Jaguar Field in Mobile, Ala. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.

The Seminoles (31-13) earned a spot back in the Top 25 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Poll after recording a three-game sweep over Boston College at home last Sunday. Florida State defeated the Eagles by a combined score of 21-3 over the three games, with two being shutouts.

Florida State is in for a tough test facing a Jaguars (34-7) team that shows the 18th-highest RPI in the nation and owns several quality wins, including a 12-5 victory over No. 13 LSU. The Seminoles lead the all-time series against South Alabama by a 3-1 score. The Jaguars upended Florida State last season in Tallahassee, winning 3-1 behind the pitching of junior Hannah Campbell.

"South Alabama always has a hard-working group that plays tough and relentless," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "This year they are having a spectacular season and host us as a Top 25 ballclub. We've got to keep our bats hot at the plate and give our pitchers some good run support and hopefully the rest takes care of itself."

The 2013 Seminoles are looking to become just the fourth team in school history to bat over .300. Florida State is currently hitting .312 and has not crossed the .300 threshold since batting a school-record .316 in 1995.

Senior outfielder Morgan Bullock leads the Seminoles in batting average in non-conference games, hitting .351 (30-for-85). Florida State is 21-11 overall in non-conference action, including 2-1 on the road.

Florida State ranks in the Top 25 nationally in four categories: Triples per game (3rd), slugging percentage (17th), scoring (22nd) and ERA (22nd). In Florida State's last victory on Sunday over Boston College, junior Courtney Senas recorded her team-leading 50th RBI of the season. She is the first Seminole to reach the 50-RBI mark since Yuruby Alicart recorded 54 in 2006.

Through 44 games played, the combination of pitchers Lacey Waldrop and Monica Perry have produced 13 shutouts this season for the Noles. Both pitchers were dominant recently against Boston College on April 6-7, as the Eagles were held to just three runs in three games which included two shutouts. However, with the additions of relievers Bailey Schinella and Jessica Nori, Florida State pitching has actually not allowed an earned run in 17 games this season.

A win over South Alabama would give the Seminoles their highest RPI victory of the season. Florida State is 10-10 against the Top 50 RPI, with its highest-rated wins coming against 30th-rated North Carolina. The Tar Heels are ranked 24th in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll.

Alameda is also searching for her 17th Top 25 win as a head coach at Florida State. The Noles have two Top 25 victories this season, both coming against then-No. 25 Hofstra.

South Alabama features a dominant pitching staff led by Campbell and Farish Beard. Campbell is 16-7 with a 1.00 ERA, while Beard holds an undefeated 15-0 record with a 2.20 ERA.

The Jaguars are batting .308 and are led by Brittany Fowler's .389 clip. Fowler also has totals of eight home runs and 27 RBIs. Haley Fagan is hitting .325 with seven home runs and a team-leading 35 RBIs.

Following the non-conference matchup, Florida State hosts Virginia for a Sunday-Monday series beginning with a doubleheader on April 14 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Seminoles face the Cavaliers in an ESPNU-televised contest on Monday, April 15 at 7 p.m.

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