April 11, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The 21st-ranked Florida State University softball team begins the second game of its five-game homestand with a matchup versus upstart South Alabama on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field.
The game will be streamed on Seminoles.com All-Access. Following the contest, the "Home Wrecker Home Run Derby" brought to you by Moe's Southwest Grill will begin with interested participants having chances to win up to $150 in Moe's gift cards. Details and a flyer of the event are posted on Seminoles.com.
"Thursday night should be a really enjoyable outing for our fans," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "We've got a good opponent in South Alabama coming to town, and the home run derby following the game will be a lot of fun and offers some great prizes courtesy of Moe's."
Florida State is 3-0 all-time against the Jaguars (24-12, 11-5), who have been a difficult opponent to face this season. USA lost a pair of one-run ballgames on the road at nationally-ranked LSU, and recently lost three close games on the road at eighth-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette over the weekend. Florida Atlantic, which is second in the Sun Belt Conference, lost two of three to USA in Boca Raton, Fla., on March 24-25.
Last season, FSU was paced by a one-hitter from all-time strikeout leader Sarah Hamilton in a 6-0 win at home against USA. FSU defeated the Jaguars on the road in 2010 by a 2-0 score, and won 6-1 at JoAnne Graf Field in 2009.
USA has five everyday starters batting above .300, with Blair Johnson and Haley Hopkins tying for the team lead at .347. It has proven to be a formidable team in the field, ranking 19th in the nation with a .974 fielding percentage.
Getting the bulk of the starts is pitcher Hannah Campbell, who is 14-8 with a 2.34 ERA. Campbell has the ability to strike out batters, showing 126 K's in 137.2 innings pitched.
Playing with a makeshift lineup in its victory over Florida A&M on Tuesday, FSU was ignited by the play of Amber Bryant, Kirstin Austin, Kelly Hensley and pitcher Jessica Nori. The Seminoles need more sparkplug performances in order to get past South Alabama on Thursday, as they continue to build quality depth at several positions.
FSU is now batting .279 this season, improving its number by two points after hitting 10-for-27 against Florida A&M on Tuesday. Highlighting the Seminoles' surge has been junior third baseman Briana Hamilton, who earned her second ACC Player of the Week honor this week.
In addition to the webcast, fans can follow Thursday night's action on CBS GameTracker as well as through FSU softball's Twitter feed.
Following Thursday night's game, the Seminoles will have another weekend in the collegiate softball spotlight. On Sunday, which is "Paint it Pink" Day, FSU hosts Georgia Tech in a doubleheader beginning at noon on ESPN3.com.
On Monday, April 16, FSU hosts Georgia Tech in the series finale for another 7 p.m. time slot on ESPNU.