April 19, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The 23rd-ranked Florida State softball team faces a crucial road series at Virginia Tech this weekend, battling the Hokies in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 21 at noon and 2:30 p.m. The final game occurs on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The first game of the series on Saturday at noon airs live on ESPNU, Florida State's second televised game on the network this week. Play by play will be provided by Pam Ward while Cheri Kempf will perform the color analysis.
The Seminoles (34-15, 13-2) have won their first five ACC series for the second consecutive season and lead the conference by three games over second-place North Carolina with two series remaining for the Noles. Florida State finishes its regular season on the road the next two weekends with Virginia Tech then Georgia Tech.
"This will be a very competitive series. Virginia Tech always gives us a good test," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "They have a faithful home crowd and provide a good atmosphere, so we will have to be ready for that. They own some great non-conference wins this season and we have faced our share of talented teams. If we can win this series it would be big for one of our preseason goals of winning an ACC title."
Against the current set of softball schools in the ACC, only Virginia Tech holds a winning record against the Noles all-time. The Hokies (27-12, 6-5) lead Florida State 15-14 in a series that dates back to 2005 when Virginia Tech first entered the league.
The Seminoles and Hokies are neck-and-neck in the latest NCAA RPI rankings that heavily determine NCAA Tournament seeding. Florida State is currently 26th while the Hokies are 27th, representing the two highest-rated teams in the ACC.
Senior centerfielder Morgan Bullock leads Florida State with a .368 batting average. Over her last seven games dating back to a win over Boston College on April 6, Bullock has batted .524 (11-for-21) and has increased her average by 29 points.
In last year's road series at Virginia Tech, Florida State was stomped in the first game but won both games of a doubleheader on April 7, 2012 to get a big series win. In the twinbill, Briana Hamilton was an enormous factor by going 3-for-6 with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored, while FSU got big lifts in the circle from Jessica Nori and Perry. Waldrop closed the series with a save.
Virginia Tech owns prolific wins this season over UCLA, Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina. Senior first baseman Courtney Liddle is hitting .393 with five home runs and 27 RBIs, while sophomore second baseman Kylie McGoldrick is hitting .380 with six home runs and 22 RBIs.
Freshman pitcher Kelly Heinz leads Virginia Tech's pitching staff with a 13-3 record and a 2.49 ERA with 130 strikeouts. The Hokies carry a 3.05 ERA with opponents hitting .252 off them this season.
All live stats this weekend can be found on Virginia Tech's athletic website, Hokiesports.com. In-game updates will be provided on Florida State softball's official Twitter handle - @FSU_Softball.