April 20, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Florida State seniors Shayla Jackson and Mallory Borden will be recognized this weekend as No. 22 FSU softball prepares for its final regular-season home weekend by hosting Boston College from April 21-22 at JoAnne Graf Field.
Saturday's doubleheader has a revised start time of 11 a.m. after the game was moved up by two hours due to the inclement weather in the late afternoon/early evening forecast. Game two of Saturday's doubleheader is expected to begin around 1:15 p.m. or 1:30 p.m.
Sunday's lone contest remains at noon, with two special events taking place afterward. Following the game, Borden and Jackson will both be recognized for their achievements and diligence at FSU. Following the senior ceremony, the Seminoles will be honored with their 2011 ACC Championship rings at a cake social held on the top floor of the indoor hitting facility in right field.
"From a conference record standpoint, there is a lot riding on this weekend versus B.C.," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "However, it's also important that we recognize all the hard work and dedication that our two seniors have put in as members of the Garnet and Gold. Shayla and Mallory have been model student-athletes for our program and we hope to send them off the right way in what could be their final games played at JoAnne Graf Field."
Since coming to FSU in her freshman season in 2009, Jackson has been one of the steadiest and most consistent players in program history. The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native shows a career batting average of .326 and is tied for ninth in school history with 28 doubles and 10th with 233 base hits. Jackson is also one triple shy of cracking the school's top 10 list, garnering 14 in her career.
Borden has spent four of her five years at Florida State, playing in 135 career games heading into FSU's weekend series versus Boston College. In her career at FSU, Borden has been a consistent defensive player at second base and has shown off some `pop' on offense, generating 40 RBIs.
Borden has exuded excellent leadership qualities since transferring from Santa Fe Junior College, and transitioned to the Division I game quite well after batting .317 in her redshirt sophomore season in 2010. The Seminoles (39-11, 12-3) sit atop the Atlantic Coast Conference in first place and are looking for an even bigger cushion as the conference season winds down. Following this weekend's three-game set, FSU wraps up ACC play in two weekends at Maryland before the conference championship takes place on May 10-12 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Providing a lift for FSU in conference play has been freshman Erika Leonard, who recorded her fourth home run of the season on Thursday in the Seminoles' 4-3 loss at Troy. In 15 ACC games, Leonard has batted .364 (12-for-33) with one home run, three doubles, 14 walks and a .563 on-base percentage. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native leads the ACC with 39 walks and a .477 on-base percentage.
Among the regular starters, junior Tiffani Brown leads the Seminoles with a .314 overall batting average. In conference play, Brown is batting .315 and has recorded at least one hit in her last 13 ACC games played. Junior left fielder Kirstin Austin leads FSU with a .455 batting average (15-for-33) in conference games.
The Boston College Eagles (20-19, 2-10) are the final home opponent on FSU's 2012 conference-regular season schedule. Boston College sits at the bottom of the conference in eighth place, earning its two conference wins over Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Eagles hold a ratings percentage index of 102.
Overall, the Eagles are hitting .270 and have produced 29 home runs as a team. They boast three very talented players in Brittany Wilkins (.351/5 HRs/22 RBIs), Nicole D'Argento (.347/7/27) and Andrea Filler (.341/6/16). Following its weekend series with FSU, B.C. still hosts two more conference opponents in Maryland and North Carolina.
D'Argento is also one of B.C.'s top pitchers, showing a 9-10 record with a 3.35 ERA and 87 strikeouts. Morgan Kidd has made 13 appearances this season and is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA.
All three games will be streamed on Seminoles.com All-Access. Fans can also get in-game updates on Twitter by following @FSU_Softball.