May 8, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Atlantic Coast Conference regular season champion Florida State goes after its 12th ACC title as it hosts the conference softball championship beginning Thursday, May 9 at JoAnne Graf Field in Tallahassee, Fla.
The 19th-ranked and top-seeded Seminoles (39-15, 18-2) begin their quest for another conference championship on Thursday at 5 p.m. against No. 8 seed Boston College. The game will air on ESPN3 with play-by-play being handled by Tom Block and color commentary being done by Robin Ahrberg.
Fans looking to attend the ACC Tournament at JoAnne Graf Field can purchase tournament passes in advance by logging onto Seminoles.com or by calling 1-888-FSU-NOLE.
"We're so excited to be hosting the conference tournament," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "Ever since it's been our turn in the rotation we've been working to make this a great event in our backyard. It's very exciting to have our team be the top seed and hopefully we can win our 12th title in front of our great fans."
While Florida State's matchup against Boston College on Thursday will be shown on ESPN3, the championship game of the tournament on Saturday at 6 p.m. will be televised on ESPN2. Adam Amin and softball legend Jennie Finch will be on the call for the title game.
The first two quarterfinal games and both semifinal games on Friday can be seen on the league's regional sports networks, which include Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Florida, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, NESN, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports North Plus, Fox Sports San Diego and Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
The tournament begins with No. 6 seeded Virginia Tech against No. 3 Maryland on Thursday at 11 a.m. No. 7 seed Virginia then faces No. 2 NC State at 1:30 p.m., followed by FSU and Boston College at 5 p.m. The day of quarterfinals wraps up with No. 4 North Carolina and fifth-seeded Georgia Tech at 7:30 p.m.
The semifinals occur on Friday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. All seven games of the tournament will be televised.
For the 10th time in program history, Florida State enters the ACC Tournament as a No. 1 seed. The Seminoles are 24-7-1 as a No. 1 seed in the ACC Tourney, with its last top-seeded appearance occurring in 2004.
The Seminoles are the only team in the ACC to win the conference tournament as the host institution. Florida State has won the ACC Softball Championship while hosting it on eight occasions - 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2004.
Junior Courtney Senas delivered a home run in Florida State's last game played against Georgia Tech, marking her school-record tying 14th long ball of the season. Senas is tied with former FSU standout Yuruby Alicart (2007) for the school record.
Senior outfielder Kirstin Austin once again led the Seminoles in batting average in ACC games. Austin finished with a .421 mark in conference games this season, third-best in the ACC, and led Florida State in 2012 with a .364 average against ACC opponents.
Senior Morgan Bullock shows a team-leading .366 batting average entering the ACC Tournament. In the last decade at Florida State, only three other players have held higher batting averages, including USA Softball Player of the Year Jessica van der Linden, Natasha Jacob and Carly Wynn.
Following a two-game sweep over Georgia Tech on April 27, this year's group of Noles established a new school record for wins in the ACC as they finished with an 18-2 conference record.
Since the conference schedule was expanded to 21 games per team following the addition of Boston College in 2006, the most wins Florida State had in the ACC was 17 (17-4) following head coach Lonni Alameda's first season in Tallahassee in 2009. In the last two regular seasons, the Noles have combined to win 34 games in conference play, eight more than the next closest team in North Carolina (26).
Fans can follow all of this weekend's action on CBS GameTracker, as well as through the FSU softball Twitter handle (@FSU_Softball) and the ACC Softball Twitter handle (@ACCSoftball).