May 16, 2013
MOBILE, Ala. (seminoles.com) - The 19th-ranked Florida State softball team begins its quest for an NCAA Super Regional berth as it begins NCAA Regional play in Mobile, Ala. facing Mississippi State on Friday, May 17 at 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT.
The Mobile regional, which is hosted by 13th-seeded South Alabama, will have every game airing on ESPN3. The Seminoles' (41-16) matchup with the Bulldogs (32-22) will feature play-by-play being done by Melissa Lee and color analysis provided by Charlotte Morgan.
Following Florida State's game against Mississippi State, which opens the regional, South Alabama will face Mississippi Valley State at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT. The winner of those two games will play on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT, while the loser's bracket begins at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on Saturday evening in the double-elimination format.
"We've been tested all year and played another great non-conference schedule. We know Mississippi State will be a tough challenge to open with," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "We've prepared for these types of NCAA postseason challenges where every pitch is magnified and the pressure increases. It's our goal to take things one opponent at a time and stay poised throughout, and if we do that we have a chance of winning this regional."
Florida State softball is making its 14th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, putting it in a class of just 11 teams that have made the postseason every year since 2000. Those teams include California, Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma, Michigan, Stanford, UCLA, Louisiana Lafayette, Notre Dame and Alabama.
Florida State and Mississippi State have faced once in NCAA postseason play, with the Seminoles coming away with a 5-0 victory the last time they hosted a regional in 2009. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 7-6, including winning two games by one run apiece in 2011.
Throughout Florida State's rich history, it has played several current SEC schools in the NCAA softball tournament. Overall, the Seminoles are 7-6 against the conference in postseason play.
The Seminoles are ranked 22nd in the latest RPI that was unveiled on May 13 and helped play a role in tournament seeding. No. 13 national seed South Alabama has the regional's top RPI at No. 13 following a Sun Belt Conference championship, while Mississippi State is 33rd and Mississippi Valley State is 245th.
The Seminoles have put together another challenging schedule that was littered with high quality non-conference opponents. Heading into the NCAA postseason, Florida State has faced 15 NCAA Regional participants in this year's tournament and has finished 15-13 against them. Included in that list was a 4-0 loss at South Alabama earlier in the season on May 10.
Much has been made about Florida State's record-breaking offensive year, which includes a school record for home runs. It appears that another record could fall for the offensive unit as it holds a .496 slugging percentage. Prior to the season, the highest team slugging percentage in school history was in 2007 when it slugged its way to a .442 mark.
The Noles are looking to advance to their first NCAA Super Regional since 2006, when they upended Georgia in the Athens Regional. The key to Florida State's postseason fate rests in the first game of the opening regional, where FSU is 1-5 over the last six seasons. Florida State has won one opening-round game since 2007, which was a 10-1 win over Radford at the 2010 Athens Regional.
In addition to watching all Mobile regional games on ESPN3, fans can follow all Florida State softball games via Twitter through the team's official handle - @FSU_Softball.