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Back in the Big Dance
Celeste Gomez was one of four All-ACC Tournament Team members from FSU

Celeste Gomez was one of four All-ACC Tournament Team members from FSU

May 18, 2011


Follow the FSU Softball Team on Twitter: @fsu_softball

VIDEO STREAMING OF ATHENS REGIONAL

The Florida State University softball team begins its 12th consecutive NCAA postseason trip by returning to the Athens Regional for the second time in as many years and the third time in the last six seasons.

FSU begins with a 2:30 matchup against UAB on Friday before determining its game time against either No. 6 Georgia or Georgia State on Saturday. Ticket information for this weekend's regional can be found by accessing the FSU softball page on seminoles.com.

2011 NCAA ATHENS REGIONAL SCHEDULE OF GAMES:
Friday, May 20
2:30 p.m. - Game 1: UAB vs. Florida State
5 p.m. - Game 2: Georgia State vs. Georgia

Saturday, May 21
12 p.m. - Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
2:30 p.m. - Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
5 p.m. - Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3

Sunday, May 22
12 p.m. - Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
2:30 p.m. - Game 7 (If Necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6

**All Times Eastern & Subject To Change**

2011 NCAA ATHENS REGIONAL TICKET INFORMATION (As listed on Georgia Bulldogs website:)

Tickets for the 2011 NCAA Athens Regional will go on sale Monday morning at 9 a.m. ET. Fans can order NCAA Softball Athens Regional tickets in any of the following ways:

1. In-person at the Athletic Association ticket office location at Stegeman Coliseum

2. By calling 1-877-542-1231

3. Online by CLICKING HERE

Will Call & Day of Game Sales At Jack Turner Softball Stadium:
Will call and ticket sales will move to Jack Turner Softball Stadium on Friday and will open two hours before the first game.

Groups:
All groups of at least 10 people in size can order discounted tickets to any day of the regional by calling 706-542-9039. All group tickets must be ordered in advance of the regional and by Wednesday, May 18 at 5:00 p.m.

NCAA Regional Ticket Prices:
Single Session - $10 (Reserved), $7 (General Admission), $5 (Student/Sr. Citizen/Groups)
All Sessions - $25 (Reserved), $20 (General Admission), $15 (Student/Sr. Citizen/Groups)

*Read this weekend's notes and more in the ATHENS REGIONAL NOTES SECTION* Get Acrobat Reader

BACK TO ATHENS
Florida State softball's 24th NCAA regional appearance marks its third straight weekend in the Peach State as the Seminoles return to Athens, Ga., for the second straight season. FSU begins its postseason slate at Jack Turner Stadium against University at Alabama-Birmingham out of the Conference USA. Also paired with FSU in the regional is host and No. 6 seed Georgia as well as Georgia State out of the Colonial Athletic Association. Two weekends ago, the Seminoles traveled to Atlanta for a three-game set at Georgia Tech. They returned to the Yellowjacket campus last weekend en route to an ACC Championship, and set foot in Georgia once again for NCAA play. Last season, FSU entered the NCAA postseason ranked 24th in the nation. It defeated Radford in mercy-rule fashion 10-1, but fell the next day in close games to both Georgia and Radford to bow out of the tournament.

NCAA PLAY BY THE NUMBERS
Overall, Florida State has a 47-50 record in the NCAA Tournament since making its first appearance at the south regional in Ruston, Louisiana in 1986. In NCAA regional play by itself, FSU holds a 41-34 record. It last advanced to a super regional in 2006 after winning the Athens regional by defeating Georgia in the championship game. In NCAA super regional play, FSU is 0-2 since the format was implemented. Those two losses came in Tempe, Ariz., to Arizona State in 2006. The Seminoles also own seven Women's College World Series appearances, with their last coming in 2004 when they finished fifth nationally.

FACING GEORGIA, UAB AND GEORGIA STATE
The FSU softball program has some familiarity with all three opponents in its 2011 regional, especially No. 6 seed Georgia. Last season, the Bulldogs helped eliminate FSU by defeating it, 5-2, to mark the Seminoles' first loss in the NCAA Tournament. Earlier in the year, FSU traveled up to Athens as the 18th-ranked team facing off against the 7th-ranked Bulldogs and won 4-3 on a three-run home run by Jen Lapicki. Overall, the series is tied at 6-6. The Seminoles own a 15-1 all-time series lead against Georgia State, with both teams last playing a two-game set in 2008 where FSU won at home by scores of 1-0 and 3-0, and defeated the Panthers in 2007 on a pair of home runs from current graduate assistant Carly Wynn. FSU and its first opponent, UAB, square off for the first time since the 2002 season. The Seminoles took that series, 3-0, as they won by scores of 9-0, 5-3 and 4-1.

STORMING TO FIRST IN THE ACC
The Florida State softball team highlighted its season with the program's 11th ACC Championship in a 4-1 victory over North Carolina last Sunday. The win was significant in many ways, giving head coach Lonni Alameda her first ACC championship, marking FSU's first postseason crown since 2004, and perhaps most importantly, making it two straight years that all 19 athletic programs at FSU have made the NCAA postseason. Though research is still in the works, it is believed that Florida State is the only institution in the last two years that has had every athletic program make the NCAA postseason.

GAINING MOMENTUM
One of the best things the FSU softball team has going for it is `Uncle Mo' (momentum). Carrying a four-game winning streak over No. 19 Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech, the Seminole offense has batted .398 during that span (49-for-123) with nine home runs, 34 runs scored, six doubles and a near .700 slugging percentage. In their three ACC Tournament games, FSU's offense batted .386 (34-for-88) with seven home runs and 10 extra base hits while having a .439 on-base percentage. FSU capped its tournament performance by recording nine hits in 24 at-bats off UNC ace Lori Spingola, who is among the nation's leaders in victories.

WHAT A WEEK FOR HAMMY
Known as FSU's ace in the circle, senior right-hander Sarah Hamilton worked her way toward ACC Tournament MVP honors when she went 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in 19 innings pitched while fanning 14. The three-time All-ACC selection held the opposition to a .188 batting average. Against Virginia Tech in the first-round matchup, Hamilton was perfect through the first four innings and allowed just three hits and two runs. The following day vs. Virginia, only one of Hamilton's five runs were earned as she threw five strong innings. Lastly, Hamilton stifled North Carolina as she allowed just three hits and just one walk while fanning five Tar Heels. Fittingly, she struck out UNC batter Kelsey Green to end the game, sending the team into a euphoric celebration.

TESTED EARLY AND OFTEN
Of this year's Field of 64, FSU has played nine postseason squads this season. Those opponents include San Diego State, Long Beach State, Auburn, BYU, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland and Georgia Tech. Combined against those teams, the Seminoles went 5-10, which include quality victories over Long Beach State, BYU, Kentucky, Maryland and Georgia Tech.

A PROGRAM RECORD
FSU's automatic bid to the postseason marks the 12th consecutive year it has reached the NCAA Regionals. The current streak breaks the previous best mark of 11 straight NCAA postseason years that spanned from 1986-1996. Since the 1986 season, FSU has failed to make an NCAA Regional just twice - in 1997 and 1999.

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