Oct. 31, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Fifth-year head coach Lonni Alameda has announced the Florida State softball team's 2013 schedule that is highlighted by four regular-season tournaments at JoAnne Graf Field as well as the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship.
The conference tournament will be held at the Seminole Softball Complex for the first time since 2007 on May 9-11, 2013. The eight-team field features four quarterfinal games on Thursday (May 9), two semifinal games on Friday and the championship contest on Saturday.
"Our coaches and student-athletes are thrilled to be hosting the 2013 conference tournament," Alameda said. "We are excited to open our great ballpark to the rest of the ACC and with the depth of the conference it should make for quite a challenging weekend. We expect to be great hosts and very accommodating to the other ACC student-athletes, coaches and fans as well as those who come out and support us."
Included in the home schedule are four regular-season tournaments at JoAnne Graf Field. Over the first five weeks of the season the Seminoles will be hosting the season-opening Panhandle Invitational (Feb. 8-10), the Unconquered Invitational (Feb. 15-17), the Renegade Classic (March 1-3) and the Sunshine Classic (March 15-17).
"We are very excited about the schedule and the challenges ahead of us," Alameda added. "It is a highlight to be able to compete against several of the top programs across the country. We are elated about our home schedule this season and feel there will be a lot of entertainment at JoAnne Graf Field this spring. We are going to have a combination of seniors and freshmen working together to get the program to the next level and with the schedule we have ahead of us there is not a day that goes by where we aren't motivated to improve and succeed."
The Panhandle Invitational features opponents Florida A&M, UNF, Jacksonville and Bethune-Cookman. The Seminoles and cross-town opponent Florida A&M will open the season on Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Unconquered Invitational includes 2012 NCAA Super Regional qualifier Hofstra, Arkansas and Tulsa, all being NCAA postseason teams last season. The Renegade Classic features Southern Mississippi, Troy and Appalachian State, while the Sunshine Classic includes opponents Minnesota and Georgia Southern.
Approximately half of Florida State's 56-game regular season schedule will consist of NCAA Tournament teams from 2012. The Seminoles have 17 postseason qualifiers on their daunting slate, including Women's College World Series participants LSU and Oklahoma, rival Florida, Washington, Stanford, Hofstra, Tulsa, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia Southern, UCF, South Alabama and Bethune-Cookman.
Conference opponents on the schedule that also qualified for the NCAA postseason in 2012 are home opponent North Carolina (March 23-24) and road opponents Maryland (March 29-30), Virginia Tech (April 19-20) and Georgia Tech (April 27-28).
Florida State will participate in the challenging Cathedral City Classic as it did in 2011 in Palm Springs, Calif. On the West Coast the Seminoles will compete against five difficult opponents in Long Island University (Feb. 22 - 1:30 p.m. ET), Washington (Feb. 22 - 3:30 p.m. ET), Oklahoma (Feb. 23 - 12:30 p.m. ET), Nebraska (Feb. 24 - noon EST) and Stanford (Feb. 24 - 2:30 p.m. ET).
For the first time since the two rivals began squaring off in 1997, the Seminoles and Gators will partake in a home-and-home series. Florida State will first face Florida in Gainesville on March 27 at 6 p.m., and the Gators will make the return trip to Tallahassee on April 17 for another 6 p.m. first pitch.
LSU visits the Florida State Softball Complex for a scheduled doubleheader on April 2 at a time to be announced. The other conference opponents playing in Tallahassee include Boston College (April 6-7) and Virginia (April 13-14). The Seminoles play NC State on the road in their first ACC series of the season on March 9-10.
The Seminoles expect to build on their 47-16 record from a season ago with 15 returning players and a talented freshmen class. Florida State returns nearly every starting position player and pitcher that helped the team finish first in 12 different hitting, pitching and fielding categories in the ACC last year.
Altogether, Florida State will have a total of 35 regular-season home games at JoAnne Graf Field. Factoring in regular-season tournaments and the ACC championship, there will be 60 games played at the Seminole softball complex and possibly more should Florida State earn a hosting bid in the NCAA Tournament.
Be sure to follow the Seminole softball team on its official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUSoftball) as well as on Twitter at @FSU_Softball.