Dec. 5, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida State softball program has announced its 2014 schedule which features 24 home games on JoAnne Graf Field including two regular-season tournaments. The season kicks off on February 7 in Las Cruces, N.M., with the Aggie Hotel Encanto Classic involving New Mexico State, UTEP, St. Mary's and Women's College World Series participant Nebraska.
"As a team, we have spent the entire fall with the excitement of last season still around us, yet with the hunger of wanting more," said head coach Lonni Alameda. "We have been driven since our first day together to work hard toward our common goal of being the best we can this season. One of our challenges this year will be to build on last season's success with the new faces that join our upperclassmen."
The Seminoles will host two tournaments in February, starting off with the Renegade Classic on Feb. 14-16. North Dakota State, Southern Miss and Hofstra will join Florida State in a round-robin group stage followed by bracket-style final tournament format. Charleston Southern, UC Santa Barbara, Wichita State and Northern Iowa will come to Tallahassee the following weekend for the Unconquered Classic from Feb. 21-23.
Florida State will also head to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Feb. 28-March 2 for the Easton Crimson Classic with 2013 NCAA Regional qualifier Houston, as well as Purdue and Alabama, who advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals last season.
The conference slate features a program-record 10 ACC series and 28 conference games as the Atlantic Coast Conference expanded to 15 members with 11 schools that offer softball for the 2013-14 season. Florida State will play road contests against conference newcomer and 2013 BIG EAST regular season champion Notre Dame on April 13-14 and will travel to Pittsburgh for a doubleheader against the Panthers on April 16. Syracuse will make their first trip to Tallahassee since 2007 for a weekend series on April 19-20.
2013 ACC Champion NC State kicks off the Seminoles' home conference schedule on March 15-16 which will also feature Maryland, Syracuse and Georgia Tech. Florida State will take to the road to face Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Pitt as it looks to repeat last year's success and qualify as the No. 1 seed in the 2014 ACC Tournament which will be hosted by the University of Maryland on May 8-10.
"We as a program are always excited to get a chance to play some of the top teams around the country," added Alameda. "Starting off with Nebraska is a great opportunity to see where we stand against a World Series team and one that is returning several players.
"We will host many challenging teams like Hofstra, North Dakota State and UF to name a few. On the road, we have the chance to get out and compete in Tuscaloosa versus Alabama along with an outstanding ACC schedule that features new ACC members Notre Dame and Pitt."
Florida State and Florida will continue the home-and-home series which began last season. The series will start in Gainesville on April 2, with the Seminoles and Gators facing off in Tallahassee on April 9. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
Overall, the 2014 schedule features 10 teams that participated in the NCAA tournament, including two that made the WCWS (Nebraska and Florida). Seven opponents - including Hofstra, Northern Iowa and North Florida - were either regular-season or tournament champions of their conferences, and 11 teams finished in the top-55 of the RPI at the end of the 2013 season.
"We look forward to playing in front of our amazing fans and even though the spring season seems some time away, we are ready for opening day to be here tomorrow," said Alameda.
All home games will be played on JoAnne Graf Field at the Seminole Softball Complex. Admission is free for regular season games. Television dates will be released by the ACC prior to the season.
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