Tallahassee, FL -- The 19th-ranked Florida State University softball team aims for its 12th Atlantic Coast Conference title as it heads to the conference championship that will take place at Anderson Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., beginning on Thursday, May 10.
The second-seeded Seminoles (45-13, 16-5) open the tournament with a matchup versus No. 7 seed N.C. State on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the league’s regional sports network, which includes Sun Sports for interested viewers in Florida. The other affiliates include Fox Sports South, CSN Mid-Atlantic, NESN and Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
Should FSU advance, it would face the winner of No. 6 Virginia and No. 3 Georgia Tech on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. in what is another RSN broadcast. The ACC championship game will be played on Saturday, May 12, at 4 p.m. and air live on ESPN.
Calling much of the action in the first couple days of the tournament will be Mike Hogewood and Barbara Jordan. Ticket information for the event can be found on the ACC Softball Championship website.
Florida State defeated first-round opponent N.C. State earlier this season in a three-game sweep at home from March 10-11. The only time both FSU and N.C. State met in the ACC Tournament was in 2006, which was the last time UNC hosted.
At this week’s ACC Tournament, FSU will be looking for its 12th ACC championship in school history. The Seminoles hold the most ACC softball banners of any team in the conference. Georgia Tech is second on the list with four, followed by two from Virginia Tech. North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia each have one title apiece, while Maryland shared a championship with FSU in 1997 following a suspended championship game that was caused by inclement weather.
This season, FSU is gunning for consecutive championships following last season’s 4-1 win over UNC as the No. 4 seed in the ACC title game. If FSU comes through with another ACC title, it will have earned consecutive titles from 1992-93, 1995-2000, 2003-04 and 2011-12.
FSU holds an impressive ACC Tournament record of 48-17-1 as it begins its 21st season as a participant. The mark equates to a .735 winning percentage.
This year’s championship shows FSU as a No. 2 seed, marking its sixth appearance in that position. As the second seed, the Seminoles are 11-3 which includes conference titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999. In 2005, FSU stumbled to an 0-2 mark as the No. 2 ranked team in the conference, and fell to Georgia Tech in the 2009 title game.
FSU’s 14 games played as the No. 2 seed are its second most, only behind its 32 games as a No. 1 seed.
In her first four seasons, FSU head coach Lonni Alameda has done an admirable job of keeping the program competitive, especially in conference play. In the upcoming ACC Tournament, Alameda is looking to make her fourth conference title game appearance in her fourth season at the helm, having gotten the Seminoles to the championship game in every season since she came to Tallahassee in 2009.
“One of our goals in the regular season was to hoist another ACC trophy,” Alameda said. “We’ve had a strong year so far but can’t just rely on that when you enter a single-elimination tournament. This was a very competitive year in the conference and there are a lot of talented teams in the tournament, so our group needs to stay focused and use the one-pitch, one-inning, one-game at a time approach.”
With a 45-13 overall record, the Seminoles are within reach of what could be their 16th 50-win season in school history. FSU has not recorded 50 wins or better since 2004 when it made its seventh Women’s College World Series appearance and finished 62-12.
In its last conference series of the season from May 5-6, FSU fell at Maryland in two of three games in what ultimately cost FSU the regular-season ACC title. Regardless, the Seminoles won an impressive six of seven ACC series this season in what was another strong regular-season in the conference. FSU defeated N.C. State (3-0), Boston College (3-0), UNC (2-1) and Georgia Tech (2-1) at home while winning at Virginia (3-0) and Virginia Tech (2-1) on the road.
Since Boston College’s addition to the league created a 21-game format beginning in 2006, FSU had only once won six of its seven ACC series. That occurred in head coach Lonni Alameda’s first season in 2009 when FSU won every series except at Georgia Tech when it lost two of three.
The 16 conference wins by the Seminoles are their second-most in school history, trailing the 2009 team’s 17 victories in ACC play.
Follow the FSU softball team throughout its conference tournament run on television, through CBS GameTracker on Seminoles.com as well as through the official team Twitter handle - @FSU_Softball.