Tallahassee, FL - Florida State University softball coach Lonni Alameda has announced the 2011 schedule, which features several intriguing matchups against conference and non-conference opponents.
The Seminoles, who finished 44-18 (12-9 ACC) last season, play four opponents who finished in the Top 25 of the final ESPN.com/USA Softball Division I Poll in 2010. The contests include BYU on Thursday, Feb. 24, in game one of the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., at 10 a.m. ET.
FSU also faces rival Florida, who competed in the College Softball World Series last season. Both teams meet on May 4th in Gainesville at 6 p.m.
Two difficult ACC opponents include Georgia Tech and North Carolina, who were ranked 17th and 24th last season, respectively. FSU battles the Yellow Jackets in a three-game series on May 7-8, involving a doubleheader on day one, at JoAnne Graf Field in Tallahassee, and travel to UNC on March 26-27 for a three-game set that also includes a doubleheader on the first day.
The Seminoles will also play in three other competitive tournaments, beginning with the Seminole Kickoff Classic in Tallahassee. FSU opens the season versus UNC Greensboro on Friday, Feb. 11, at noon at JoAnne Graf Field, and will also play Hofstra the following day.
“We are very excited to host three tournaments that will bring very competitive teams to Tallahassee. We have increased our roster numbers with much needed depth and athleticism to keep up with the caliber of our opponents,” said Alameda, who will enter her third season at FSU.
FSU hosts another tournament on Feb. 18-20, as it battles Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee State and Kentucky. The Seminoles then play host to a conference challenge between schools from the Big Ten and Mountain West on March 5-6, as they compete twice against Wisconsin and Utah.
“This season we are also headed out west, which will be a nice change of venue for us,” Alameda added. “For spring break, we get the opportunity to compete against the SEC, which will also be a great test for our program.”
Depending on how tournament matchups play out, the Seminoles could be playing as many as 12 NCAA postseason participants from last year in the regular season. They include Hofstra, Kentucky, BYU, San Diego State, Auburn, Alabama, North Carolina, Central Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Florida and Georgia Tech.
In the fall, FSU shows a nine-game schedule that culminates with a matchup versus National Pro Fastpitch on Nov. 5 at JoAnne Graf Field. The NPF is a professional women’s softball league that features some of the best players in the world while providing a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. The event is part of the organization’s “Back to School- College Tour,” presented by the United States Specialty Sports Association.
The Seminoles begin their fall season on Sunday, Oct. 10, against Santa Fe College at noon in Tallahassee. Seven of the nine games in the fall will take place on FSU’s campus.
“Our staff is looking forward to watching the progression of our ballclub this fall as we take on some very competitive junior college programs,” Alameda stated. “We are very excited about the leadership of the senior class for the upcoming season. They have been very driven thus far and we as a coaching staff expect great things from this mixture of returnees and rookies.”