Los Angeles, CA -- For the 13th consecutive season, the 20th-ranked Florida State University softball team prepares for NCAA postseason play as it faces San Diego State in the opening game of the Los Angeles regional on Friday, May 18, at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
The Seminoles (46-14) must also try to get past regional host and 12th-seeded UCLA as well as familiar opponent Hofstra in order to advance to their first super regional since the 2006 season. FSU’s selection to this year’s regional in UCLA makes it one of just 11 collegiate softball programs to make the NCAA Tournament every year since 2000.
The Seminoles’ upcoming appearance in the 2012 NCAA Championship will also be their 25th overall, a mark that is tied for fifth in the nation. The Seminoles are 49-52 all-time in the NCAA postseason, which includes a 43-36 record in NCAA Regionals.
FSU is making its first appearance at the Los Angeles regional since 2000, when it finished second in the regional after falling twice to UCLA. Should FSU defeat San Diego State in its regional opener, it would go on to play the winner of the UCLA/Hofstra contest on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.
Florida State has played several difficult opponents in the 2012 season, and the road doesn’t figure to get any easier as it prepares for the NCAA postseason. Overall, FSU has played 14 opponents this year who were selected in the NCAA softball championship. The Seminoles are 14-11 this season against the NCAA postseason field.
“We’ve been tested all season with some great competition, but now we need to see how our team responds with the season on the line,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We’re in a regional full of good teams and San Diego State has had a strong season, so they will be a very good opponent to start off with.”
While the Seminoles were unable to accomplish their goal of winning a 12th ACC title, redshirt freshman Maddie O’Brien was a bright spot for FSU as it reached the ACC Tournament semifinals last week. The shortstop from Palm Harbor, Fla., was the lone Seminole named to the ACC All-Tournament Team after finishing 2-for-5 with one home run and three RBIs in two games played.
O’Brien’s 43 RBIs on the season are just three shy of cracking the school’s single-season top 10 list despite missing seven games. FSU’s top run-producer currently leads the team in multiple-RBI games with 11.
Historically, FSU is a combined 13-11 against its three regional opponents. The Seminoles are 1-8 all-time versus UCLA but did win the last matchup in the opening game of the 2002 Women’s College World Series on a game-winning home run by former player Monique Marier in the ninth inning. FSU is 1-1 versus San Diego State and 11-2 against Hofstra.
This weekend’s regional features four teams that on average boast the top RPI of any regional. UCLA (No. 13 RPI), FSU (16), San Diego State (45) and Hofstra (49) combine for a 30.75 RPI.
All FSU games this weekend will be on CBS GameTracker off the Seminoles.com website, and will be updated periodically through the @FSU_Softball Twitter account. Games versus UCLA will have streaming audio off the Bruins’ website.