TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 25th-ranked Florida State softball team hosts Presbyterian for the first time on Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Seminoles (13-8) and Blue Hose (8-8) have never met before as they prepare for an early-week matchup in Tallahassee. Florida State is coming off a title game win in the Renegade Classic championship on Sunday, defeating Troy 8-0 in five innings behind sophomore Lacey Waldrop’s second career no-hitter.
“Every game is big for us. It’s an opportunity to see how we can continue to develop and grow and get better,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “You can get just as much out of a Tuesday night ballgame as you can a Saturday doubleheader in conference play. I was pleased with the way our pitching progressed on Sunday and if we continue to get strong starts in the circle we can become that much harder to beat.”
Under Alameda, Florida State has now thrown nine no-hitters since her coaching career in Tallahassee began in 2009. Former standout and Florida State all-time strikeout leader Sarah Hamilton had six no-hitters under the tutelage of Alameda, and former pitcher Terese Gober had one under Alameda in 2010. Waldrop’s first career no-hitter came against Ole Miss as a freshman on Feb. 12, 2012.
Despite being without the presence of some very important starting players due to injuries, Florida State continues to do an admirable job at the plate. Junior Kelly Hensley is on pace for a career season offensively as she is batting .316 with five home runs and 17 RBIs. The Niceville, Fla. native had three home runs in her first two seasons.
Junior Courtney Senas continues to swing the bat well, leading Florida State with a .328 batting average while hitting four home runs and 22 RBIs. Senior Morgan Bullock has helped fill the void left at the plate with a .288 batting average while freshman Victoria East is also batting .288.
The defensive presence of redshirt sophomore Maddie O’Brien has been imperative for Florida State. The smooth shortstop has committed just one error in 53 chances so far this season and has held down an infield that has seen several position switches at third base, second base and first base. Catcher Celeste Gomez has also been a mainstay behind the plate and has kept several pitches in front of her to limit advancement opportunities.
Presbyterian has won two of its last three games, falling to No. 4 Florida in its last contest but defeating Mount St. Mary’s and Florida A&M in the previous two contests. Erin Ruff has been consistent with a .426 batting average, one home run and 12 RBIs. Kerste Legacki leads the Blue Hose with 17 RBIs.
Presbyterian has a team earned run average of 5.28. Regular starter Kensley Loudermelk leads the team with a 6-3 record and a 3.64 ERA.
Tuesday night’s game can be seen via live stats on CBS GameTracker off the Seminoles.com page. In-game Twitter updates can also be found on FSU Softball’s official handle - @FSU_Softball.
Following the Tuesday night contest, the Seminoles begin conference play on the road at NC State this weekend. Florida State battles the Wolfpack on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C. with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.