The Daily Nole

Column: Watch the Other Side of the FSU Diamond Too

Andrew Bruckse/FSU athletics

With the start of Florida State baseball season one week away, fans are justifiably excited to see what becomes of the Seminoles in 2017.

Fresh off a 39th straight 40-win season that ended one win shy of the College World Series, FSU brings back All-American shortstop Taylor Walls, leading hitter Jackson Lueck, home run leader Dylan Busby and several other key pieces. This includes the entire weekend rotation of Cole Sands, Tyler Holton and ace Drew Carlton.

While fans are anxious to see who will likely be Carlton throw that first pitch of the year, don’t forget about another Florida State team that plays games on the diamond. That’s right: the FSU softball team.

The Florida State baseball team may have narrowly missed Omaha and the College World Series last season with a young team. The FSU softball team however, did make it to Oklahoma City last year and has virtually everyone returning.

For those of you who maybe weren’t paying attention last year, the Seminoles finished 55-10, reaching the semifinals of the Women’s College World Series. That’s where they fell to Auburn in extra innings on a controversial play at the plate. Couple the controversial loss with an error-plagued opener of the Women’s College World Series against Georgia and FSU may have won the national championship last year.

This year’s team looks to have one of the best 1-2 punches both at the plate and on the mound. The pitching duo of Meghan King and Jessica Burroughs both earned All-ACC honors last season.

At the plate, the heart of the order that features reigning ACC Player of the Year, Alex Powers and third baseman Jessica Warren combined to hit .388 last season with 36 home runs and 141 RBIs. FSU returns four other players who hit at least .329 a season ago.

Once basketball wraps up, baseball will probably again dominate the Tallahassee sports scene throughout the latter parts of spring and early summer, but this softball team deserves some attention as well. For those of you who aren’t local, the FSU softball will be broadcast 23 times this season — mostly streams.

For those of you who are local, attend games. Take your daughters. Take your sons. Support this team.

FSU opens the year on Friday with contests against Lipscomb and Furman.

I understand there are some baseball junkies out there who might not want to miss much or any FSU action this season. There’s good news for you, too.

For weekend home series, FSU softball typically plays the middle or Saturday game at 1 p.m. EST. The baseball team typically plays at 6 p.m. EST. Softball games tend to be much quicker as well, lasting about two hours to baseball’s three-plus.

If both teams are playing, go to both. Maybe eat lunch in between. If you aren’t up for five hours at the ballpark in one day, go to one and then go home and watch the other, or vice versa.

Whatever you’ve got to do to support Florida State on the softball diamond this year — whether it’s attending a game, donating to the program or just watching them on your TV or computer — give it a shot. They’ve certainly earned it.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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