The Daily Nole

FSU Softball: Five Things to Know Entering ACC Tournament

Larry Novey/FSU athletics

Florida State will again be the top seed in the ACC Softball Tournament, which gets underway on Wednesday. The Seminoles won’t see the field until Thursday when they face either Louisville or Syracuse.

FSU enters the tournament with a record of 44-10 and 21-3 in conference. Before things kick off in Atlanta, here are five things to know about the Seminoles:

1. FSU is aiming for a 5-peat
Florida State has won each of the last four ACC softball tournaments. Over the last four tourneys, the Seminoles are 12-0. Last season’s 4-3 victory over North Carolina for the ACC Championship was the only 1-run game over that stretch.

2. Three ACC losses this season is more than in the last two seasons combined
Florida State’s aura of invincibility in the ACC may be gone, but only slightly. After losing just twice total over the last two seasons and going undefeated last year, the Seminoles dropped three conference contests this year. FSU’s 36-game ACC winning streak came to an end in the second game of a doubleheader against Pittsburgh on April 6. FSU also dropped contests to Notre Dame and Boston College. After winning 36 straight against ACC foes, FSU is “just” 11-3 in its last 14 games.

3. FSU played the nation’s toughest non-conference schedule
The ACC isn’t regarded as a particularly strong softball conference, but the Seminoles have not shied away from competition this year. FSU played 12 games against teams currently ranked in the top 25 of the NFCA Poll and four against teams in the top 5. Over those 12 games, the Seminoles went 8-4.

4. FSU leads the ACC in most offensive categories
Lighting up the scoreboard this season hasn’t been a problem for Florida State. The Seminoles lead the ACC in most offensive categories, including runs, doubles, home runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and stolen bases. FSU ranks second in batting average and triples.

Individually, FSU third baseman Jessie Warren leads the ACC in slugging percentage, home runs and RBIs. Carsyn Gordon leads the league in runs scored and walks while Sydney Sherrill leads the conference in doubles and is tied for the lead in hits. Cali Harrod, a junior shortstop, ranks second in the ACC in walks and stolen bases.

5. Pitching has actually improved
It seemed hard for Florida State to be better from the circle than it was last season. Meghan King returned, but Kylee Hanson has done an admirable job replacing ACC Pitcher of the Year, Jessica Burroughs. Hanson has boasted a 0.94 ERA compared to Burroughs’ 1.22 last season. King has also lowered her ERA from 1.50 last year to 1.32 this year. Cassidy Davis, the No. 3 in the circle for Florida State, has lowered her ERA from 1.96 to 1.79.

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

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