#7 Florida State Softball 2015 Preview

Florida State Seminoles

Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
#7 Florida State Softball 2015 Preview
Florida State Team Page


Florida State had an outstanding 2014 season. They were dominant at home going 27-2 and they ended up with a 24-3 record through the ACC schedule. The Seminoles got to stay home during the NCAA Tournament as a reward for their excellence during the regular season and they made it pay off with a trip to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. Florida State brings back 12 players from that 2014 team and they will be a big time contender for the national championship in 2015.

2014: 55-9, 24-3
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Lonnie Alameda

Field Players:
Florida State set several school records offensively during the 2014 season. They hit 65 homeruns, scored 400 runs, and walked 318 times last season. This ability to be disciplined enough to take a walk combined with aggression to make opposing pitchers pay with the long ball is a lethal one. Shortstop Maddie O’Brien returns in 2015 and she is a huge reason for the success of the Seminoles offense. O’Brien hit .424 with 24 homeruns and 83 runs batted in. In addition, O’Brien walked 56 times for an on-base percentage of .564. Infielder Victoria East provides a nice contrast to O’Brien’s power as she can steal a key base for Florida State when she needs to. East stole eight bases in ten attempts lasts season and drove in 31 runs.

One giant key for the Seminoles success last season was pitcher Lacey Waldrop, who was the USA Softball National Player of the Year. Waldrop was absolutely dominant and went 38-7 with a 1.13 earned run average and struck out 287 batters in 266.1 innings pitched last season. Waldrop also limited opposing batters to a .193 average and she has the ability to avoid giving up the big hit, allowing just 27 extra base hits last season.

Who to Watch:
Pitcher Jessica Burroughs will be a critical player in the circle for Florida State when she gets the opportunity to get spot starts to spell Waldrop. Burroughs was 17-1 last season with a 2.08 earned run average and is the prefect compliment to have available when Waldrop needs a break or is having an off day. Burroughs has pretty dynamic stuff just like Waldrop and she struck out 125 batters in 114.2 innings pitched and opposing batters hit just .198 last season against Burroughs. This depth will help the Seminoles if they have to deal with climbing through the consolation bracket at the Women’s College World Series, assuming they are able to make it back this season.

Final Projection:
The schedule for the Seminoles, while challenging, sets up well to have a very strong RPI in time for the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky visits during the opening weekend of the season for the Renegade Classic. Michigan and Nebraska will visit Tallahassee the following weekend for the Unconquered Invitational. The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Tournament will have the most challenging tournament field on tap for Florida State as they will play Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Cal and UCLA. The combination of the travel and the mix of teams will be a great dress rehearsal for the NCAA Tournament in May. On March 12-15, the Seminoles will play a very good USC Upstate team and have their biggest test in ACC play against Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish visit Tallahassee. Florida State will have their shot to make a statement for a top four seed when they get two shots at defending national champion Florida and this is where having a dominating pitcher like Waldrop could be the difference against the Gators. Overall, this Seminole team should be back in Oklahoma City in late May for the Women’s College World Series as there is too much talent for them not to make it.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Victoria East, IF, 178
Hits: Maddie O’Brien, IF, 73
Home Runs: Maddie O’Brien, IF, 24
RBIs: Maddie O’Brien, IF, 83
Runs: Maddie O’Brien, 62
Stolen Bases: Victoria East, IF, 8

Wins: Lacey Waldrop, P, 38
Innings Pitched: Lacey Waldrop, P, 266.1
Strikeouts: Lacey Waldrop, P, 287
Complete Games: Lacey Waldrop, P, 27

Madness 2015 NPF Draft Rankings:
#6 Maddie O'Brien

Madness 2015 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#28 Meghan King


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