#9 Florida State Softball 2016 Preview

Florida State Seminoles
Overall Rank: #9
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
 Florida State Logo
The Seminoles return 12 players from the 2015 squad that finished 49-14 on the season and won the ACC Championship for the second year in row. FSU also reached the NCAA Super Regional round for the third consecutive season, but unfortunately saw its season cut short, losing to Tennessee in a third and decisive game. The 'Noles proved they were the best team in the conference by breezing through ACC play, losing only three times to conference foes. 
2015: 49-14, 20-3
2015 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Lonni Alameda
Field Players:
The Seminoles are led by last year's ACC Freshman of the Year Jessica Warren. Warren led Florida State in eight statistical categories, including home runs (19), RBI (57) and runs scored (53). Morgan Klaevemann is another player who had an impressive freshman season, as she led the squad in average, hitting at a .393 clip and had a 26-game hitting streak, one that extended from March 25 to May 17. The stretch is the second longest in Florida State history and 24th longest in NCAA history. Ellie Cooper returns after hitting .333 last season and pounded out the third-most hits on the team, finishing with 55. Alex Kossoff had the fourth most hits on the team last season with 49 and she also stole nine bases. Alex Powers led the team in doubles with 13 and was second in RBI with 45 and blasted nine home runs.
Star pitcher Lacey Waldrop is now in the NPF, but the Seminoles are fortunate to bring back Jessica Burroughs, the 2015 ACC Tournament MVP. Last season Burroughs finished with a 19-6 record with an ERA of 2.08 and struck out 219 batters. Other than Burroughs, however, the rotation will be new, featuring any combination of Korina Rosario, Meghan King, Tessa Daniels and Abby Evans, the latter three never having pitched in a collegiate game. King had a decorated high school career that saw her win the Florida Gatorade POY award and be named an All-American multiple times.
Who to Watch:
Zoe Casas comes to Florida State after earning four MaxPreps All-American awards and compiling a high school career that included a California-record 247 career hits. As a senior, Casas hit .741 with 64 hits and 41 runs scored. That type of bat will be hard to keep out of the lineup. Cali Harrod comes in at No. 16 on the College Sports Madness recruiting rankings after hitting .545 with 12 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 28 RBI, 35 stolen bases and 48 runs scored as a senior. Also keep an eye on the pitching rotation. The Seminoles are lucky to get Burroughs back, but who will step up to fill the second slot?
Final Projection:
The 2016 schedule will be challenging as the Seminoles will play a total of seven games against four teams that finished in the top five of the final 2015 NFCA poll. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge scheduling gods gave the team no mercy, matching them up with Minnesota and Michigan as opponents. Other big nonconference games include tilts with UCF and two games each against Auburn and Florida. Other than having to travel to Notre Dame, Florida State does get all of the big ACC contenders at home. If a second pitcher develops and the lineup progresses as it should, the 2016 season could see the Seminoles back in Oklahoma City and playing for a shot at a National Title.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Jessica Warren, IF, 188
Hits: Morgan Klaevemann, OF, 70
Home Runs: Jessica Warren, IF, 19
RBIs: Jessica Warren, IF, 57
Runs: Jessica Warren, IF, 53
Stolen Bases: Morgan Klaevemann, OF, 20
Wins: Jessica Burroughs, P, 19
Innings Pitched: Jessica Burroughs, P, 185
Strikeouts: Jessica Burroughs, P, 219
Complete Games: Jessica Burroughs, P, 15
Madness 2016 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#16 Cali Harrod