The Florida State Softball Team remains perfect in 2012. The Noles moved to 9-0 over the weekend with a 9-1 mercy-rule win over Western Carolina on Friday, two wins on Saturday (6-1 over Coastal Carolina, 2-1 over North Dakota State) and a victory over Mercer on Sunday (3-0). The main theme of the weekend? The Noles beat teams they are expected to beat. Games like these were not automatic last year, but with a revamped pitching the staff and solid bats the Noles are in much better shape in 2012.
Personal notes after the jump >>>------|>
I caught the end of the Noles 9-1 win over Western Carolina and the full Sunday 3-0 victory over Mercer.
A) I'm just going to go ahead and nickname Bailey Schinella "Wakefield" for all of the junk she tosses up there for strikes. Opposing hitters look confused. It's endlessly amusing to me so far.
2) For the first time, I got to see Lacey Waldrop in the circle. She's impressive. Good fastball, good offspeed stuff and she fields her position well. She's a true freshman, and I am hopeful for what her full career at FSU can be.
Dinich) Briana Hamilton had two more HRs over the weekend, she leads the team with 3. Her swing is legit.
IV) Kirsten Austin wins the walk up music award. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard. Excellent.
Bananas) Not sure what is up with Mallory Borden (wasn't in uniform), but she was our 2B starter at the beginning of the year. The infield over the weekend had Hamilton at 3B, Brown at 2B and Hensley at 1B. I like it since it maximizes our offensive power potential.
So far, this is the FSU Softball team that I remember. They're winning the games they're "supposed" to win. That said, we still don't know a ton about how they'll play against Top 25 teams, although at 9-0 we might see the Noles sneak into the Top 25 this week. Their next game is Wednesday night at home against UCF (4-5), who has lost 5 games in a row out in San Diego. It's another game FSU needs to play well in and win to keep their momentum moving in the right direction.
A couple of minor issues that I noticed. Courtney Senas (CF) has some issues with line drives for the second weekend. It's just something to watch to see if it's a trend. I wouldn't be shocked to see Maddie O'Brien slide down from her spot at third in the order in the near future if Kelly Hensley continues to hit well. I'm also interested to see if Monica Perry starts to finish out games as we go deeper into the season or if we'll continue to see the Perry / Schinella team whenever Perry starts a game.
Overall, I can't be more pleased with the start to 2012. The team looks enthusiastic, talented and confident. We have plenty of pitching options, good speed and good power. Maybe it's that elusive balance we've wanted for a while?
Season FSU Softball Statistics (take them for what they're worth, which isn't always much).