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Florida State softball vs. LSU: super regional preview

Lady ’Noles looking for revenge.

LSU v Florida Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

(6) Florida State (50-10) welcomes (11) LSU (44-15) to Tallahassee for the Super Regionals of the NCAA softball tournament. The Seminoles advanced by winning the Tallahassee regional while the Tigers advanced by winning the Baton Rouge regional. This matchup is a repeat of the 2017 super regional when the 13th seeded Tigers upset the 4th seeded Seminoles by winning the last two games of the regional by 1-0 and 6-4 scores after dropping the first game 3-1.

The following chart compiles some relevant statistics comparing the two teams. The first number is the value of the statistic while the number in parentheses is the national rank for that statistic. The schedule rank is through May 13th so it does not include NCAA tournament games. I have included the schedule rank because there has been discussion that FSU's numbers are inflated because the Seminoles play in the weaker ACC. While the ACC isn't as strong as the SEC the Noles played the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation so their overall schedule strength is comparable to an SEC team.

The stats reveal that FSU and LSU have dominant pitching and exceptional fielding. The difference between the teams is that the Noles have a substantial edge at the plate and on the basepaths. Michaela Schlattman will be behind the plate for LSU. She is a transfer from Miami (OH) and will be tasked with trying to slow down the Seminole running game. FSU has a 91.2% success rate stealing bases and Schlattman has struggled at times throwing runners out. If Florida State is able to exploit this matchup they will have a big edge in this series.

Of course the Noles need to get on base first and to do that they will need to hit LSU's impressive pitching tandem of Allie Walljasper and Carley Hoover. Walljasper (18-6, .94 ERA (7th nationally)) and Hoover (16-6, 1.39 ERA (24)) have both the talent and experience to shut down the potent Nole lineup especially in a short series. FSU will counter with Kylee Hanson (27-4, 1.00 ERA (10th)) and Meghan King (21-6, 1.24 ERA (18)).

Left fielder Aliyah Andrews (.328/.364/.348) and 1B Amanda Doyle (.326/.386/.516) are the players to watch at the plate for the Tigers. However, it will be really important for LSU to pitch well and keep the errors to a minimum because the Tigers don't have the firepower to win shootouts with the Seminoles.

The Tallahassee regional will begin Friday at 7pm (ESPNU). The second game is scheduled for Saturday at 5pm (ESPN2) and the third game (if necessary) will be on Sunday at 3pm (ESPNU). All games will be played at JoAnne Graf Field at the Seminole Softball Complex. The winner of the super regional will advance to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.