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No. 3 Seminoles host JoAnne Graf Classic: Updated schedule, preview, how to watch, game thread

We take a look at the 3 teams FSU hosts for the first games of the 2023 season

Charles Mays Media

Schedule update

Florida State has announced an updated schedule to the JoAnne Graf Classic after weather spoiled play for the majority of the day on Friday. The fourth-ranked Seminoles will now play Longwood at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will play two games on Sunday. The Seminoles will face Purdue at 9 a.m. and Longwood at 1:30 p.m. All FSU games can be seen live on ACCNX. All games will be played on a rolling schedule with 30 minutes in between each game.

Updated Schedule

Saturday, Feb. 11

  • FSU vs. Longwood 5:30 PM
  • FSU vs. Purdue (30 minutes after the conclusion vs. Longwood)

Sunday, Feb. 12

  • 9 a.m. – Purdue vs. Florida State (ACCNX)
  • 11:15 a.m. – Purdue vs. Longwood
  • 1:30 p.m. – Longwood vs. Florida State (ACCNX)

First pitch for Florida State softball is just hours away, and the ‘Noles look to start off strong. They will host the first home tournament of the season as Lipscomb, Longwood and Purdue are set to match up in the JoAnne Graf Classic. Let’s take a look at each team for this weekend.

Lipscomb Bison

Last season, Lipscomb finished 4th in the ASUN West, giving a 20-32 season. The ‘Noles traveled to Nashville last season to take on the Bison at home, where No. 2 FSU won by a score of 5-3. In the head to head, FSU has won all six matchups when facing the Bison.

Head coach Kristin Ryman’s squad loses their top batting average in Amy Vetula, but return Presley Leebrick, who went 2-3 with a run and an RBI in last seasons matchup. They also return top RBI producer in Maci Cunconan, who produced 36 RBI with a .260 BA and a .571 slugging, the highest on the team.

In the circle, new pitching coach Carrie Eberle has good, young, talent. Last season’s ace, Kate Peters, returns off a good freshman season. In 105.1 innings, she posted a 3.79 ERA with 11 wins. In her appearances she allowed only 70 runs and struck out 41, while holding batters to a .274 average. The Bison could throw a freshman, Macey Ogle, into the fire in Tallahassee, seeing that all other returning pitchers posted over a 5.00 ERA last season.

Longwood Lancers

For the second time ever, FSU will square off with Longwood. The last matchup came in 2020, where the ‘Noles won 6-0. Last season, the Lancers finished 3rd in the Big South, notching key wins against Wichita State and Illinois. Jaden Pone returns offensively, batting .416 in 190 at bats. However, they do lose top run producer in Alexis Wayland who drive in 38. The Lancers don’t provide a lot of power as they only put 31 balls out of the park and hit 44 doubles. On the base paths they were 70 for 89 in stolen bases, so relied more on speed.

This season they will be without ace Sydney Backstrom, who has graduated from the program. She was the pitching staff as she totaled 229.0 innings for Longwood. This season the staff will likely elevate Er’ron Burton, who had 72.1 innings with a 2.81 ERA and 68 hits, with 78 strikeouts.

Purdue Boilermakers

A season ago, the Boilermakers finished with a 24-31 overall record, and ending 11th in the Big Ten. Offensively, they lose top batter Rachel Becker to Oklahoma State, who was the top player in several categories. RBI leader Alex Echazaretta comes back for her senior season, looking to be the new top offensive production.

In the circle, Echazaretta also serves as the ace. Her 105.1 innings led her squad, as well as a 3.72 ERA and registered 107 strikeouts while allowing 101 hits and 58 walks. Behind Echazaretta is Junior Alexa Pinarski, who had a 5.10 ERA in 82.1 innings. In addition, the staff brought in Arizona transfer Madi Elish, who spent one season with the Wildcats and made a Women’s College World Series appearance. Elish saw limited time as a freshman and comes home to Indiana with a 4.34 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 77.1 innings.