2011 FSU Softball And Baseball Are Just Around The Corner
Posted by William Kristoph
It’s just about my favorite time of year. Yes, like most of you I’d rank college football as my favorite sport, but there’s something about Opening Day that gives it the edge once per year. Being an FSU Softball and FSU Baseball fan, I get two Opening Days every year, one week after the other. February 11, the Seminole Softball team starts play and the following weekend on February 18 the Seminole Baseball team opens the season against VMI. If history is any indication I’ll be freezing at JoAnne Graf Field and Dick Howser Stadium, probably in some sort of mist or rain. Both days I’ll be extremely happy to be there.
Baseball is the one sport I played more than just in the backyard. Growing up I played plenty of football and basketball too with the kids in the neighborhood. But baseball always had the official uniform, the money spent on equipment and it was always my true love to play. Maybe that’s because I’ve never been a big fan of running and some of baseball’s greats were, shall we say, less than in peak physical condition? Either way, Opening Day reminds me that spring is roughly here, the warm weather is soon to follow and there’s a long season ahead where anything can and probably will happen. With that, here are 3 thoughts for each of the programs headed into the season.
FSU Baseball Keys
- Pitching. I’m a pitching and defense guy. A lot of that is masked every year by the Noles when they play less than elite competition because FSU’s batters can hammer mediocre to good pitching. The consistency of FSU pitching is key in the close games and will determine if FSU can make it to the 2011 College World Series.
- Defense. I firmly believe the infield defense will improve with Stephen Cardullo out of the SS position. We shall see. The OF is question with Tyler “Clap Happy” Holt gone from CF.
- New Rules / New Bats. Gorilla ball might be toned down a lot this season. For those of you that aren’t aware of the changes to the bats, well for lack of a better term they’re “dead.” Small ball might be a better option than in years past and a lot of guys won’t be getting “technology” home runs anymore. In addition to that, the 1B umpire will be keeping tabs on the time between pitches to help speed up the game. I’m not a fan of clocks in baseball, I’ll leave it at that.
FSU Softball Keys
- Pitching Again. In other years there was an obvious #1 and #2. This year, Sarah Hamilton is the definitive #1 heading in. Behind her, there are plenty of candidates and my hope is that more than one of them becomes a viable option for #2 so that there is more depth than FSU had historically.
- Middle Defense. I’ve harped on this for years too. The middle of the softball infield (Ashley Stager / Kristie McConn) is playing together for the 4th year. They are more than capable of playing better than average defense, but it needs to show up in the stat line.
- Who Steps Up? Carly Wynn is no longer patrolling CF. Gone is her bat, leadership and defense. Who steps up to fill that role? More likely it’s more than one person, but either way someone must lead the way for the Noles to compete for the ACC Championship and WCWS.