Top-Ranked FSU Hopes History Repeats Itself In 2019
Florida State's national championship run capped off a historic 2018 season. The Seminoles finished the season with a 58-12 record and fought their way through the elimination bracket at the Women’s College World Series to bring home the first championship trophy in school history.
This year, Team 36 is not looking to dwell on the successes of last year, but instead is looking forward to the new challenges that the 2019 season will bring.
Led by head coach Lonni Alameda, the Seminoles are kicking off the 2019 season at the top of the NCAA Division 1 rankings. Coach Alameda has high hopes for Team 36 and realizes that they are coming into this season with a target on their backs.
“It will be a fun challenge," she said. "Who wouldn’t want that right? You come here and you want to be the best and you want to want to watch yourself grow, so now we’re going to get everyone’s best. So, what a great opportunity to grow as Florida State Softball, Team 36, and as individuals.”
Jessie Warren and Kylee Hanson were two key players who led the team to the 2018 World Series championship and left a couple of holes to fill on Team 36. Senior Cali Harrod is optimistic that her team will step up to fill them this season.
“We’re going to miss both of them," Harrod said. "They were huge parts of our team, but the freshmen are stepping up, they’ve been doing great in their new roles on the team and we’re excited to see what it’s going to be like when we all come together. It’s going to be amazing. “
Last season Harrod started all 70 games at shortstop and led the Seminoles in runs scored with 52. Being a part of a championship team is something Harrod will always cherish, but she is looking ahead to the new season and the new mission of Team 36.
“I think it’s a feeling that’s never going to go away," she added. "It’s something that we all wanted since we were little girls so it’s something that we’re always going to remember but this year is a new team with a new mission so we’re just focusing on team 36 right now and just take it a day at a time, one practice at a time, and see what we’re going to be about this year.”
Syndey Sherrill was another key player in the 2018 Women’s College World Series Championship team. As a freshman, Sherrill hit .370 on the season, breaking the FSU and Atlantic Coast Conference record for doubles in a single season with 29. Ending her freshman season on a high note, Sherrill is excited to see what Team 36 will do this year.
“It’s exciting," said Sherrill. "We have a lot of experience coming into this year but we also have freshman who are going to have to step up and come into a role that we did lose from last year but you know, I think we’re going to be good. Team 36 is coming together really well and I’m excited to see what we’re going to do.”
The Seminoles will kick off their season on Feb. 8 at JoAnne Graf Field with the inaugural JoAnne Graf Classic.