town name, state name
4 Month Ago

As FSU heads into postseason play, here's how the veteran coach created 'incredible' culture

Reporter: Tallahassee

 As FSU heads into postseason play, here's how the veteran coach created 'incredible' culture

Share your feelings about this article

Marvellous Icon Interaction animation marvellous Image
Article Interaction Bullseye Image Interaction Animation Bullseye Image
Article Interaction Good Image interaction animation good


Right on


JoAnne Graf did not know much about the head coach Florida State was bringing in to replace her following her retirement in 2008. Graf, who started her coaching career in 1979, led the Seminoles for 30 seasons. FSU had the task of hiring just their second coach in program history, landing on Lonni Alameda from UNLV. Alameda, in her 15th season as the head coach, has certainly earned the respect of her predecessor. "I didn't really know Lonni very well because she coached at UNLV so she was on the West Coast," Graf told the Democrat.

"But her coming in, she struck me as somebody that was really going to continue the tradition and even elevate it. I think she has done a fantastic job in just pushing the program forward and continuing to have high expectations. "I couldn't be prouder of her and the team for what they've accomplished." Passing the Seminole legacy:Ace Kathryn Sandercock passing on lessons from Meghan King Still the class of the ACC:Takeaways from FSU softball winning ACC Tournament Tallahassee Regional breakdown:Analysis of FSU softball's opponents FSU opens the Tallahassee Regional Friday against Marist at 4 p.m.

at JoAnne Graf Field. It will be the ninth straight year the Seminoles host a regional. “I certainly wish them the best this weekend. And next weekend,” Graf said. “(Lonni is) doing a great job and hopefully she can continue doing it. We'd love for her to win several more national championships while she's here.” Under Alameda, the Seminoles have eight ACC titles four Women's College World Series appearances and a national championship in 2018. Alameda reached her 700th career win in an 11-2 win over Notre Dame on April 29. In addition to her success on the field, Alameda has also had a major impact on many players and coaches who have made their way through Tallahassee during her tenure. “It's the culture that she creates is just absolutely incredible,” former FSU pitcher Meghan King said.

“And I cannot say enough incredible things about the person, the coach, she is. She doesn't just care about you as a softball player. She really tries to embody lessons in that you can take to your professional career and on and off the field, to your families. The Democrat connected with five former players — King (2015-19), Jessica Burroughs (2013-17), Lacey Waldrop (2012-15), Cali Harrod (2016-19) and Carsyn Gordon (2016-19) — and all spoke highly of their coach. “I wouldn't be the woman I am today without her,” Gordon told the Democrat.

“She's given me opportunities that go for a lifetime. She's taught me lessons not only on the field, but off the field as well which is what I think makes her so special because not only is she an amazing coach, but she's an amazing mentor and a personal look as well. “I'm forever grateful for Coach Al forever grateful for my four years at Florida State and everything that I've learned.” Harrod added she is a high school softball head coach in Carrollton, Georgia.

She said she has built her program similar to how Alameda runs FSU. Florida State softball shortstop thrives on the field, pursues firefighting career off 2018 National Championship King, Gordon and Harrod were all members of the 2018 National Championship team, the first in program history. (Graf's FSU teams won back-to-back slow pitch AIAW titles in 1981 and 1982.) "That was incredible," Harrod said.

"It was something that I'll never forget. We worked. We worked day in and day out. ... So that was a really, really special run." FSU earned the No. 6 overall seed and proceeded to defeat Auburn and Jacksonville State in the Tallahassee Regional before taking down LSU in the Super Regional. At the College World Series, they became the first team to lose their first game in the World Series and go on to win the national title during the championship series format.

They also tied the record for most elimination game wins. "We won two AIWA National Championships in slow pitch, but that was the first fast-pitch one," Graf said. "The closest we came when I coached was we tied for third twice. To see him finally get over that hump is just awesome because there's only one team a year that gets called national champion. "So when you reach that pinnacle, I think that just really kind of bumped us up a notch and very proud of them.

It was a really exciting tournament to watch just how they kept coming from behind even all postseason that year. So it was pretty phenomenal." Kassim:Florida State, Florida matchup shows the growth of college softball as a sport Belief in Lacey Waldrop A devastating 17-3 to Michigan loss is forever etched in the memory of Waldrop. Waldrop, a junior during the 2014 season, surrendered eight runs (four earned) on six hits, walked five and struck out two in two innings of the Super Regional Game 1 loss to the Wolverines.

The Seminoles were seeking their first appearance in the Women’s College World Series in a decade. A text message Alameda sent Waldrop helped the team turn things around and win the final two games to advance to Oklahoma City. “It was the worst loss any team had in a Super Regional,” Waldrop told the Democrat.

“She sent me a text that night and just said, ‘Hey, I need you to look in the mirror and know that you are the best pitcher in the country and you're going to take us to the World Series.’ … “She knows how to give you the confidence you need to go out there and get it done. “Then the next day we played to get to a doubleheader and won both and Courtney Senas hit the home run to walk us off and go to World Series.” Kassim:There is something special about Florida State softball this season Jessica Burroughs' freshman year When Burroughs was a freshman, it would have been hard to imagine the potential star she could have been.

Not even she imagined her success, especially when Alameda told her she would redshirt her freshman season in 2013. But Alameda believed in her and showed her freshman pitcher just that with an impromptu trip to Burroughs' hometown of Warner Robins, Georgia during winter break of her freshman season. "I get a text from coach and she says, 'Hey, would you like to get lunch? I am in your area," Burroughs said.

"I'm not sure exactly if she had somewhere to be up there. But I do know she drove and took the time out of her day. I'm freshman Jessica on my winter break and she drives there and has lived with me just to check in. "For some reason that just set the tone for my time at Florida State, because I was like, gosh she really, really cares and wants me to be good and she sees something in me that the time I didn't see in myself." Burroughs went on to be named a four-time all-ACC pitcher and won back-to-back Pitcher of the Year in her last two seasons at FSU.

She went 92-17 in her Seminole career. 'It was a dream come true':Florida State softball's Katie Dack on transferring to Seminoles Pitching revolution While Waldrop, King and Burroughs are examples of workhorse pitchers Alameda has been able to lean on in her time as the FSU head coach, the 2023 season represents a bit of a new test for her. Alameda has utilized a seven-pitcher rotation in 2023, led by redshirt senior Kathryn Sandercock.

The Seminoles' 1.71 ERA in 373 ⅓ innings is the 11th-best in college softball. "I think she's setting the tone for it quite frankly," Graf said. "I think she does it better than anybody. And you know, the game has adjusted. Back when I coached, I think the most pitchers we ever had was three and you know a lot of times your pitcher went the whole game and it has just changed. "A lot of other coaches I think are kind of starting to do the same thing Lonni has been doing, but I think she does it better than anybody." As Graham Hays of D1Softball pointed out, in 2006 Arizona coach Mike Candrea made nine in-game pitching changes across 65 games. Against No.

3 Oklahoma State earlier this season, Alameda made seven pitching changes in 19 innings during a three-game series. Freshman Makenna Reid, Allison Royalty, Ali DuBois, Mack Leonard, Emma Wilson and Madi Balk have also been thrown in the circle this season. With more video scouting readily available and better technology, it has become easier to scout a pitcher, especially one who has been around college softball for a while. "They can literally download a pitcher's spin into the hitting machine," Burroughs said.

"They can replicate their spin, their speed, and everything and then have the hitters just take BP off of that. "So it just makes it really tough. You have to be a lot smarter. So I think coaching Al does a a really good job of recognizing that." 2023 Tallahassee Regional Schedule Friday Game 1 - 4:00 p.m.

Marist (Visitor) vs. Florida State (Home) Game 2 - 7:00 p.m. UCF (Visitor) vs. South Carolina (Home) Saturday Game 3 – 1:00 p.m. (Winner of Game 1 vs Winner of Game 2) Game 4 – 3:30 p.m. (Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2) Game 5 – 6:00 p.m. (Loser of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4) Sunday Game 6 – 4:00 p.m.

(Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5) Game 7 (If Necessary) – 6:30 p.m. Reach Ehsan Kassim at or follow him on Twitter at @Ehsan_Kassim. You can also follow our coverage on Facebook (NoleSports) and Instagram (tlhnolesports). No one covers the ‘Noles like the Tallahassee Democrat.

Subscribe using the link at the top of the page and never miss a moment.

Go to original article source

Related : Kids need to go back to school


Issaquah, WA







Overall Article Rating:
View Article Ratings
Contributions (0)
Add Contribution

A contribution is an additional perspective to the primary article. You may add your contribution to the article and it will be featured below the primary article. Each contribution will follow the article in order of date added.

Comment (0)
town name, state name