April 15, 2014
PITTSBURGH - With eight conference games remaining, the University of Pittsburgh softball team looks to make a run towards postseason play beginning on Wednesday afternoon with No. 9/8 Florida State at Vartabedian Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 2 p.m.
The Panthers (13-22, 4-12 ACC) enter the midweek doubleheader in ninth place and will need to jump Boston College down the stretch to earn a berth into the ACC Tournament (Boston College currently has a two game cushion on Pitt). The road will not be easy for the Panthers as they begin their quest for the postseason with the ACC's top team in Florida State (39-6, 16-3 ACC).
The Seminoles have a legitimate ACC and National Player of the Year candidate in Maddie O'Brien. The redshirt junior is currently leading the ACC in seven different statistical categories, including an opportunity to win the Triple Crown as she owns the top mark in batting average (.448), home runs (18) and RBI (67).
FSU is led by Lacey Waldrop in the circle. Waldrop has been the ACC Pitcher of the Week seven times this season and is leading the NCAA with 26 victories and is third in the country with a 0.87 ERA. Both O'Brien and Waldrop are among the Top-25 finalists for National Player of the Year.
The Panthers are on a five game conference losing streak and have five remaining ACC games left at home (FSU and then a three game series against Georgia Tech this weekend).
Pitt's Tori Nirschl has been on fire during ACC play. In league action, the sophomore is leading the team in batting average (.383), hits (18), runs (13), home runs (6) and RBI (16). All of her homers have come against ACC opponents, as have 16 of her 18 total runs batted in. She is hitting .294 overall this season.