Feb. 13, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi softball team is set to compete in the 2014 Renegade Classic in Tallahassee, Fla. The tournament hosted by Florida State will include the Golden Eagles, North Dakota State and the nationally ranked Seminoles. The tournament originally included Hofstra, but the Pride were unable to make it due to inclement weather.
The new tournament schedule will have the Golden Eagles and Bison will each play five games, while tournament-host Seminoles will play six games. The format of the tournament will now be round robin.
Southern Miss and North Dakota State open up the tournament with a game at 12:30 p.m. (CT). The Golden Eagles will then take on the Seminoles at 3:00 p.m. (CT). The day concludes with Florida State hosting North Dakota State.
Day two begins with the Golden Eagles and Bison in a game at 11:00 a.m. (CT). NDSU and FSU square off at 1:30 p.m. before Southern Miss and Florida State take the diamond in the nightcap at 4:00 p.m. (CT).
On the final day of the tournament, Florida State will take on each team in a game, beginning with Southern Miss at 11:30 a.m. (CT). The Seminoles and Bison close out the tournament at 2:00 p.m. (CT).
Southern Miss enters the weekend 0-3 after dropping an opening weekend series to Arizona. Florida State is 4-1 after the opening weekend, while North Dakota State is 3-1.
The Seminoles lead the all-time series with the Golden Eagles, 11-5. Southern Miss is 4-7 all-time against Florida State in Tallahassee. The two teams began competing against each other in 1984. Florida State won the first six meetings before Southern Miss won the next three games in the series. USM has won the last two meetings of the series, including a 2-1 victory last season in the Renegade Classic.
The Renegade Classic will mark the first time Southern Miss and North Dakota State will meet on the softball diamond.
Scouting the Opposition
North Dakota State (3-1) played in the Auburn Plainsman Invitational to open its season last weekend. The Bison defeated Notre Dame, 4-1, in their final game of the tournament. NDSU is the two-time defending regular season champion of the Summit League was again tabbed as the favorite to win the conference in 2014. The Bison return 13 players from last year including four first or second team all-league members.
Florida State looks to build on the success it found out in New Mexico. The `Noles narrowly lost their first game against No. 9 Nebraska by a score of 4-3 on Friday, Feb. 7. FSU outscored New Mexico State, UTEP and Saint Mary's by a combined score of 31-3 in which all three games were ended due to mercy rule. In a rematch against Nebraska, timely hitting by Tiffani Brown and solid pitching by Lacey Waldrop enabled Florida State to secure the 5-1 victory. It marked the first time that the Seminoles have defeated a top-10 opponent since taking down No. 6 Georgia Tech on April 24, 2010.