FAMU (18-29-1, 13-2 MEAC), won the MEAC Southern Division, earning one of two top seeds in the eight-team, double-elimination event, along with Northern Division winner Hampton (Va.) University (22-20, 17-1 MEAC).
The Lady Rattlers will face Northern Division #4 seed Coppin (Md.) State (10-40, 7-11 MEAC) in Game One at 10:00 a.m., hoping to advance to Thursday's 7:00 p.m. winner's bracket semifinal against the winner of the 1:30 p.m. match up against Delaware State and North Carolina A&T.
Should FAMU win twice on Thursday, they would advance to Friday's 1:00 p.m. winner's bracket final for a berth in Saturday's 1:00 p.m. championship game.
FAMU will also seek to extend its' league-leading total of MEAC Softball titles to 13, and win four straight pennants for the first time in school history.
Senior pitcher Kenya Pereira (8-10, 3.18 ERA, 140Ks), a two-time MEAC Tournament Outstanding Player (2014, 2015), will most likely get the start against Coppin State Thursday, bidding to add to her sterling 10-1 record in tournament play.
Expect to see both junior Veronica Burse (4-16) and sophomore Tahlia Snider (6-3) work from the circle in the tournament as well for FAMU.
Offensively, FAMU will be led by a cadre of talented performers including sophomore outfielder Alexis Day (.341, 4 HRs, 4 triples, 7 doubles, 24 RBI), senior third baseman Amber Fullwood (.296, 30 runs, 6 HRs, 12 doubles, 29 RBIs), junior first baseman Toni Anderson (.291, 11 HRs, 28 RBIs), freshman shortstop Jamesia Stoudemire (.278, 35 runs, 5 HRs, 5 triples, 6 doubles, 25 RBI, 15 stolen bases), and senior outfielder Whitney Farris (.277, 15 stolen bases, 9 RBI).
SNAKEBITES: The 2017 FAMU Senior Class – Pereira, Fullwood, Farris, catchers Miesha McBride and Denise Anderson, and outfielder Tashayla Irvis - are bidding to become the first senior class at FAMU to win the MEAC title all four years….. Head coach Veronica Wiggins is in her 26th season at FAMU, and hit two coaching milestones this season, getting her 700th career win March 11 against Howard University…
She also won her 250th career conference victory following a three-game sweep of South Carolina State (April 1-2)…. She comes to Ormond Beach with a 713-818 career mark overall, and a 257-89 conference standard…. That April series against South Carolina State saw a bit of player history too, as sisters Denise and Toni Anderson hit home runs in the seventh inning of Game One, becoming just the eighth (8th) pair of siblings to “go yard” in the same inning in college softball history…. Anderson's 11 home runs puts her fifth on the single season list, tied with slugging third baseman Kim Browning (1999)….