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Raider teams prepare for postseason action

The Raider softball, baseball and women's golf teams will head to their respective postseason tournaments this month.

The spring 2013 season is almost over, and all three of Seminole State College of Florida’s athletics teams are gearing up for the postseason this month. This marks the first time the baseball, softball and women’s golf teams will participate in the postseason together since 2008.

The baseball and softball teams will head to Lakeland and Pensacola, respectively, to participate in the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) State Tournament. The women’s golf team will venture to Mesa, Ariz., to compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship tournament.

“This is quite an accomplishment for us,” says Director of Athletics John Scarpino. “It stands as a testament to the dedication of the coaches and our student athletes, and it proves that hard work will pay off with success.”

All baseball tournament games, and days two and three of the softball tournament, can be streamed live at Panhandle Sports Broadcasting’s website.

Baseball

For the first time since 2008, Seminole State’s baseball team will compete for the FCSAA State Championship. Coach Chris Hayes and the Raiders head to Lakeland as the runner-up in the Mid-Florida Conference (MFC).

Parker Perez prepares to take a pitch.

Seminole State (34-12, 18-6 MFC) tied conference champion St. Johns River State College’s conference record but lost the head-to-head series.

The Raiders, ranked No. 5 in Florida in the FCSAA Coaches’ Poll and No. 38 in the nation by Perfect Game, will start the double-elimination tournament on May 10 at 4 p.m. against Suncoast Conference champion State College of Florida (41-11, 23-5 SuCon). The Manatees are ranked No. 2 in Florida and No. 3 nationally.

The Raiders ended the season on a five-game winning streak, which included a 5-4 victory against MFC champion St. Johns River State in Palatka, and won 10 of their final 12 games to help secure their berth in the state tournament. They will be anchored offensively by shortstop and leadoff batter Angelo Amendolare, the Raider Male Athlete of the Year; and outfielder John Gandolfo, a former FCSAA statewide Player of the Week selection. MFC Pitcher of the Year Kyle Andre (10-2) will provide a strong arm and savvy pitching on the mound.

Softball

One year after their 2012 state championship run, the Lady Raiders (34-25, 11-13 MFC) and Coach Courtney Miller head back to the FCSAA State Tournament hoping to duplicate their success in an encore performance. They begin the tournament May 3 at 2 p.m. against Southern Conference champion Miami Dade College (28-14, 13-3 SoCon).

Seminole State, led by Raider Female Athlete of the Year Priscilla Gonzalez and April 15-21 FCSAA Player of the Week Andrea Monayarji, clinched a berth in the tournament in dramatic fashion, winning the last four conference games to secure their slot. They hit their stride at the end of the season, and the Lady Raiders enter the postseason on a hot streak, winners of eight of their last nine games overall.

They will need that momentum to make a deep tournament run: Four of the 16 teams participating in the double-elimination tournament are ranked in the top 10 teams in the United States, including No. 9 Miami Dade, against whom the Lady Raiders open the tournament. The Sharks also are ranked No. 3 in Florida.

Women’s Golf

Seminole State is sending a team of its top five golfers to Mesa, Ariz., May 13-16 to represent the Lady Raiders at the NJCAA National Championship tournament.  The four-day tournament will take place at Longbow Golf Course, an 18-hole course that spans 6,165 yards.

Chanya Angwarawong

Last season, Seminole State earned national runner-up honors at the tournament and left with five golfers qualifying to be recognized as All-Americans. This year, the Raiders and Coach Christa Teno hope to bring home a championship.

The Raiders lost a close battle against Daytona State College, ranked No. 1 in the nation all season long, for the NJCAA Region 8 championship. But both teams head to Mesa with national championship aspirations. The Raiders enter the tournament No. 2 in America, led by Chanya “Phon” Angwarawong and Joanna Yoo, both ranked nationally among the top 10 individual golfers.

"To have all three teams represented in the postseason truly affirms the quality and success of our Athletics Department and each program in it," Scarpino says. "We wish them the best of luck, and we hope they’ll bring three new championship trophies back to Seminole State."

For more information about the Seminole State Athletics Department, and to view the Raiders' complete season schedules and results, please visit the Seminole State athletics home page.

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