There's one nickname in college softball that stands above the rest. It's so far away from the rest of the sport's monikers that the name itself just makes too much sense. There's moonshots and dingers and big flies. But only one woman is hitting unidentified flying objects to the forbidden place: Area 51.
That's what FSU's softball team calls sophomore slugger Michaela Edenfield. The legend of Area 51's light-tower power began last year, when she crushed a laser home run against Hofstra. The team Twitter account tweeted she had hit one to "Area 51," because she wears No. 51, and the nickname was born.
The Legend of FSU's Michaela Edenfield, AKA "Area 51"
That unidentified flying object just landed in Area 51! ??#OneTribe
?: ACCNX pic.twitter.com/cgQr4WwjIh
— Florida State Softball ? (@FSU_Softball) February 25, 2022
Edenfield didn't stop there. She pummeled a team-leading 16 home runs last season, three shy of the Florida State freshman record, and further solidified that incredible nickname. Her teammates can't get enough of it. Her coach approves, too.
"I think it's how hard she hits the ball. We get the luxury of seeing her in batting practice a lot and she definitely hits the ball farther consistently," FSU head coach Lonni Alameda told The Democrat. "We've had some players in the past that could launch them, but she's definitely strong. Her exit velocity and her strength are just pretty incredible. The more she learns and the more opportunities she gets in this game and the smarter she gets in how people are pitching her, it's gonna be neat to see if that can keep growing and she gets smarter. It could be dangerous when you have that kind of raw power."
Raw power, indeed. It's the type of power that leads to a Twitter account named "Michaela Edenfield HR Tracker" with more than 2,000 followers. It's the type of power that produces home runs that get lost in the night sky, like the one she hit against Oklahoma State this season:
#4 on the season and #20 for her career is a NO-DOUBTER on the road against the #3 team in the country! ? pic.twitter.com/WeBZFAV2YS
— Michaela Edenfield HR Tracker (@Area51HRTracker) March 11, 2023
Edenfield has four home runs this season, tied for third-best on FSU's team. But all it takes is one week for her to catch fire and start sending UFOs to Area 51.
Given today's college sports landscape with NIL deals, it should come as no surprise Edenfield launched her own shirt last year through former FSU pitcher Caylan Arnold's Sunday Golds Co. It was a hit.
WOW! The amount of orders for this shirt has been insane! Thank you all for the support of Sunday Golds and Michaela Edenfield! ??? shop now at https://t.co/DXxMJrZaNN pic.twitter.com/t0d7HLvDst
— Caylan Arnold (@ArnoldCaylan) April 14, 2022
And the reason she chose to wear No. 51, kicking off all of this? Her mother. Edenfield's mom, Tami Powell, wore No. 51 playing softball in high school. She also has two aunts who played, one of which was Teresa Edenfield, who played at FSU from 1997-2000.
"All of this like 'Area 51' stuff, it's really cool. It's kind of interesting because it's making its own brand and label for myself. I would have never had this if I didn't choose to wear her number," Edenfield told Seminoles.com.
MORE: Josie Muffley's Flying Catch Makes It Clear: FSU Shortstop is Best in NCAA
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