March 15, 2007
FULLERTON, Calif. –
All season long the Florida State softball team has been on the verge of pulling off an upset of top-ranked team. The No. 24 Seminoles broke through for that win finally as they scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to upset No. 12 Washington, 3-1, during Thursday’s (March 15) first day of play at the Judi Garman Classic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton.
The Seminole picked up their third victory over a ranked opponent, but their first against a Top 15 team, as they improved to 21-8 on the year. Washington dropped to 18-5.
“This was a great win for us and hopefully it will help get us over the hump against good teams and good pitching,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “We’ve been close a number of times but we’ve been beating ourselves and this time we took advantage of our opportunities. Tiffany pitched a great game and I was happy to see that we scored some runs for her.”
Picking up her third victory in four outings was Washington native Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she improved to 7-5 on the year. The right-hander gave up just one unearned run on three hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks. Taking the loss for the Huskies was Danielle Lawrie as she fell to 11-2. It was the second victory for McDonald over a Pac-10 school in Fullerton as she beat No. 10 Arizona State here last year.
With only one hit to Florida State’s credit off Lawrie through the first four innings, Player of the Year candidate Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) led off the sixth with a double to left field. The double extended her team-best hitting streak to 13 games. Right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) drew a walk and catcher Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) dropped down a sacrifice bunt to put the winning run in scoring position.
Florida State managed to score its three runs despite the fact that the next three batters didn’t hit the ball out of the infield. Shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) dropped down the first of two squeeze bunts to score Wootson then designated player Brittany Krbec (Orlando, Fla.) did the exact same thing to score Davis with the game winner. Alicart added an insurance run when she scored after pinch hitter Jessica Gilmore (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) cue balled the pitch off the end of the bat and it spun to a dead stop on the first base line.
The two bagger gave Wootson sole possession of fourth place in school history with 36 doubles. She tied Susan Buttery for third with her 170 runs scored and the base hit put her one hit shy of tying Buttery for seventh in school history with 245 career hits.
Florida State almost worked its way out of a jam in the fourth but a close call at first base on a grounder went against the Seminoles and kept the inning alive for Washington. First baseman Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) couldn’t hang on to a hard-hit ball at her that allowed Lauren Greer score.
The Seminoles had their chance to answer in the bottom of the fourth but left a pair of runners stranded. Third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) was hit by a pitch with one out. Lawrie threw Wootson’s grounder over the first baseman’s head to put runners on second and third. Unfortunately Lawrie struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
McDonald was outstanding with exception of the fourth. She only allowed one runner to get past second base all day and only had three runners get into scoring position. McDonald posted double digit strikeouts for the second game in a row and she was helped out by an FSU defense that didn’t commit an error
The Seminoles complete their first day at the Judi Garman Classic with a 6:15 (PDT) contest with Cal State Northridge. The two teams were rained out at last year’s tournament.