May 3, 2004
Auburn, AL –
The second-ranked Florida State softball team (52-6) dropped its sixth game of the year as they fell to No. 15 Auburn (39-13) 1-0 in eight innings Monday night. The Tribe could muster just three hits versus Auburn ace Kristin Keyes (24-9) as they were shutout for the first time since Nebraska held FSU scoreless in another 1-0 loss March 18.
Casey Hunter (29-2) struck out nine and allowed just three hits but three errors, including a crucial miscue in the eight, caused her 21-game win streak to come to an end. The loss was the hurler’s first since a 4-3 set back versus fellow SEC team LSU February 29 in the NFCA Classic Championship game. Tatiana George recorded two of FSU’s three hits as she doubled twice in the game.
Keyes set down the first five Seminoles in order before George sent a double down the right field line. She moved to third on a passed ball but Keyes ended the threat with her second K of the game.
The Tigers put a runner on base for the fourth straight inning when three spot hitter Sara Dean reached on an error. The Tribe cut her down at second on an attempted sacrifice bunt. Hunter got the second out on a strikeout and then ended the frame on a force at second.
George tried to start another rally in the fifth as she hammered a Keyes offering off the wall in left field. The double was her second of the game, which doubled her season total. Carly Brieske reached on an infield single but George was unable to advance to third on the play leaving two on with one away. Both runners moved up a base as George swiped third and Brieske advanced on the throw down to third. Keyes came a step closer to getting out of danger again with her sixth K of the day and then ended the Tribe threat on her seventh strikeout of the game.
Florida State mistakes put Auburn in business in the bottom of the seventh. Hunter hit a batter with two down and then George threw away a grounder that extended the game and allowed the runner to move to third. With the winning run 60 feet away, Hunter came up big as she fanned her eighth batter of the game and sent the contest into extra innings where the international tiebreaker went into effect.
After FSU was unable to move the runner placed at second, Auburn sacrificed its runner to third with the first batter of the eighth frame. For the second straight inning AU had the winning run just 60 feet away. Hunter recorded the second out on her ninth K but a hard shot off the hurlers leg plated the game-winning run.
After wrapping up its doubleheader with Auburn this evening, Florida State will wrap-up the regular season with a four-game swing through Michigan next weekend. The Tribe opens the trip Saturday, May 8 with a win bill against No. 6 Michigan. Game times are set for 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. For more information on the 2004 FSU softball team please log on to the official athletic website of Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.