Feb. 23, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ga. –
Back-to-back home runs by Michelle Snyder and the game winner from Player of the Year Candidate Veronica Wootson in the bottom of the ninth gave the No. 20 Florida State softball team a 2-1 victory over No. 21 Nebraska on Friday (February 23) during the first day of play at NFCA Leadoff Classic.
Florida State improved to 9-1 with its first victory over a ranked opponent in 2007. The Cornhuskers dropped to 4-6 on the year as they started the tournament 0-2.
Working her way out of jam after jam was pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she improved 3-1. In giving up just the one unearned run, the right-hander scattered 11 hits with nine strikeouts and only two walks. Taking the loss was Nebraska’s Ashley DeBuhr as she dropped to 3-2.
Keeping the Seminoles in the game was their ability to play bend, but don’t break defense. Nebraska stranded 18 runners on the day as it had the bases loaded in the second, third, fifth and eight innings. Husker hitters were 7-of-28 with runners on base and 0-for-8 with the bases loaded.
FSU appeared to be in dire straits as the tying run, left fielder Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.), was thrown out at third after Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) failed to get the sacrifice bunt down. The sophomore redeemed herself as she took DeBuhr deep over the left field fence. Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) followed with her first home run of the year, in almost the same spot as Snyder’s, to end the game. The two runs in the ninth ended a streak of 22-striaght innings without a run for FSU, dating back to the 2005 NFCA Classic.
McDonald almost got out of the ninth unscathed as she had two outs and a runner on second base when DeBuhr poked a single into centerfield for the first run of the game.
Both teams had great scoring chances in the eighth. Nebraska loaded the bases with no outs but McDonald got two ground outs and a strikeout to end the inning. FSU had runners on first and third with no outs, but Buckmon popped up into a double play and center fielder Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.) was thrown out trying to steal home.
Through the first four innings both teams were able to get runners on base, but neither could push a run across. Nebraska had the bases loaded with one out in the second and third innings, but McDonald worked out of the jam both times. Designated player Brittany Krbec (Orlando, Fla.) and shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) strung together a pair of hits to load the bases for FSU in the fourth but Wynn lined into a double play to end the threat.
Florida State is back on the field for its second game of the NFCA Classic at 5 p.m. vs. Mississippi State.