March 29, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Continuing the roll it got on last week, the Florida State University softball pounded out double-digit hits for the fifth game in a row as it beat crosstown rival Florida A&M 9-3 on Wednesday (March 29). The Seminoles collected 13 hits on the evening for their fifth win in six games.
Florida State improved to 25-15, while the Lady Ratters dropped to 21-20.
“We’re trying to focus on improving every game, look for better pitches to hit and put pressure on the other team and we did that tonight,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “We’ve got a tough game with Auburn tomorrow, but I was very pleased they focus on FAMU today. We hit and got ahead early and when they scored we answered right back and I thought that was the key.”
Throwing her fourth complete game in a row was freshman Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) as she improved to 7-5 with the victory. The lefty gave up three runs on five hits with one walk and only one walk. Taking the loss for Florida A&M was Tiffany Johnson to drop her record to 10-3.
“I think Mel is really learning,” Graf noted. “She gave up a big two-run home run, it was a mistake pitch, she knew that, but she came back. That’s the mark of a good player, how they respond.”
The home team quickly got on the board with a pair of runs in the first inning. Left fielder Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) led off the frame with a single, then moved up to second on a sacrifice. After a walk to reigning ACC Player of the Week Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela), second baseman Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) laid down on a bunt single. The late throw to first went down the right field line, allowing Jacob to score and advancing Alicart to third. The next batter, first baseman Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that plated Alicart.
After the Lady Rattlers scored a run in the top of the third, Florida State answered with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Jacob picked up her second hit and moved up to second on a ground by designated player Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.). Wootson cranked her league-leading seventh triple of the season to score both Jacob and Buckmon. A looping single to center field by Osmon brought home Wootson and made it a 5-1 game.
Just like the first time Florida A&M scored, the Seminoles answered. FAMU tallied two in the fifth, but Florida State stormed back with four of its own. Osmon produced her second hit with one out and advanced to second on a single by center fielder Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla.). Third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) brought Osmon home with a single into shallow right field.
Right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) ripped a triple down the right field line to score Brieske and Snyder. Jacob tied a career high when she picked up her fourth hit of the game, a triple into the gap in right field that scored Davis.
“It helps when you get the bottom of the line-up to produce because then you can score in any inning,” Graf added. “You don’t get down if your top of the order doesn’t score and when we get a lot of hits everyone just relaxes. That’s a big key for us, having everyone relaxed at the plate.”
Seven of the nine batters in the starting line-up picked up at least one hit – eight of nine reached base at least once – with Jacob leading the way at four while Osmon also tied a career high with three hits. Wootson, Snyder and Davis added two a piece. Jacob was the only Seminole to score more than once, while Wootson, Osmon and Davis tied for the team lead at two RBIs each.
Florida State is back in action Thursday (March 30) at JoAnne Graf Field when it plays host to No. 17/18 Auburn in a 1 p.m. affair.