April 28, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –
During its eight game winning streak, the Florida State softball team had been playing nearly flawless defense. Unfortunately, the gloves let the Seminoles down in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener against North Carolina. A pair of errors led to four unearned runs as FSU had its eight-streak halted by the Tar Heels, 4-3, in the first game of Saturday’s (April 28) doubleheader.
The loss dropped Florida State to 36-20, 11-7 in the ACC. North Carolina improved to 43-15 overall and 11-7 in the conference.
Suffering her first ACC loss in over a month was FSU starting pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she dropped to 13-12 overall, 4-3 in the league. The right-hander threw her 17th complete game of the year, giving up four runs, all unearned run, on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Coming on in the sixth to get the victory was Danielle Spaulding as she improved to 6-1.
Florida State out-hit North Carolina 10-6 with eight of those hits coming from three players. Topping the team was two-time All-American second baseman Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) and catcher Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) with a trio of hits. Wootson scored a run in drove in another with a home run in the third while Ahrberg added an RBI double. Next on the squad was shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) as she went 2-for-4 with a solo home run.
After an unearned run gave North Carolina a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, Florida State evened the game in its half of the third. Wootson crushed her 28th career home run to tie the game at 1-1.
An inning later the Seminoles collected their first lead of the day on back-to-back extra base hits. First baseman Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) lofted a double off the right field fence then Ahrberg hit a laser that ricocheted off the UNC first baseman andt allowed Osmon to come around from second.
Unfortunately Florida State’s defense did not allow it to hold onto the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With two on, Alicart made her second error of the game that loaded the bases. FSU turned a double play on a line drive that would have ended the inning, instead the next batter Anna Roberts looped a single into right field that scored the tying run and a single to centerfield by Joslin Higgins scored the game winning runs.
The Seminoles got within a run in the top of the seventh as Alicart belted her 12th home run of the year – tying her single season record for a year ago – to make it 4-3. FSU got the tying run on base only to strand its ninth runner of the game.
The two teams conclude Saturday’s doubleheader with game two.