April 26, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It was a perfect end for Senior Day as No. 18 Florida State completed the sweep over Virginia with a 5-1 victory in the final game of the regular season on JoAnne Graf Field. The Seminoles power forward to a 38-13 record and 14-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is the best league record the program has had since joining the ACC in 1991.
“It’s so nice to be able to sweep at home and gain momentum going into the ACC Tournament,” FSU head coach Lonni Alameda said. “Sarah Hamilton did a great job keeping Virginia off-balance today. They’re a good hitting ball club so that was nice to see.
“The momentum is really going for us now. Defensive pitching has been a strength for us and it was nice to see our bats come alive as well.”
Hamilton was solid in the circle for the Noles, giving up just two hits, one unearned run, a single walk and 11 punchouts. The sophomore continues to lead the pitching staff with an impressive 0.95 season ERA with 234 strikeouts, just 10 away from cracking the single-season Top 10 at Florida State.
The offense was nicely spread out this afternoon, led by freshman Shayla Jackson who picked up three hits while senior Michelle Snyder, junior Carly Wynn and sophomore Kristie McConn each recording two apiece. Shortstop Ashley Stager rounded out the hits with one of her own.
The first runs came in the third inning as McConn was on board with a single to left and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. The second baseman moved to third thanks to a Wynn single to center and went on to score on a Jackson single to third. A throwing error on the third baseman advanced both runners and Wynn would plate on a Rafter sacrifice fly to pull the Noles ahead 2-0.
McConn would return in the fourth and record a nice double to right center, her fourth on the year, to score senior Jessica Gilmore from second and pull FSU ahead 3-0.
The final pair of FSU runs came courtesy of a Snyder single to deep right field that scored Rafter and Stager to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Cavaliers would prevent the shutout in the top of the sixth with Carly Winger on first, the senior would steal second as Rafter’s throw to McConn would just miss the mark and bounce off Winger’s foot and roll to the warning track. The leftfielder would score on the play, but a pop-up to Stager and a Hamilton strikeout would put a stop to Virginia’s attempts.
Florida State is now on a nine-game winning streak after successfully sweeping Maryland, NC State and now Virginia in back-to-back-to-back weekends. The Seminoles now head into the final ACC series against Boston College on May 2-3 in Chestnut Hill, Mass, before the conference tournament begins on May 8.