March 4, 2012
HONOLULU, Hawaii (seminoles.com) – The 20th-ranked Florida State University softball team spoiled two strong pitching performances from Monica Perry and Lacey Waldrop as it fell in games against Radford and No. 22 Hawaii by 3-2 and 2-1 scores, respectively, on Saturday evening at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational Tournament.
The losses by the Seminoles (16-2) still give them the No. 2 seed in tournament play after matching their 1-2 record with UC Santa Barbara and Radford. The three-team tiebreaking scenario was least amount of runs given up, with FSU allowing just six in three games.
As the No. 2 seed, FSU will face No. 3 seeded UC Santa Barbara on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. HT/3 p.m. ET. Should FSU win, it would play the winner of No. 1 seed Hawaii and No. 4 seed Radford at approximately 5 p.m. HT.
In its first matchup against a nationally-ranked opponent, FSU received some excellent pitching from Waldrop (8-1) despite the freshman enduring her first loss of the season. Waldrop allowed just two earned runs in six innings pitched while scattering three hits, an impressive line for a pitcher facing one of the nation’s most powerful offenses in a hitter-friendly park.
Waldrop, however, kept her poise throughout the evening and at many times baffled the Rainbow Wahine (15-0) batters. Hawaii batted just 3-for-21 off Waldrop, producing two run-scoring base hits that won the game. Hawaii’s top four batters in Kelly Majam, Kayla Wartner, Sarah Robinson and Jessica Iwata went 0-for-11 against the freshman.
Hawaii pitcher Stephanie Ricketts (9-0) stayed undefeated after holding FSU to two hits and one run allowed in a complete-game effort.
FSU’s two defeats are its first two of the season.
Waldrop had been keeping the Rainbow Wahine off-balanced through the first two innings, but surrendered a solo home run to Dara Pagaduan with two outs in the third inning to put FSU at a 1-0 deficit. Prior to that base hit, Waldrop had retired her first eight batters faced. Following the home run, Waldrop prevented 11 of the next 13 batters from getting a base hit.
Once again, Hawaii did more damage with two outs in the fourth inning. With pinch runner Jazmine Zamora on second base, Alex Aquirre hit a high-chopper over the right side to drive home a run and give Hawaii a 2-0 lead.
FSU fought back with a run in the top of the fifth. Courtney Senas laced a double to centerfield with one out, then scored on Erika Leonard’s line-drive single to left center. An ensuing double play put an end to FSU’s scoring threat in the inning.
Against Radford, Leonard’s bloop double with two outs in the third inning gave FSU a 2-0 advantage. With Shayla Jackson on second base and Maddie O’Brien on first base, Leonard’s hit to right field fell before the outstretched arms of diving right fielder Frankie Martinez to drive both runners home.
A Seminole miscue allowed Radford to knot the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Michelle Beall hit a routine grounder to shortstop O’Brien that was mishandled at first base to bring home pinch runner Morgan Eye and Nichole Beall. Consecutive walks with two outs to Beall and Micalah Sacre helped set up Radford’s two runs in the inning.
FSU attempted to take the lead when consecutive infield singles by Brown and Jackson gave FSU two runners in scoring position with one out in the fifth inning. However, a strikeout and lineout ended the inning and left both runners on base.
After Perry allowed a leadoff double to Vicki Madden to open the bottom of the third, the Whitesburg, Ga., native held her next 15 batters hitless before allowing a single to Ryndee Ruch to begin the seventh frame. Radford followed with a blown sacrifice bunt attempt for an out, but was able to get another runner on base following an errant throw by FSU.
From there, Perry induced a popout to Meredith Moore before Hannah Ojeda provided the walk-off hit by recording a single over a drawn-in outfield in left field. The loss marked the first time FSU surrendered more than two runs in a game since defeating Ole Miss, 10-6, on Feb. 10.
The Seminoles were only able to produce four base hits in the opening contest, tying for their third-lowest this season. Jackson recorded her fourth multiple-hit game of the season, leading FSU with a 2-for-3 performance.
Perry (6-1) allowed three runs versus Radford, with all of them being unearned.