March 4, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Looking purely at the line scores from Florida State’s three softball games with No. 7 Michigan may give the casual observer the wrong impression of how close the games actually were. For the third-straight game, one big inning was the difference maker as the defending national champion Wolverines prevailed 5-0 to win the Sunshine State title on Saturday (March 4).
Florida State dropped its third game to Michigan as its record fell to 11-8 on the year. Michigan improved to 11-5. Taking the loss was FSU starter Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Mich.) as her ledger dropped to 8-5. The righty, who has appeared in 16 of the Seminoles 19 games this year, gave up five runs, four earned, with five strikeouts in six innings of work. 2005 All-American Jennie Ritter struck out 15 batters to improve to 6-1.
A leadoff walk came back to haunt McDonald in the first inning as Tiffany Haas scored on a double by Samantha Findley. Just like the previous two meetings over the last two days, the Wolverines broke open the game with a big inning. Michigan, designated the home team as the higher seed, loaded the bases in the bottom of the third without a hit. Becky Marx cleared the bases with a grand slam to center field that make it a 5-0 Michigan advantage.
Unlike the first meeting on Thursday when FSU didn’t get a hit until the seventh inning, the Seminoles got the bats going with a pair of hits in the fourth inning. With two outs, center fielder Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla.) laced a single to left field. Brieske was the only Seminole to get on base more than once as she reached in the second when the catcher dropped strike three, allowing Brieske to get on base. Rookie third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) also poke one into left field for FSU’s second hit.
Florida State is back in action at JoAnne Graf Field Tuesday (March 7) when it plays host to Connecticut in a doubleheader with the first pitch schedule for 5 p.m.