May 16, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A wild pitch in the bottom of the 12th inning lifted Oklahoma State to a 1-0 win over 16th-seeded Florida State in NCAA Softball Regional action late Saturday night at JoAnne Graf Field. The two teams battled for nearly three hours back and forth, but the Cowgirls finally prevailed to advance to Sunday’s championship action while the loss ends the Seminoles’ season.
Neither team was able to mount much of anything offensively as both starting pitchers were brilliant. OSU’s Anna Whiddon went the full 12 innings and once again stymied the FSU offense one night after shutting them out in a 1-0 OSU win over FSU. For the Seminoles, starter Terese Gober went 6.2 innings while Sarah Hamilton went the final 4.2 innings after pitching seven innings earlier in the day.
In the 11th inning, OSU got the leadoff runner on and moved her to third with just one out. Florida State elected to intentionally walk the next two batters to load the bases up. Hamilton then got a pair of strikeouts to end the threat and bring the crowd to life. But Whiddon matched Hamilton with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 12th to keep the Cowgirls in it. In the bottom of the inning, Julie Ward led off with a double, moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt and scored the winning run on a wild pitch to end the game.
Whiddon (W, 21-13) went the distance, allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out nine in tossing a 152-pitch gem. Gober went 6.2 innings, allowing no runs on four hits with five strikeouts while Hamilton (L, 20-7) went the final 4.2 innings. She allowed one run on three hits with two intentional walks and eight strikeouts.
Oklahoma State, seeded fourth in the regional, will face second-seeded California Sunday at 1 p.m. Cal beat OSU (36-21) earlier Saturday 2-0. The Cowgirls must win the first game to force a deciding second game on Sunday.
Florida State Head Coach Lonni Alameda:
“I think we talked about laying it on the line today and I thought we did a really good job of that and playing our hearts out. Knowing our backs were against the wall, we had great performances in the circle by the two right next to me (Sarah Hamilton and Terese Gober). We just couldn’t come up with a hit at the right time and it was the last game but it felt good to get through Mississippi State. We have come a long way this year and I am very proud of the girls.”
Florida State Pitcher Sarah Hamilton:
“It was really to come to out and do well that game (against Mississippi State). At this point, it’s just one and done. We really had to come out to win that game so that we could come to this one tonight. That (the no-hitter) was a boost to our team for this last game. That (throwing no-hitters) wasn’t even my goal really; it was more just to win games and best the best I can. It was never to pitch no hitters and throw perfect games and stuff like that. It was definitely great.
“We were going to go right at them. We had (Chelsea) Garcia there. I just threw it a little high and it went over Rafter’s head and she scored.
“That (the inning before) was pretty scary. Intentionally walking people is actually harder than getting people out. Once we got out of that we only had one out with the bases loaded. I felt a big boost myself and thought that was going to be our inning to score. I thought our confidence was going to take us from there after a big inning like that. We went back out and didn’t get it done.”
Oklahoma State Head Coach Rich Wieligman:
“I thought last night’s game was a tough one, I didn’t think you could top it, I think we did tonight, going 12 innings. Pitchers were throwing great, can’t say much about it. Anna did a great job keeping us in the game and throwing the ball. We finally found a way to scratch a run across and hats off to those two pitchers that they threw tonight, they did a great job as well.”
On playing tomorrow:
“We got to show up tomorrow and play. I plan to play two games tomorrow and lets win them both. Our kids have to have the same attitude; they’ve got to be ready to go. We need to swing the bats better, score some runs, but it can be done. We just have to play ball.”