May 10, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. – In its first appearance in the title game of the ACC Tournament since 2006, second-seeded Florida State (43-14) fell 3-1 to top-seeded Georgia Tech (43-13) at Dail Stadium on the campus of NC State University Sunday afternoon. ACC Pitcher of the Year Sarah Hamilton along with Kaleigh Rafter and Carly Wynn were named to the All-Tournament team.
“We have to tip our hats to Georgia Tech,” Florida State head coach Lonni Alameda said. “Our game plan was to come in and make them work defensively. We had a lot of ground balls and a lot of situations that they just took advantage of. We couldn’t get anything started and they did a good job. [Kristen] Adkins kept us off-balance and they did a good job of keeping the momentum in their dugout the entire time.”
Florida State was in trouble early as starting pitcher Terese Gober gave up three runs on three hits with one walk and struck out one batter in the bottom of the first inning to give Georgia Tech the 3-0 lead. Sophomore Sarah Hamilton was called in to face the seventh, eighth and ninth batters and was able to get the Noles out of the pickle.
The Seminoles made a charge in the top of the seventh as leadoff batter Courtney Rosen drew a walk off Georgia Tech’s Kristen Adkins, who earned the ACC Tournament MVP honor. Freshman Amber Bryant stepped in and pinch hit for second baseman Kristie McConn and was on with a single up the middle that advance Rosen to second.
Pinch-hitter Mallory Borden took over for first baseman Brittany Joseph and picked up a fielder’s choice to Jen Yee at second, putting runners at the corners with Wynn on deck. The junior centerfielder knocked a nice hit to shallow left field to score Rosen and shorten the gap to 3-1. Following two fielder’s choices and a ground out to short stop, freshman Shayla Jackson was on board with her first hit of the game down the left field line which loaded the bases giving Rafter an opportunity to even it up with just one out on the board.
On a 1-1 count, the starting catcher took a big swing that flew high to center and was caught in shallow territory by Yellow Jacket Blair Shimandle and a laser throw to catcher Jessica Weaver would catch Borden at the plate and the double play would end the game at 3-1 to give Georgia Tech its third ACC title on program history.
The Seminoles were strong both defensively and offensively, out-hitting the Yellow Jackets 8-to-7 while Hamilton struck out six batters; Adkins managed only two punch outs.
“We had good hitting today and Sarah Hamilton did a great job really sticking with the game plan,” Alameda said. “[Kaleigh] Rafter had some good at-bats and Carly [Wynn] had some great at-bats. It was also nice to see some kids come off the bench and have a good game like Amber Bryant and Courtney Rosen.
“We’re still upbeat because sometimes if you get beat, you get beat. We’ve got to keep our heads up heading into next weekend. I think for the team it hurts a little bit right now but they gave it their all.”
Florida State’s season continues as the Noles learn where they’re headed for the NCAA Regionals on May 15-17 tonight at 10:00 p.m. on ESPNU.