May 18, 2007
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
It looks like win No. 1,400 will have to wait another day for Florida State softball coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. Her Seminoles got off to a rocky start to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, dropping a 13-6 decision to California in the first game of the Tuscaloosa Regional on Friday (May 18).
The loss dropped Florida State to 44-24 on the year. Cal improved to 34-30. The Seminoles will play the loser of the No. 5 Alabama-Tennessee Tech game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. (CDT). Cal will play the winner of that game at 11 a.m.
“This is not the way we would have liked to have started the tournament, we’ve got a long road ahead of us,” Graf said. “We’ve got to do what ever we can to put this game behind us and get ready for tomorrow.”
Taking the loss for the Seminoles was starting pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she dropped to 17-16. The right-hander only lasted two and a third innings, giving up five runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Reliever Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) gave up four runs, two earned, on two hits. Freshman Terese Gober (McDonough, Ga.) threw the final four and two-thirds innings, surrendered four runs, three earned, with six strikeouts. Getting the victory was Cal’s Lauren Frankiewicz, who improved to 18-15.
Four of Florida State’s ten hits came from two players as two-time All-American Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) and All-Region selection Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) each had a pair of hits, drove in a run and scored another. Right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) drove in a pair of runs and scored two as well.
Cal did all of its damage to the Seminoles in the top of the third innings as the Golden Bears scored ten runs in the frame off three different Florida State pitchers. Cal sent 15 batters to the plate in the inning and every player in the line-up scored at least once. After McDonald loaded the bases with one out by hitting a batter, Cal strung together three-straight hits to bring in the first five runs.
The Seminoles pushed their first runs across with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Buckmon, who reached on a fielder’s choice, moved up to second on a walk to catcher Brittany Krbec (Orlando, Fla.). A sacrifice pushed them up a base then Davis scored both runners with a double to the right field gap. Wootson hit a double to nearly the exact same spot as Davis came around to score to cut the lead to 10-3.
After Cal increased the margin to 11-4 in the fifth, the Seminoles scored a run to prevent the eight-run rule. Shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) picked up a one-out single, moved up on a ground out and came around to score on a triple to the left field gap by Buckmon.
FSU got two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to close the gap to 11-5. Davis was issued a leadoff walk and beat the throw to second on a grounder by Wootson. Designated player Monica Montez (Corona, Calif.) delivered a single to score Davis. A walk to center fielder Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.) loaded the bases, but FSU only scored one more run as Montez was forced out on an Alicart grounder – that scored Wootson – and Wynn was thrown out at third trying to advance on a wild pitch.
The Golden Bears have won the last four meetings over the Seminoles – all in the NCAA Tournament, including a pair in the Women’s College World Series – since FSU won 2-1 during the 2001 regional. It was the first time the Seminoles had given up 10 runs in an NCAA Tournament game since losing to Arizona 10-3 during the 1996 regional.