May 12, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Over the last two years, Florida State pitcher Tiffany McDonald has been sensational against Georgia Tech with a 5-1 record coming into Saturday’s (May 11) semifinal game of the ACC Softball Championship. Unfortunately, the league’s top hitting team was due as the No. 19 Yellow Jackets eliminated the host Seminoles from the tournament with the 7-3 victory.
The loss dropped Florida State to 44-23 on the year. Georgia Tech improved to 53-13. Florida State now waits to hear its named called for the NCAA Tournament. The brackets will be announced Sunday between 3-4 p.m. on ESPNews. Georgia Tech moves on to the championship game to face the winner of the semifinal match-up between Virginia Tech and North Carolina. UNC must beat the top seeded Hokies twice to advances.
“We’re disappointed to be out of the tournament, we felt that being home we had a great shot to win,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “I thought we kept fighting the whole game, we just didn’t take of our scoring opportunities. Give credit to Georgia Tech, they got the big hits when they had runners on and that was the difference.”
Suffering the loss was McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she fell to 17-15. Ironically, her only other loss to the Yellow Jackets during the last two years was in this same game during last year’s ACC Tournament. The right-hander threw four innings, giving up six runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Left-hander Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) threw the final two innings, giving up one run. The victory went to Sarah Wood as she came on in third to improve to 12-1. Tiffany Johnson threw the final inning and a third to get her fifth save.
Florida State’s five hits came from five different players, but four Seminoles did reach base twice. Shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) drove in FSU’s only run while right fielder Monica Montez (Corona, Calif.), left fielder Jessica Gilmore (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) and third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) each scored a run.
The Seminoles jumped out to early lead thanks to some clutch two-out hitting. Montez drew a lead off walk then one out later Alicart ripped a double into the gap in left field to score Montez from first base. Unfortunately the lead was short lived as Caitlin Lever hit a three-run home run that stayed just inside the right field foul pole to give Georgia Tech a 3-1 lead.
The lead grew to 5-1 in the Yellow Jackets’ favor in the fourth off a single and a ground out. Florida State got one run back in the fifth with the help of two wild pitches. Snyder drew a lead off walk and moved up to second on the first wild pitch from Wood. A single by two-time All-American Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) put runners on the corners before another wild pitch allowed Snyder to score.
For second inning in a row a Wood wild pitches pushed a run across in the sixth. A single through the right side of the infield by designated player Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) moved Gilmore to third and she scored on the wild pitch.
Florida State’s selection to the NCAA Tournament would be its 20th under Graf and eighth in a row.