March 5, 2005
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.– After defeating the Tar Heels 2-0 in the first contest, the No. 20 Seminoles were down one run with two outs in the seventh inning of the second game before rallying and scoring four straight runs for a 6-3 victory to open Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) action 2-0 on Friday. The wins marked Florida State’s fourth and fifth straight and the Seminoles improved their record to 14-6 overall. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels dropped to 13-7 and 0-2 in conference play.
Senior NFCA All-American pitcher Casey Hunter earned the win during the first battle after striking out 12 batters to move her record to 7-5 overall (0.85 ERA). Hunter has pitched three consecutive shutouts and allowed just four hits in those games.
Freshman pitcher Tiffany McDonald produced her seventh victory (7-0, 0.79 ERA) of the season during the backend of the doubleheader at the North Carolina Softball Complex.
For the second time this week in a two-game series, sophomore LaShaun Davis slugged a perfect 1.000 percent after going 2-for-5 at the plate with two runs and three RBIs. Furthermore, she recorded her first collegiate career home run during the second game. Freshman Melissa Wood and junior Natasha Jacob each registered team-high 3-for-5 performances on the day.
NO. 20 FLORIDA STATE 2, NORTH CAROLINA 0
Right fielder LaShaun Davis singled to left field with two outs and scored freshmen Whitney Buckmon and Brittany Osmon in the seventh inning as 20th-ranked Florida State softball recorded a 2-0 win over North Carolina tonight at the UNC Softball Complex. The Seminoles got on board in the top of the seventh when Osmon walked and Buckmon singled.
Florida State’s Casey Hunter continued to show why she’s one of the nation’s top aces by pitching seven flawless innings, retiring an impressive 12 batters, walking just two and allowing only two base hits. The game marked Hunter’s third straight shutout and second double-digit strikeout performance.
The Tar Heels played error-free ball, but the Tribe’s hurler kept the runners at bay for the majority of the game. After struggling offensively where it left runners on base four innings, Florida State finally managed to get runs when it mattered most during its final at bat.
Catcher Melissa Wood was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate and had a game-high 12 putouts. Buckmon was the only other Seminole with a multi-hit outing and she tallied two hits, respectively.
Crystal Cox (6-4) took the loss for the Tar Heels, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work.
NO. 20 FLORIDA STATE 6, NORTH CAROLINA 3
For a little over two hours during the second contest of the FSU vs. UNC doubleheader, it appeared the Tar Heels would walk away with an easy victory after taking a 3-2 advantage heading into the seventh. The Seminoles had in fact posted two errors in the game and the scoreboard lit up with two outs and two strikes before North Carolina saw its hopes of a win crumble before its very eyes.
The game was already significant for the Tar Heels as the Seminoles had yet to allow UNC to score a run against them since the 2002 ACC Tournament. In fact, Florida State had registered six straight shutouts over its opponent and North Carolina earned it’s last regular season win in 2001.
But then, sophomore second baseman Veronica Wootson stepped up to the plate and proved once again why she excels during pressure situations.
With two strikes on her, the NFCA All-American native of Fontana, Calif., hit a blooper to third base and beat out the throw to first. The at bat was arguably noted as a fielder’s error, but Wootson undoubtedly reached base safely and advanced on the throw, scoring LaShaun Davis for the 3-3 tie.
On the next play, Natasha Jacob hit an RBI single and sophomore BillieAnne Gay scored (4-3). Finally, shortstop Tatiana George showed why she’s the team’s RBI leader, as she doubled down the left field line and scored Jacob and Wootson to seal the win for Florida State.
North Carolina attempted a comeback in its final at bat, but all three players went down which allowed the Tribe to escape, 6-3.
Freshman Tiffany McDonald got the win for the Seminoles (7-0). She threw seven innings and gave up six hits, two walks, one earned run and retired four. Crystal Cox (6-5) picked up the loss but struck out 10 FSU players.
Florida State scored in the top of the third and fifth inning. The first score was registered when Gay doubled to right field and then Wootson doubled to left field and scored her. In the fifth, Davis hit her first career home run, which was a clean 200-foot shot to center field.
The Seminoles and Tar Heels will close the series between the two teams Saturday at 2:00 p.m.