March 23, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On a dreary day of ups and downs, No. 22 Florida State was unable to power back from a 7-0 shutout in game one to pick up the doubleheader sweep as it fell 5-3 in the second game against North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla. The Seminoles are now 23-9 on the season after giving up runs for the first time in five straight shutouts.
Sophomore Sarah Hamilton picked up both the win in game one and the loss in game two for a season record of 9-4 and 1.16 ERA.
In the early game, Florida State was out to an early 1-0 lead in the third when senior Michelle Snyder scored off a throwing error by the catcher. The Wenatchee, Wash., native drew a walk from UNF pitcher Devyn Findley and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brittany Joseph. A wild pitch would move Snyder to third before crossing home plate on the error.
The seventh was a big inning for the visitors as the Seminoles batted through the lineup while scoring six runs on five hits, one of those a solo home run from Kaleigh Rafter, her sixth on the year, that hit the left foul pole to secure the 7-0 shutout over the Ospreys.
Florida State would be unable to repeat that success in game two despite Rafter and sophomore Ashley Stager getting things started for the Noles with a pair of solo home runs in the first and second innings, respectively.
Varsalona immediately gave up a solo home run to the first batter she faced, Osprey Ashley Battaglia, for the first run FSU had given up in 36 innings of play.
After walking a batter and giving up a hit to place the tying runs on base in the bottom of the sixth, Sarah Hamilton was called in to replace Varsalona. The Tallahassee, Fla., native struggled as she loaded the bases when Kara Rutenbar laid down a single bunt to advance to first safely.
North Florida took its first lead in 12 innings when Amanda Moseley doubled deep to centerfield, bringing home three Ospreys for the 4-3 advantage.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, UNF would eventually go up 5-3 when a wild pitch hit the dirt and got away from Rafter to plate Moseley.
The Garnet and Gold were unable to comeback from a devastating sixth inning to pick up the first loss since dropping 1-0 to Fresno State on March 13.
The Noles head back home to host cross-town rivals Florida A&M tomorrow night, March 24, on JoAnne Graf Field at 6:00 p.m. Immediately following the game will be the annual Home Run Derby and fans are invited to take part in the fun.