April 1, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – An up-and-down day for the 22nd-ranked Florida State University softball team ended with a doubleheader split at JoAnne Graf Field versus No. 23 North Carolina. FSU won game one by an 8-3 score but fell in game two by a 4-2 margin for its first ACC and home loss of the season.
With the road team winning six of the last seven series between the two rivals, the Seminoles (32-6, 7-1) were on their way to reversing that trend following an important victory in game one. FSU chipped away at UNC starter Lori Spingola (18-7) before finally breaking through in the sixth inning on a crucial three-run triple to centerfield by Briana Hamilton. The big hit created an 8-3 deficit that was too much for the Tar Heels (24-9, 3-2) to overcome.
Hamilton led the way with a 2-for-3 performance along with three RBIs and two runs scored in game one. FSU only produced six hits off Spingola, as UNC was hurt tremendously by six errors that created four unearned runs. Spingola absorbed the loss by logging six innings and allowing eight runs, four earned, on six hits with six strikeouts.
While UNC struck first on a solo blast from Jordan Scarboro in the third inning, FSU responded in the bottom half when a wild pitch by Spingola and throwing error by catcher Ally Blake brought home two runs. UNC then took the lead on a solo home run from Constance Orr and an RBI triple by Kelli Wheeler in the fifth.
Courtney Senas provided a key at-bat in the fifth inning when she laced a run-scoring single to right center to tie the game at 3-3. In the same frame, a booted ball by shortstop Paige Williams off the bat of Erika Leonard gave FSU a 4-3 advantage. Later in the sixth inning, Senas’ bunt toward first base brought in Hamilton following the key three-run triple.
The win over UNC in game one was FSU’s first victory over a nationally-ranked team this season, and marked Alameda’s 11th win over a Top 25 opponent while at FSU. It was Alameda’s fifth win versus UNC when the Tar Heels have been ranked.
Despite giving up two home runs, redshirt junior Monica Perry (14-2) remained composed and earned the victory. She allowed three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
The loss in game two was in large part due to an unfortunate fielding error by the Seminoles in the sixth inning with two outs that left the game open. Following the error that allowed Scarboro to reach base, designated player Amber Parrish stepped to the plate and launched a two-run home run off starter Lacey Waldrop (15-3) to give UNC the lead for good.
Waldrop did not allow an earned run in 5.2 innings pitched.
The loss was FSU’s first at home this season, giving the Seminoles a 19-1 record in Tallahassee.
FSU and UNC will now play in the rubber game of the three-game set on Monday, April 2, in a 7 p.m. start time at JoAnne Graf Field that will be televised on ESPNU. Monday’s game is Military Appreciation Day as well as the first 200 in attendance receiving a free ticket to FSU baseball’s game versus Miami on April 21.