March 20, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The No. 19 Florida State softball team bounced back from back-to-back losses in its last two outings by defeating Long Island, 6-0, and Northern Illinois, 7-1, Saturday afternoon at the USF The Game Tournament.
The Seminoles (26-5) had struggled offensively in losses to Auburn and Texas Tech but that wasn’t the case in Clearwater, Fla. Saturday. FSU smashed 10 hits against the Blackbirds and then hit 10 more against the Huskies.
“It was a good day to bounce back after some tough losses,” FSU head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We had the chance to get everyone in the ballgame and we made some great plays. We had some good at-bats. Overall it was a good confidence builder.”
Junior Sarah Hamilton, who struck out a career-best 20 batters in her previous outing against Auburn, had her no-hitter broken up in the sixth inning against the Long Island. She was replaced by Lauren Varsalona in the seventh after pitching six scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.
She struck out eight batters and walked just two.
Against Northern Illinois, senior Terese Gober was replaced by Varsalona in the sixth after striking out six, giving up just four hits and allowing no runs. Gober didn’t walk anyone.
Ashley Stager and Wynn were the stars in that game offensively. Stager hit a three-run homerun while going 2-for-2 and Wynn crushed a solo dinger on the third pitch of the game.
“Terese and Sarah really had a good day today,” Alameda said. “They pitched very well and the offense helped them.”
FSU did something it was unable to do in its previous two games Saturday against LIU: score early.
Lapicki started the second inning off with an infield single and then Borden drew a walk. Two batters later, Bullock blooped a double to left field that plated Lapicki for the 1-0 lead.
Wynn then did the same thing as her shallow hit to left field was enough for a double. As a result, both Borden and Bullock scampered home for two more runs. Jackson’s single then sent Wynn home one batter later to make it 4-0.
In the fourth, the ‘Noles increased that lead by flexing their speed muscle. Back-to-back walks by Stager and Bullock put two runners on and Wynn registered another RBI hit that sent them all sprinting home.
Down 6-0, LIU finally got runners on with just one out but Hamilton calmly earned the second out on a strikeout out then forced a Stager to Brittany Joseph groundout to avoid allowing any runs.
FSU jumped on top of Northern Illinois in the second game just three pitches in when Wynn blasted a homerun over the right field wall.
Jackson and Tiffani Brown then singled and Borden drew a walk to load the bases with just one out. Lapicki’s sacrifice fly to center field scored Jackson to make the score 2-0 heading into the bottom half of the first.
In the second, Bullock registered her second RBI of the day. Stager had reached on a walk and then stole second. After she took third on a throwing error by the catcher, Bullock sent her home on a fielder’s choice that made it 3-0.
Brown reached on a bunt single in the third and then showed her incredible speed when she reached third on Tory Haddad’s single a batter later.
After Haddad moved to second on a wild pitch, Brown slid home on Borden’s groundout to push the FSU lead to 4-0 with just one out.
Stager made it a 7-0 ballgame in the fifth when she connected for a three-run homerun to left center. The scoring hit plated Lapicki and Robin Ahrberg, who had both reached base on singles.
The homerun was Stager’s second of the season.
Northern Illinois scored their lone run in the sixth.
The Seminoles conclude their trip to Clearwater on Sunday with a 9 a.m. game against Syracuse and a 1 p.m. game against USF. The contest against the Bulls can be viewed in the Tampa area on Bright House Network’s channel 47.