March 10, 2011
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State University softball team continues its tour through the state of Alabama as it participates in the Easton SEC/ACC Challenge beginning Friday, March 11, at Rhoads Stadium.
The Seminoles (12-9) face Mississippi State at 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, then play two games on Saturday at No. 2 Alabama (2:30 p.m. ET) and versus Mississippi State at 7:30 p.m. ET. FSU wraps up with the Tide (20-1) again on Sunday at 2:30 ET.
FSU is coming off a hard-fought 5-3 loss at No. 24 Auburn on Tuesday evening, climbing back from a five-run deficit in the seventh inning. Sophomore Tiffani Brown and senior Jen Lapicki led the Seminoles with three hits apiece as FSU outhit the Tigers, 10-4, but left 10 runners stranded. Sophomore pitcher Morgan Bullock continued her impressive streak by pitching well in relief, allowing no runs and one hit in two innings pitched.
Brown leads the Seminoles with a .382 batting average, and also has a team-high 26 base hits, four triples, a .559 slugging percentage and 13 stolen bases. Over her last five games, Lapicki is 9-for-16 with one home run, five RBIs and four runs scored.
FSU has recorded eight double-digit hit performances this season, which includes a season-high 15 vs. Middle Tennessee State on Feb. 18. The Seminoles have also stolen at least one base in 16 of their 21 games this season, going 37-of-38 in stolen base attempts.
Senior Ashley Stager has recorded four home runs for FSU as it nears the halfway point of the regular season. The Trinity, Fla., native is on pace to earn a spot in the school’s single-season top ten home run list, which is bottomed out by former players Brandi Stuart (2003), Beth Wade (2004) and Veronica Wootson (2004) – whom all hit eight.
Senior right-hander Sarah Hamilton struck out four more batters in Tuesday’s loss at Auburn. She now has 808 for her career, leaving her just 27 away from moving past Julie Larsen (1985-88) for fourth all-time and trails career strikeout leader Tiffany McDonald by 132.
Alabama has been carried by both its potent offense and pitching. The Tide is hitting .365 as a team, led by Kayla Baud’s .538 batting average. Jackie Traina has already hit 10 home runs and shows 32 RBIs, while showing an 8-0 record with a 0.94 ERA in the circle. Kelsi Dunne is 8-1 with a 0.51 ERA, as Alabama has defeated two ranked teams this season in Missouri and Oregon.
The Bulldogs (10-10) have struggled in the circle this season, with Shana Sherrod (2.33 ERA) and Kylie Vry (2.49 ERA) leading the team. Ali Bainbridge has a .367 batting average while Courtney Nesbit is first on MSU with five home runs.
Fans can follow all of FSU’s games in the Easton SEC/ACC Challenge by accessing the softball home page and clicking on the CBS GameTracker link.