May 26, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. –
During its outstanding postseason run, the Florida State University softball team has been able to put pressure on its opponents by winning early. Unfortunately, the Seminoles find themselves on the other end of the spectrum in the NCAA Tournament Super Regional after dropping game one to No. 7 Arizona State 6-1 on Friday (May 26).
In order to advance to the WCWS, the Seminoles must now win both games on Saturday. Game one is scheduled for 8 p.m. (EST). The loss dropped FSU to 44-29 on the year. Arizona State improved to 51-13.
“It’s not how we wanted to start and how we wanted to play the first game,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “We let them jump ahead of us with an error to the first batter and then the next batter hit a home run. We started to be a little bit more patient at the plate and put the bat on the ball better as the game wore on, but Arizona State came out fired up and they got the job done.”
Taking the loss for the Seminoles was starter Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she dropped to 30-18. The sophomore right-hander threw her ACC-best 39th complete game, but gave up six runs, five earned on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Getting the victory for the Sun Devils was Katie Burkhart as she improved to 28-6.
Even though she was saddled with the loss, McDonald made some history with her performance. She set a new Atlantic Coast Conference and FSU record with 326.2 innings pitched, breaking the old mark of 323.0 set by former FSU All-American Leslie Malerich.
Arizona State got to McDonald early as Jessica Mapes reached on an error to lead off the first then Kaitlin Cochran hit a two-run home run. The long ball and free passes were McDonald’s kryptonite in the third as she issued a pair of walks then gave up a two-out grand slam to Bianca Cruz to make it 6-0 in ASU’s favor.
The Seminoles picked up a pair of hits in the second inning, but couldn’t sustain a rally. Second baseman Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) led off with a single, but was doubled up on a line drive by Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.). Catcher BillieAnne Gay (Tallahassee, Fla.) came back with a single up the middle, but designated hitter Melissa Wood (Lilburn, Ga.) stuck out looking to end the inning.
Florida State came through with its first run in the fourth inning. With two outs, Wootson picked up her second hit of the game as she cleared the left field fence with her seventh home run of the game. Wootson and Gay accounted for all of FSU’s hits at Wootson went 3-for-3 and Gay matched a career-high with a pair of hits.