Feb. 17, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
A pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning was the difference for the Florida State softball team as it held on for a 4-3 victory over South Carolina on Friday (Feb. 17) during its opening game of the Seminole Classic.
Florida State won its fifth game in a row to improve to 5-1 on the season, while the Gamecocks drop to 6-2. Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) gave up three runs on five hits with fourth strikeouts to get her fourth win of the season. Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) came in to throw the last two innings for her first collegiate save. USC’s Christie Hamilton took the loss, giving up four runs, one earned, in six innings.
Wasting no time, the Seminoles picked up two runs in the bottom of the first. After her hit streak was stopped on Tuesday at 28 games, left fielder Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) started another with a leadoff single then stole second base. Even though she has started a new hit streak, Jacob does have a streak of consecutive games reaching base, which is now at 30 games.
The next batter, designated player Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.), laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt, but no one for South Carolina was covering and third baseman Becky Martinez’s thrown went down the right field line, scoring Jacob. Following a sacrifice bunt moved Buckmon to third, she scored on an RBI single by center fielder Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla.).
After the first inning, the Seminoles had two good chances to score additional runs. Short stop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) was hit by a pitch to lead off the second and catcher Melissa Wood (Lilburn, Ga.) followed with a single. A sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third, but FSU could not capitalize. In the fourth the Seminoles had the bases loaded but Hamilton got out of the jam once again.
The third time was the charm for the Seminoles as they struck for two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) reached on a fielding error then Kim Hoffer (Houston, Texas) followed with a walk. Alicart cleared the bases with a deep drive to the wall in left field that scored Davis and Hoffer to make it 4-0 in FSU’s favor.
A four-run lead almost wasn’t enough for the Seminoles as South Carolina rallied in the sixth inning. A double by Hamilton scored two runs then McDonald hit one batter and walked the next to load the bases. After a walk to Whitney Wierzbicki made it a one-run game, McDonald was pulled in favor of May. The rookie left-hander got three-straight ground outs to get FSU out of the jam.
Florida State wraps up its first day in the Seminole Classic with a 4 p.m. game against Iowa Sate. The Cyclones lost their season opener 3-0 to South Carolina.