March 7, 2005
RALEIGH, NC – The 20th-ranked Florida State Seminoles split the doubleheader with NC State at the Walnut Creek Softball Complex Tuesday after defeating the Wolfpack 5-2 in the first game and falling 2-1 during the second contest. With two outs and a tied game, Florida State freshman pitcher Tiffany McDonald allowed a routine grounder to fall between her legs and the winning run advanced from second base. The loss was the first for McDonald, who entered the game with a perfect 7-1 record. The Seminoles struggled offensively and freshman catcher Melissa Wood’s solo home run–her second of the day–was the only points FSU posted on the board during the backend of the doubleheader. The Seminoles dropped to 15-8 on the season and 3-2 in ACC action. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack improved 22-10 and 1-1 in league play.
FLORIDA STATE 5, NC STATE 2
Florida State found its rhythm at the plate in the first of a three game series against the Wolfpack Monday afternoon, driving in five runs off five hits for the 5-2 victory. Senior NFCA All-American Casey Hunter (8-6, 0.95 ERA) held NC State to five hits after pitching seven innings to improve FSU to 15-7 overall and 3-1 in ACC action. The Pack dropped to 21-10 and 0-1 in league play.
The five runs scored by the Seminoles are the most NC State ace Shaine Ervin (8-5, 1.74 ERA) have allowed this season.
In the fourth and fifth inning, the Seminoles escaped the outing with two outs and the bases loaded. The first time, shortstop Kim Hoffer scooped up a hard hit liner that could have easily been a base hit, and touched second base unassisted for the final out. During the fifth, Hunter loaded up the bases before assistant coach Megan Matthews Buning entered the game and had a brief talk with her in the circle. Hunter immediately went to work after the meeting and retired the side as the Seminoles ended the inning unharmed.
Sophomore pitcher Amy Harrison entered the game in replace of Hunter in the top of the sixth and gave up a leadoff single followed by a home run to give the Pack two runs. Seminole coach Dr. JoAnne Graf immediately reinserted Hunter and she walked a player before FSU fielded three straight outs.
Freshman catcher Melissa Wood paced the offense and recorded her second home run of the season in the fifth inning with two outs and two strikes on her. She slammed the ball to left center and scored Veronica Wootson who had singled to left field and later stole second. Wood was a game-high 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs. Wootson went 1-for-2 on the day and scored a team-best three runs. Furthermore, Wootson had two walks against Ervin.
FLORIDA STATE 2, NC STATE 1
Freshman designated player Melissa Wood’s solo shot to center field in the fourth inning was the second homer of the day for the Lilburn, Ga., native and third on the season as she recorded the only run for Florida State in seven innings of play as the Wolfpack upset FSU, 2-1, in the second game of an ACC twin bill.
Wolfpack pitcher Abbie Sims struck out a school record 16 batters and hit a RBI single in the fifth inning.
The second game had two dramatic finishes, as NC State appeared to win the game on a Lee Hasper home run to right center field. With one out and Renee LaCroix on second after Heather Gelbard drew a walk and was pinch ran for, Lee Hasper hit a towering drive to the fence. FSU centerfielder Whitney Buckmon made the spectacular catch at the wall and tumbled completely over the waist high fence. The umpires initially ruled it a home run, as the Wolfpack dug out emptied and the celebration began. After both umpires conferred, it was ruled a “catch and carry”, where the outfielder made the play then left the field of play completely. The batter is out but the runner advances a base. With LaCroix on second and some air out of the Wolfpack sails, Sims was intentionally walked to bring up the Wolfpack clean-up hitter, Jen Chamberlin. Chamberlin hit a chopper back to the pitcher, Tiffany McDonald (7-1), who booted the ball, allowing a streaking LaCroix to score from second.
The win marked the first time NC State defeated a ranked team or Florida State.
For the second straight game, Wood paced the Seminoles with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. Lesley Palmer and Veronica Wootson each had a bunt single and the three of them registered the only hits for the Seminoles.
The Seminoles and Wolfpack will face off tomorrow for the final game of the series. First pitch has been moved to 12:00 p.m. Eastern time to help accommodate NC State who has to catch a flight to Las Vegas.