April 2, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On an emotional day where 27-year Florida State Head Softball Coach Dr. JoAnne Graf had the field named in her honor, the Seminoles came through for their leader and defeated Virginia Tech twice Saturday afternoon in an ACC battle on JoAnne Graf Field at the Seminole Softball Complex. The Tribe extended their record to 23-16 overall and 5-5 in league play, while the Hokies dropped to 30-10 on the season and 1-4 in ACC action.
“My mom whispered to me this morning at my reception,” said Graf while laughing, “that she didn’t care about my name on the field, but more about the points on the board. You can tell where I get my competitive nature from…my mom just wants to win.”
And Graf did indeed make her mother quite happy as the Seminoles rolled to their third straight win of the week and overcame the Hokies by scores of 4-2 and 3-2 during the first ever meetings between the two programs.
“I’m very pleased because I felt like we played 14 very solid innings,” she said. “We had two close games and I believe that everyone contributed something today. It was a team effort and I’m extremely proud of my squad. It was a good ending to all the festivities today and now we need to go out and capture one more victory tomorrow.”
Florida State ace Casey Hunter (12-12) picked up two wins in the circle after pitching 8.2 innings and striking out 15 batters. Freshman Tiffany McDonald (11-3) got the start in the first contest and threw 5.1 innings before Hunter relieved her with the score tied at 1-1.
Junior center fielder Carly Brieske led her squad with a perfect 1.000 average at the plate after recording two doubles and two runs during the second outing. Senior third baseman Lesley Palmer had a monstrous offensive performance in the two games combined, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and seven total bases. Junior catcher BillieAnne Gay netted three sacrifices for the home team.
Virginia Tech out-hit the Seminoles 14-9, but the Hokies left 18 runners stranded, including 11 in the first game.
Carolina Stolle paced Tech with two hits, two walks, and a .600 slugging percentage.
Graf earned win No. 1,299 and will search for No. 1,300 Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in the final go-around between Tech and Florida State. The 2nd Annual Home Run Derby will take place after the contest and will feature Florida State athletes, media personnel, and athletic staff members. The event is free to the public.
Game One: FLORIDA STATE 4, VIRGINIA TECH 2
The first three innings of Game One looked to be a pitchers duel, with FSU’s Tiffany McDonald allowing just two hits and Virginia Tech’s Angela Tincher retiring six FSU batters.
The Seminoles were able to put together a rally in fourth inning however, as sophomore Veronica Wootson got FSU’s first hit of the day, a pinball double to center field. Wootson would eventually steal third to be placed in scoring position and freshman catcher Melissa Wood reached first on a walk. On the following play, senior third baseman Lesley Palmer put down a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher, scoring Wootson for the first points of the day to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead after four innings of play.
The Hokies fired back in the top of the fifth and recorded one run off of three hits to tie the game at 1-1.
In the sixth inning, McDonald walked Caroline Stolle and Kelsey Hoffman followed up with a one-out single to put runners at first and second base. Senior pitcher Casey Hunter then entered the game and retired Stephanie Savre before Kelly Brown hit a liner to Palmer at third base for the final out.
Florida State had its biggest inning of the day in the sixth, producing three runs off of two hits and an error. George got up first and doubled to center field but was ruled out at second for leaving the base too early. Wood walked during the next at-bat, followed by another clutch performance from Palmer. Her single scored Wood from first and then sophomore right fielder LaShaun Davis reached on an error thanks to a Hokie overthrow at first and Palmer scored for the 3-1 FSU advantage. For the final points, freshman first baseman Brittany Osmon hit a hard grounder to the shortstop and Davis advanced to third. She eventually scored on a wild pitch and tallied the fourth and final run for the Seminoles.
Virginia Tech attempted to come-from-behind in the seventh inning and ultimately had one run, two hits, and left two on base. Hunter first retired Caitlin Murphy and then walked Megan Evans. However, Virginia Tech refused to weaken and the Hokies’ Alisia Narodowski doubled and advanced Evans to third. Sarah Prosise followed with a one-out shot that scored Evans, but Hunter retired the final two batters to end the game.
Florida State prevailed, 4-2, and improved its record to 21-16.
Hunter finished with four strikeouts, one walk, and two hits for the victory. McDonald retired four batters, allowed seven hits, and walked two.
Tech out-hit Florida State 9-3, but failed to score runners and left 11 players on base.
Game Two: FLORIDA STATE 3, VIRGINIA TECH 2
Junior center fielder Carly Brieske had two doubles and scored two runs, as the Seminoles upended Virginia Tech, 3-2, in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Casey Hunter (12-12) earned the win after pitching seven innings with 11 strikeouts, five walks, and five hits. Katie Maynard took the loss and dropped to 11-6 on the season.
FSU played error-free ball and recorded six hits in the contest. The Seminoles got runs in the bottom of the third, fourth, and fifth innings. The Hokies registered points in the fourth and sixth.
The Seminoles struck first in the third when Brieske led off with a double and catcher BillieAnne Gay advanced her to third thanks to a sacrifice bunt. Junior left fielder Natasha Jacob got on from a fielder’s choice and scored Brieske for the 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, Palmer posted a double and Davis followed with a single to right field and scored the senior third baseman. The third and final run for FSU came in the sixth when Brieske once again opened with a double and Gay repeated with a sacrifice bunt. Jacob would yet again reach by virtue of a fielder’s choice and Brieske scored for the 3-2 victory.
The Hokies stepped to the plate in the seventh and went down in 1-2-3 fashion. Hunter struck out the first batter, the next person grounded out to shortstop, and Wootson snagged a line drive at second base for the FSU win.