March 19, 2011
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RALEIGH, N.C. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State University softball team split its doubleheader against North Carolina State on Saturday afternoon, winning game one, 3-2, before falling in game two, 4-2, at Curtis & Jacqueline Dail Stadium in its conference-opening weekend.
The Seminoles (14-14, 1-1) were guided by Sarah Hamilton in game one, as she had another quality start and earned her second victory this week. Hamilton was effective again in the circle, allowing two runs on four hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Her strikeout total is tied for her third most this season.
Hamilton did not yield a hit to N.C. State until there was one out in the third inning. Once again, the Tallahassee native was consistent and allowed her talented infield to make plays by continuously throwing strikes. When the Wolfpack (13-11, 1-1) rallied for two runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings, the senior right-hander remained poised and finished the game by throwing smart pitches.
An opportunity was lost in the second inning for Florida State. Jen Lapicki led off with a hard-hit single to third baseman Bridget Desbois, and Shayla Jackson followed with a single up the middle. A hit-by-pitch to Briana Hamilton loaded the bases with no outs, but three consecutive strikeouts blew a chance to take control of the game early.
In the sixth, Robin Ahrberg reached base on a fielding error by shortstop Chelsea Tate, and Ashley Stager then pushed a bunt single between a charging Desbois at third base and Cox in the circle, putting two runners on. Lapicki then recorded her fourth home run of the season after extending her swing over the outer half of the plate and hitting a line-drive shot over the centerfield wall.
N.C. State cut away with one run in the sixth inning, as Alyssa Allbritten hit an RBI single through the left side with two outs. Hamilton came right back to force a pop-up by Desbois to Tiffani Brown at second base.
The Wolfpack hit a leadoff double to left center to begin N.C. State’s rally in the seventh inning, but Caitlin Dent was sent back to the dugout on a strikeout. After Bethany Wells advanced to third base on two wild pitches, she was brought home on an RBI groundout to first base by Alicia Abbott. Chelsea Tate then ended game one with a groundout to Briana Hamilton at third base.
FSU outhit the Wolfpack, 6-4, in game one and did not commit an error. Lapicki went 2-for-2 with three RBIs, while Jackson picked up her third consecutive multiple-hit performance with a 2-for-2 showing. Starter Kayla Cox (6-6) took the loss for N.C. State.
N.C. State jumped ahead early in game two, compiling three runs in the opening inning. Allbritten laced a two-run triple to right field, and Desbois’ run-scoring single up the middle provided the Wolfpack scoring.
Ahrberg hit a two-run single to the left center gap in the third inning, but was run thrown out while trying to advance to second base by centerfield Landon Warren. Nonetheless, the two-RBI base hit put the Seminoles back within striking distance at 3-2.
N.C. State responded in the bottom of the third when Tate hit into a fielder’s choice at shortstop with the bases loaded, but the ball was short-hopped to third baseman Briana Hamilton on a force-out attempt, allowing the runner to be safe while scoring a run.
Ahrberg led FSU with two hits in game two, finishing 3-for-7 in both games combined.
The Seminoles look to take the series on Sunday afternoon with a noon start time against the Wolfpack.