March 24, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (seminoles.com) – Consecutive one-hitters by pitchers Lacey Waldrop and Monica Perry carried the 23rd-ranked Florida State University softball team to a doubleheader sweep at Virginia on Saturday afternoon at The Park. FSU won game one, 5-0, as well as game two, 2-0.
While the Seminoles (28-5, 5-0) received a good effort from the hitters today, Perry (12-2) and Waldrop (13-2) shut down the Virginia offense in both games as it totaled just two base hits overall. Perry won game one after striking out six of her 23 batters faced. It was Perry’s second one-hitter in Atlantic Coast Conference play this season, as she also held N.C. State to just one base hit in a complete game performance on March 10.
Waldrop fanned a career-high 10 Virginia batters in front of several family and friends, pitching merely an hour and a half away from her hometown of Chester, Va. Her one hit allowed very nearly could have been an error, as Stephanie Harris lay down a bunt in the fifth that resulted in a high throw to first base that was a close scoring play.
The performance was Waldrop’s first one-hitter of the season, although she holds FSU’s lone no-hitter of the year versus Ole Miss on Feb. 10.
Providing an enormous boost to the lineup was junior left fielder Kirstin Austin, whose first career home run in game one sparked confidence in a group that ended up scoring three runs in the sixth frame and two more runs in the seventh.
“Kirstin’s home run really helped change the complexion of today’s games,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “In that first game UVA’s pitching was very sharp but Kirstin’s homer injected some life into our offense and it kind of snowballed from there. When a big hit like that happens it not only gives your other hitters confidence but your pitchers as well.”
Tiffani Brown, Courtney Senas and Kelly Hensley each finished with multiple hits on the day. In game one, each of FSU’s first five batters recorded a base hit, and throughout the day the Seminoles utilized their speed on the basepaths by snagging seven stolen bases. In game two, FSU stole five bases to tie its season high, which it also accomplished versus Ole Miss on Feb. 10 and against Mercer on Feb. 19.
UVA’s Megan Harris led off the third inning in game one with a lining single to right center that carried just over the outstretched glove of second baseman Brown. Harris advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt, but Perry forced a groundout to Heidi Velle and struck out Giannina Cipolloni to end the scoring threat.
FSU did its best effort to put an end to the pitcher’s duel when it amassed three runs in the top of the sixth. Austin led off the sixth with her first career home run as a Seminole, a solo shot on a 1-2 pitch from Melanie Mitchell (10-7) that was driven over the right center wall.
Brown followed by reaching base when UVA first baseman Harris missed her on the tag as she was running up the line. Following a stolen base by Brown, Shayla Jackson drove her in on a lining double to left center to make it 2-0. Briana Hamilton finished the scoring when she took a two-strike pitch and hammered it off the left field wall for an RBI triple.
In the seventh, FSU added two insurance runs. Pinch hitter Amber Bryant had a good at-bat as she led off the inning with a double off the right center wall. Later in the inning, a walk by Jackson loaded the bases with two outs, and Maddie O’Brien’s blooping two-run single to right center created the 5-0 advantage.
In game two, a two-run fourth inning was made possible by Hensley’s key two-out, two-run double to right field. Senas led off the frame with a single to third base, but was run down after trying to advance to third base during Hamilton’s at-bat. Hamilton would advance to first base on a passed ball, then reached second on a stolen base before eventually getting to third base. Erika Leonard then walked before scoring on Hensley’s hit.
FSU is now 21-0 this season when it scores three or more runs in a game. The Seminoles also lowered their nationally-ranked team earned run average to 0.89 on the season.
The Seminoles will go for the three-game sweep on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. versus Virginia.