March 24, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 18 Florida State softball battled a late barrage by No. 7 Georgia Tuesday night before earning the upset, 4-3.
Junior Jen Lapicki’s three-run homerun in the sixth inning proved to be the difference for a Seminoles (28-6) team that saw the Bulldogs (22-5) turn a 4-1 deficit into a nail-bitter with just one out in the bottom half of the final inning.
“This is a big win for the program,” FSU head coach Lonni Alameda said. “To come to a ballpark like this and to be able to size yourself up against a top-10 team and come out on top is a great thing.”
Sarah Hamilton earned the win for FSU. The standout in the circle tossed five innings and gave up just two hits and two runs while striking out eight and walking six.
Senior Terese Gober started the game and kept the Bulldogs scoreless for two full innings before she was replaced by Hamilton. Gober finished the contest with a final line of three hits, two strikeouts and two walks.
Lapicki paced the FSU offense with her three RBIs. Her long-ball was her third of the season.
One pitch after Lapicki flied out to the center-field warning track, Borden crushed one to nearly the exact same spot — except this hit flew over the wall for a second-inning 1-0 lead.
Georgia loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the third thanks to three straight walks. After Hamilton got Brianna Hesson to strikeout, she forced an Ashley Razey fly to right field.
Unfortunately for FSU, the hit would be enough to score a run from third and tie the game at 1-1. Hamilton then struck out Kristyn Sandberg to conclude the third without any more damage.
Three innings later, hits by Shayla Jackson and Tiffani Brown put runners on first and second with two outs for Lapicki. FSU’s starting catcher made sure to cash in as she demolished the first pitch she saw over the scoreboard in left field to put the ‘Noles back on top, 4-1.
“It was an awesome feeling,” Lapicki said. “Shayla and Tiffani got on base with great at-bats and it gives you confidence heading into the box. I went in there just trying to get a base hit but it was amazing to hit it out like that.”
The Bulldogs loaded the bases once again, this time in the bottom of the seventh with just one out. Following a two-run single by Sandberg that cut FSU’s lead to just 4-3, Hamilton hit a batter to re-jam the bases.
Hamilton then struck out Laura Trout before forcing Christine Olney into an unassisted groundout to Ashley Stager.
“You can’t truly emulate the feeling of post-season play until you get there,” Alameda said. “But that seventh inning had that. It was very exciting and the more you get in those situations the more comfortable you get in them. This was an amazing opportunity for us.”
The Seminoles return home for their second Atlantic Coast Conference series of the season. FSU will welcome Boston College to town for a three-game slate on Saturday and Sunday.
FSU’s 1 p.m. game against the Eagles on Saturday will serve as the “Paint It Pink” contest in which the team will raise money for breast cancer awareness.