March 30, 2005
Florida State 11, Jacksonville 0
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Freshman pitcher Tiffany McDonald hurled her first career no-hitter and fifth shutout of the season as Florida State (21-16) run-ruled Jacksonville (18-19), 11-0, during game two of a doubleheader between the two schools Wednesday night at the Seminole Softball Complex. Earlier in the evening, the Seminoles dropped their sixth straight contest by a score of 5-2 after recording just two hits in seven innings of play.
“Tiffany didn’t pitch all fall because of an injury,” said Seminole Head Coach Dr. JoAnne Graf, who will have the field dedicated in her honor Saturday. “She started out behind this year and I think tonight was a good confidence booster for her. Hopefully, she’ll get better and better each week and that’s what we expect out of her as a freshman. She is getting back into the shape she would have been in if she didn’t miss the fall. I’m just really proud of her and her performance tonight.”
McDonald’s no-no was the first of the season for the Tribe. She worked quickly and dominated the Dolphins for the entire second game. The Belfair, Wash., native walked two and struck out seven to improve to a team-best 11-3 on the season. McDonald generated eight outs on the ground and one in the air, and threw the final pitch of the game just 88 minutes after throwing a called strike to begin the contest.
“I think everyone came through and shared the no-hitter tonight,” said McDonald. “To be honest it means a lot to have the support of my teammates both offensively and defensively. Tonight it helped me a lot when our team came out and got a lot of hits right away. It’s nice to be 11-3 and I expect myself to only improve. I feel like I’m now catching up and getting to where I would have been if not for the injury in the fall.”
While McDonald’s accomplishment in the circle was a huge feat for the Seminoles, for a team that has struggled offensively in recent weeks, the 11 hits produced in the backend of the doubleheader was the main highlight of the evening. Florida State scored 11 runs, thanks in part to a season-high three home runs, and four players enjoyed multi-hit performances. Senior shortstop Tatiana George, back from nose surgery, went 2-3 with a three-run homer in the bottom of the second and she also scored two runs. Senior third baseman Lesley Palmer had a perfect 3-3 night at the plate, including a leadoff home run in the bottom of the third. She had three RBIs and scored two runs, while sophomore outfielder LaShaun Davis also tallied a long ball during the first inning of the second game with a two-out, three-RBI shot to left center field for the early FSU lead. Furthermore, junior catcher BillieAnne Gay improved her batting average to over .300 on the season after registering two singles in three chances, respectively.
“I don’t really think about my size as a challenge when hitting the ball,” said Davis, who had her third home run of the season tonight. “I just try to hit the ball and it seems when I get the barrel on the bat it just goes. When I hit the home run I was in an RBI situation and I was hitting for power. You have to look at where your defense is and how they are playing.
“I thought the second game was a lot more fun and we all enjoyed ourselves. I believe we all just played together and we were one unit. That’s why we were so successful.”
Florida State scored four in the bottom of the first to account for the only runs they would need. Freshman designated player Melissa Wood came up with sophomore second baseman Veronica Wootson on second and singled for the unearned run. Palmer hit a shot next and advanced Wood before Davis hit the ball over the fence for the fourth run of the inning.
The Seminoles would get three more in the second inning when Gay singled to center field and senior left fielder Natasha Jacob reached on an error by the Dolphins’ shortstop. Two plays later George stepped up to the plate with two outs before going yard for the 7-0 advantage.
The Seminoles got their only run of the third inning off of Palmer’s home run despite registering four hits. Davis reached base on a bunt single and she advanced to second on an error and later to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman first baseman Brittany Osmon. However, Davis would eventually be caught stealing at home and never scored even though Gay singled to left field on the next play. Freshman center fielder Whitney Buckmon recorded the final single of the inning.
FSU received three runs in its final outing of the evening. Wootson walked and George singled and both players eventually advanced to second and third on a bad throw by the fielder. Wood would then walk to load up the bases and Wootson touched home plate on a wild pitch for the 9-0 lead. Palmer then singled and scored George and pinch runner Carey Galuppi for the last two scores of the contest as Florida State shutout Jacksonville, 11-0.
Katie Dobson dropped to 9-8 on the season and took the loss for JU.
Jacksonville 5, Florida State 2
Lindsey Freitag’s two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning was her third of the year and second game-winner of the season, as the Dolphins prevailed, 5-2, against Florida State in the first of two games Wednesday night at the Seminole Softball Complex. FSU senior pitcher Casey Hunter fell to 10-12 while JU’s Shannon Jensen, who held the Tribe to just two hits, improved to 6-7 overall.
The Dolphins took the initial lead in the first after loading the bases with one out. Junior centerfielder Katie Pestrak fouled out down the first base line, but the first baseman Brittany Osmon ran into second baseman Wootson, allowing an alert junior Janine Palumbo to score from third. The Dolphins added two insurance runs in the seventh on a Lauren Redfern groundout.
Jensen allowed two runs and two hits while striking out four in 7.0 innings. Hunter gave up five runs, three earned, while fanning eight.
Florida State returns to the Seminole Softball Complex Thursday night with a 6 p.m. match-up against cross-town rival Florida A&M at 6:00 p.m. The two teams split earlier in the season.