May 14, 2010
BLACKSBURG, Va. — The No. 24 Florida State softball team advanced to the semifinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Friday with a 3-0 win over Maryland in Blacksburg, Va.
FSU (42-15, 13-9 ACC) will now play Virginia Tech on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The opportunistic Seminoles were actually outhit by the Terrapins (33-21, 8-12) 7-4 but were able to score when it counted most. Helping matters was a strong performance by junior Sarah Hamilton in the circle and a stout defensive effort.
Hamilton, who was introduced prior to the game as an All-ACC Second-Team member, pitched a complete game. She gave up the seven hits but allowed no runs while striking out nine and walking just two. She forced Maryland into stranding nine runners.
Defensively, the ‘Noles committed no errors and the Terps committed three.
“The defense played awesome today,” Hamilton said. “We had some people get on base and how you get out of it is with strong defense. We didn’t commit any errors and I was really proud of the way we played as a team.”
The win marks the fifth-straight season in which FSU has won its first game of the annual league tournament.
“We are obviously very excited,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda, who is now 4-1 in ACC Championship games since taking over the program last year. “Maryland swings the bat real well and they have great pitching. To get past a team like that and into tomorrow is a good thing.”
Florida State untied a scoreless ballgame in the bottom of the third inning. All-ACC First-Team selection, Carly Wynn, drew a leadoff walk and then Brown recorded her second infield single of the day.
A few minutes later, a Maryland error allowed Wynn to dash home from third base for a 1-0 Seminole lead.
Brown singled again in the bottom of the fifth and sophomore Shayla Jackson reached second base to put runners on with just one out. Stager’s double to right field plated them both.
The two-run play made it a 3-0 ballgame heading into the sixth.
It looked as though Maryland would finally dent the scoreboard following a two-out triple by Kerry Hickey. But Wynn’s stellar diving catch off Kendra Knight’s line-drive to centerfield kept the shut-out intact.
Maryland was able to put runners on the third and second in the final inning with two outs but Hamilton calmly got out of jam to pick up her 20th win of the season.
The Seminoles return to action on Saturday at 1 p.m. as they look to advance to Sunday’s championship.
FSU is 1-2 against No. 7 seed Virginia Tech this season.