April 3, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State softball team relinquished an early 3-0 lead against No. 13 LSU and ultimately fell to the Tigers, 5-4, on Wednesday evening in a game that lasted three hours and 20 minutes due to a rain delay at JoAnne Graf Field.
Trailing 5-4 with one out and no runners on in the top of the seventh, the game was put into a rain delay at 7:11 p.m. and lasted 55 minutes before the subsequent pitch from Lacey Waldrop (14-6) resumed at 8:06 p.m. Waldrop then surrendered a bloop double to left field before forcing a groundout and a strikeout to keep the Seminoles (28-13) trailing by just one run.
Facing pitching ace Rachele Fico (18-5), Florida State tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh. Junior Kelly Hensley began the inning with a short groundout, but redshirt sophomore Maddie O’Brien followed with a walk. Following a strikeout, Kirstin Austin drew another walk to put runners on first and second base with two outs. However, junior Celeste Gomez ended the game on an infield pop-up to complete the LSU comeback.
“This was another tough one-run ballgame. We started out strong but slowly surrendered the lead,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We had to wait out the weather with a long rain delay and had a rally going in the bottom of the seventh but came up short. LSU is a good ballclub and credit them for fighting back to get the win.”
The Noles hit Fico hard in the first two innings, scoring two runs in the opening frame followed by another run in the bottom of the second. Fico bounced back to retire nine of her next 11 hitters and settled down the rest of the game after issuing a few walks early.
Freshman Victoria East and sophomore Bailey Schinella both sparked the Seminoles at the top and bottom of the order. East finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, two runs and a triple. Schinella added two hits, her fourth multiple-hit game of the season. Over the last four games, Schinella has batted 7-for-9 with two doubles, two RBIs and four runs scored.
Waldrop took the loss after pitching a full seven innings and allowing five runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts. LSU’s Fico got the win allowing four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.
Florida State attempted its third Top 25 win of the year but came up short. The victory would have also given the Noles their highest RPI win of the season with LSU ranking 15th.
A bases-loaded single by Bullock through the left side gave the Seminoles an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Austin then followed with an RBI groundout to the right side to plate Hensley and give the Noles a 2-0 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the second, Courtney Senas came through with her 46th RBI of the season on a bloop single to left field to plate East. East recorded her second triple of the season on a sky-high shot to left field that bounced off the wall.
LSU loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third on consecutive singles. With one out, Bianka Bell recorded a sacrifice fly to centerfield on a tailing line drive that was snagged by Bullock in centerfield. With two outs, LSU scored another run on an illegal pitch, as Simone Heyward scored from third base to cut the Tiger deficit to 3-2.
A.J. Andrews came up big with two outs for The Tigers, lining a two-run double to the centerfield gap in the fourth. The key extra base hit scores Lauren Houston and Simone Heyward from second and third base, respectively, to give the Tigers their first lead of the game at 4-3.
Andrews added a big insurance run in the top of the sixth inning when she recorded a two-out, run-scoring single through the right side to plate Houston and extend the LSU lead to 5-3. After LSU’s first two batters flied out and struck out, a walk and a hit by pitch kept the inning alive for Andrew’s base hit.
The Noles fought back in the bottom half, as East laced a hard RBI single up the middle to cut the deficit to 5-4. Gomez started the inning with a one-out walk, and pinch runner Courtney Adams advanced to third base on Schinella’s single through the right side to help set up East’s single. However, Senas stepped to the plate with the runners in scoring position and two outs and flew out to shallow center to end the extra scoring chance.
Florida State is now 2-5 this season in one-run ballgames. The Seminoles return with their `Paint it Pink’ weekend as they host Boston College on Saturday for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday’s single game begins at noon.