March 18, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. (seminoles.com) – A walk-off home run by USF’s Stephanie Medina capped a winless day for the 21st-ranked Florida State University softball team as it fell to the 23rd-ranked Bulls, 2-1, as well as to Rutgers, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at USF Softball Stadium.
While tremendous pitching has carried the Seminoles (23-5, 3-0) this season, it was only able to hold for so long as FSU’s offense continues to develop. In losses on Sunday versus Rutgers and USF, the FSU arms held the opposition to three runs and a 9-for-47 (.196) clip at the plate. FSU’s bats, however, were unable to muster much production at the dish, finishing 6-for-47 on the day.
Amazingly, all five of FSU’s losses this season have been one-run games. The Seminoles are now 5-5 in one-run games in 2012.
Against USF, Monica Perry took a no decision and held the Bulls (24-5) to just one run on five hits in five innings pitched. She stranded six of USF’s eight runners on the day, leaving the game in the sixth inning following a leadoff double from Kourtney Salvarola.
From there, freshman Bailey Schinella (2-1) entered the game and endured her first loss of her collegiate career. With FSU leading 1-0, Schinella never allowed a hit in the sixth inning but surrendered a run on a groundout by Laura Fountain to tie the game. The earned run was charged to Perry, ending her streak of not allowing an earned run at 46.1 consecutive innings.
The following inning in the seventh, Medina won the game for the Bulls on a 3-1 offering that hit off the top of the fence and fell over the wall for a walk-off home run. It was FSU’s second walk-off defeat of the season.
Courtney Senas led the Seminoles with a 2-for-3 day versus Sara Nevins (13-2) and the Bulls. Senas drove in FSU’s lone run of the day in the fourth inning on an RBI single through the right side to plate Tiffani Brown. On the same play, which occurred with the bases loaded, Maddie O’Brien was thrown out at home plate while trying to score from second base.
USF’s Nevins struck out 11 in a complete-game effort to get the win. The Seminoles also put runners in scoring position against the tall left-hander in the fifth and seventh innings, but were unable to come away with any additional runs.
FSU’s first legitimate attempt to cross the plate against Rutgers came in the top of the third inning. With two outs, Brown cranked a double to right field that nearly left the park, hitting the top of the fence. With Shayla Jackson at the plate, Brown attempted to reach third base on a ball in the dirt but was thrown out by Rutgers catcher Kaci Madden to end the inning.
Rutgers scored the game’s first run in the fourth inning, but the damage could have been bigger. With the bases loaded and no outs, Jennifer Harbedian hit a run-scoring single to left field to make it 1-0. Starter Lacey Waldrop (10-2) then induced Ashley Bragg into a fielder’s choice at third base, in which Briana Hamilton promptly threw the ball to home plate for the force out. Waldrop then struck out Jackie Bates and forced a flyout to Alexis Durandes to escape the jam.
In the fifth inning, FSU tried to put together another run-scoring opportunity. Following two flyouts, FSU was forced to produce a run with two outs as Erika Leonard hit a lining double to the left center gap. The inning ended on a flyout to right field to keep the Seminoles scoreless.
With one out in the sixth, Brown placed a bunt to the pitcher that was overthrown, allowing her to reach second base. She then advanced to third on a single to centerfield from Jackson. Following a pop-up that was the second out of the inning, Jackson tagged and went to second base, but both runners were left stranded on a long flyout to left field.
Waldrop exited the game in the sixth inning following Brittney Lindley’s leadoff double to right field. That paved the way for pitcher Jessica Nori to enter the contest in relief, and she responded by striking out her next three batters faced to keep the score at 1-0 and give the FSU offense a chance to respond in the top of the seventh.
Waldrop ended her day tossing five innings and allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts.
FSU returns home to JoAnne Graf Field for a single-game contest versus Jacksonville on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Seminoles will continue ACC play next weekend when it travels to Virginia for matchups on Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25.