Feb. 24, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Coming off a colossal 6-5, 11-inning win over Michigan, Florida State was unable to pull off the repeat as it fell 1-0 in a battle that lasted 13 innings and over three hours. The Seminoles, now 12-4, entered the rematch ranked for the first time this season at No. 25 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll. The Wolverines are ranked sixth in that same poll and improve to 12-3 with the win.
Hanging tough in the circle for FSU was starter Terese Gober who threw for 6.2 innings. The junior allowed four hits but struck out seven and walked five. She was relieved late in the seventh by Sarah Hamilton who was in for nearly as long with 6.1 innings of work. The sophomore managed to strike out eight, but gave up a couple of hits and the only earned run of the game to take the loss. The Tallahassee native picked up her second loss since February 6 when the Noles fell to Texas at the Texas Invitational and is now 4-2 overall.
Both teams had a plethora of opportunities to score throughout the game, but it would be a controversial call by the plate umpire that would bring in the winning run for Michigan.
With one runner on, a fielder’s choice would get Michigan’s Maggie Viefhaus on base safe with one out. Hamilton’s first pitch to the next batter, Amanda Chidester, would be in the dirt to advance Viefhaus to second. With a 1-2 count, Chidester hit a grounder towards third that appeared to roll foul, but was called fair to allow the right fielder to reach second and score Viefhaus for the 1-0 advantage.
A fly out to left and a grounder to third would bring the Seminoles up to bat for the chance to stay in the game. Pinch-hitter Camille Garcia struck out swinging with team captain Carly Wynn on deck. The junior outfielder would be shut down in the same way to bring up Monica Montez. The left fielder fouled off the first four pitches before facing a ball, but the last pitch she swung at ended up foul and into the glove of the Wolverines’ third baseman to end the game.
The three-hour, 27 minute, game is one of the longest in Florida State softball history as the Noles recorded just three hits to Michigan’s six. The FSU pitching staff struck out a combined 15 of 51 batters faced in what was truly a pitcher’s battle, while Michigan managed 14 punch outs and gave up five walks. Seniors Kaleigh Rafter and Michelle Snyder along with sophomore Mallory Borden notched the three hits for FSU.
The No. 25 Seminoles must regroup as they head into Columbus, Ga., on Thursday for the 14th annual NFCA Leadoff Classic beginning with Houston at 4:00 p.m. on Friday. The Garnet and Gold will also square-off with No. 19/t16 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 20/24 Ohio State and No. 23/20 LSU over the weekend.