March 20, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Batting in the cleanup spot for an offense that produced 19 base hits in two games, redshirt freshman Maddie O’Brien’s six RBIs helped power the No. 23 Florida State University softball team to a doubleheader sweep over Jacksonville on Tuesday evening at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Seminoles (25-5, 3-0) defeated the Dolphins (17-14) by a 6-0 score in game one and won 7-1 in game two. O’Brien, who hails from Palm Harbor, Fla., combined to go 4-for-5 with one home run, one double, one walk and six runs driven in in the two contests.
O’Brien’s big day was aided by the offensive potency of her team, as she nearly always had a run-scoring opportunity when she stepped to the plate courtesy of her teammates getting on base. FSU’s 10 base hits in game one were tied for its third-most in a game this season, and the fourth time the Seminoles have attain double-digit hits.
“Tonight was good for us. We wanted to start finding our offensive groove and backing up our pitching and I think tonight was a good start,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “Maddie’s been hitting the ball very well lately, whether she has gotten on base or not, and tonight Shayla (Jackson) and some others swung it well.”
O’Brien’s big hit of the day came in game one when she blasted her fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot to centerfield to score Shayla Jackson. FSU made use of the big inning in both games today, compiling a four-run inning, two three-run frames as well as a two-run inning.
Helping put the game away in game one was a three-run fifth inning that included a sacrifice fly from O’Brien, an RBI bunt single by Courtney Senas and a run-scoring double to right center by Monica Perry. Perry (11-2) aided FSU by allowing just one hit in six innings pitched in the first game, the third time this season she has allowed one hit while tossing five or more innings in a start.
Perry and pitcher Lacey Waldrop (11-2) were helped by FSU’s .373 batting average (19-for-51) on the day. Waldrop won game two after pitching six innings and allowing just one run on three hits with three strikeouts. Jessica Nori reliever her in the seventh and tossed a hitless inning.
Jackson finished 3-for-5 with four runs scored, one double, one RBI and two walks. Mallory Borden (two hits), Tiffani Brown (three hits) and Courtney Senas (two hits) also had multiple hits in both games combined.
Erika Leonard lifted a 1-0 offering well over the left center field wall to begin the second inning in game one, her second home run of the season. The shot gave FSU a 1-0 lead.
For the second time in game one, Jacksonville had a runner reach third base when Kayla Ouellet advanced on a groundout to Perry in the third inning. With two outs, Sarah Simon’s grounder in the hole was field nicely by O’Brien at shortstop to keep the Dolphins scoreless.
In game two, the Seminoles put together a four-run third inning highlighted by a two-run double to right center from O’Brien. Four consecutive hits were part of the frame, as Brown recorded an infield single, followed by an RBI infield single from Jackson, a run-scoring single to left field from Borden and O’Brien’s extra base hit.
Jacksonville responded in the next inning when Amanda Schmidt took a pitch from Waldrop over the left field wall for a solo home run, making it 4-1.
FSU strung together four consecutive hits once again, this time in the fifth inning to create three runs. With Jackson on first base following a walk, Morgan Bullock laced a single to left center, and O’Brien hit an opposite-field RBI single to left field. Senas then produced a sacrifice fly to centerfield, and Briana Hamilton produced a sharp grounding double to left center to bring in another run and make it 7-1.
FSU now improves to 16-0 at JoAnne Graf Field this season.
The Seminoles return with a matchup at Florida A&M on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.