March 21, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 23rd-ranked Florida State University softball team used a season-high 15 base hits to power its way past Florida A&M, 10-1, in five innings on Wednesday evening at the Florida A&M Softball Complex.
Nearly every starting position player recorded at least one base hit as the Seminoles (26-5, 3-0) went 15-for-27 on the evening against three different Rattler pitchers. FSU scored at least one run in all five innings, getting another boost by scoring multiple runs in the fourth and fifth frames.
“Our hitting was contagious tonight. Everyone seemed to get it going,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We got a lot of production from top to bottom and managed to score every inning, which I was pleased with. Hopefully we can take some things from tonight and carry them into our big weekend in conference play when we go to Virginia.”
Junior second baseman Tiffani Brown led the Seminoles with three hits, finishing with three singles, one RBI and one run scored. It was Brown’s first three-hit performance of the season as she leads FSU with nine multiple-hit games.
Redshirt freshman Maddie O’Brien continued her hot streak at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. In her last three games, O’Brien has gone 6-for-8 with one home run, one double and seven RBIs. In that span, she has raised her batting average by 53 points.
Briana Hamilton also finished with multiple hits, the fourth time she has done so this season. The Woodruff, S.C., native went 2-for-3 with her sixth home run of the season.
Pitcher Lacey Waldrop (12-2) earned the win after tossing four innings and allowing two hits and just one run with four strikeouts. The Seminole pitching staff has now allowed three runs or less in 29 of its 31 games played, and has kept the opposition to single-digit hit totals in every game except one.
With the victory, FSU is now 101-7 all-time against the Rattlers (13-17).
The Seminoles manufactured their first run of the game in the opening inning. Brown led off with a bunt single, then stole second base during Shayla Jackson’s at-bat. Jackson’s groundout to the shortstop moved Brown to third base, and O’Brien’s RBI groundout brought Brown home to give FSU a 1-0 lead.
With two outs in the bottom half, Florida A&M’s Arianna Stewart hit an RBI double to left field to plate Jasmin Donaldson, tying the game early at 1-1. Donaldson reached on a dribbling single through the right side before advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Tenisha Dixon.
Hamilton hit her sixth home run of the season with one out in the second frame, a solo shot to left field. The big fly created a 2-1 lead for FSU, as Hamilton turned on an inside offering from pitcher Whitney Robinson (6-7).
A heads-up play by Jackson created FSU’s third run in the third inning. Brown began the inning with a single up the middle, then stole two bags during Jackson’s at-bat. Jackson then walked and forced a rundown that advanced Brown home to make it 3-1.
FSU crossed the plate three times in the fourth inning, as pinch hitter Celeste Gomez contributed to the scoring with a lining single down the left field line to plate Hamilton. Following a single up the middle by Kirstin Austin, Brown drove in pinch-runner Evelyn Morgado on a single to right field, and forced rundown that resulted in a fielding error by FAMU to also bring home Austin, making it 6-1.
Four runs in the fifth inning helped put the game away early. Erika Leonard’s RBI double to the left center gap drove in O’Brien, later followed by an RBI single to left field from Morgan Bullock, an RBI single up the middle from Morgado and a pinch-hit run-scoring single to right center from Amber Bryant.
Reliever Jessica Nori finished the game by pitching a scoreless fifth inning to give the Seminoles the win.
FSU heads back into conference play with its first road weekend in the ACC. The Seminoles face Virginia in a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon. The series ends on Sunday with an 11 a.m. tilt.