March 4, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Through six innings, it appeared that Maryland was going to keep the Florida State from advancing in another tournament. But the Seminoles’ late-inning magic from Friday night reappeared on Saturday (March 4) as they rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Maryland 6-5 in a non-conference game.
FSU’s second come-from-behind win in a row improved its record to 11-7 and earned it a third shot at seventh-ranked and defending national champion Michigan in the Sunshine State Tournament title game. The Terrapins dropped to 7-7.
Sophomore Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) came on in relief of Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) in the second inning to get the win as her record improved 8-4. The righty gave up one earned run with seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. Maryland’s Meredith Nelles took loss, despite pitching to just two batters, as her record fell to 1-5.
Going into the seventh inning, the Seminoles only had three hits but they more than doubled that amount during the comeback. Left fielder Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) collected her third hit of the game when she picked up a single to center field to leadoff the inning. Designated player Kim Hoffer (Houston, Texas) followed with a single to put runners on first and second.
Second baseman Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) pushed the first run across with a single through the left side that scored Jacob and moved Hoffer to third. Wootson tied a career high with her second stole base to put the winning run in scoring position. Center fielder Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla.) laid down a perfectly executed squeeze bunt off high school teammate, and Maryland hurler, Crystal Crews to score Hoffer. The throw from UM third baseman Lindsey Ubrun got by the catcher, scoring Wootson with the winning run.
The Seminoles appeared to be off to a fast start when the All-America candidate Jacob started the first with a bunt single then stole second base. FSU would have runners on second and third with just one out as Wootson stole second as well. Unfortunately, FSU came up empty as it left both runners stranded on base.
Maryland used the momentum swing and parlayed it into four runs in the top of the second. The Terrapins took advantage of several FSU miscues as May walked in a run and then two more scored after Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) failed to record the third out on ground ball with runners on first and second.
Florida State cut the lead in half as it tacked up its first runs in the bottom half of the second. Shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) got on base when the first baseman dropped the throw then one out later Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) drew a walk. With two outs, Jacob smashed a triple off the right field fence to plate both runs. Jacob had three of FSU’s seven hits as she went 3-for-4
The Terrapins got one of those runs back in the third as Keri Lounge hit a two-out single to score Rachel Grayson. Florida State got within two runs in the sixth when Buckmon – who drove in a run and scored another -ripped a double to right center to plate Alicart and make it a 5-3 game. Alicart reached base all three times she came to the plate and scored a team-high two runs.
Last year Maryland knocked Florida State out of the ACC Tournament on the second day.