March 17, 2005
FULLERTON, Calif. – After struggling offensively against Texas in the first game of the tournament, Florida State came out on fire versus Long Beach State and hit two home runs in the top of the second inning as the Seminoles waltzed to a 5-1 victory over the 49ers at the 2005 Kia Klassic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton. Freshman designated player Melissa Wood went yard first for the fourth time this season, and junior third baseman Kim Hoffer recorded her first collegiate home run with a two-run shot that scored LaShaun Davis.
Tiffany McDonald enhanced her record to 10-1 and the Tribe improved to 20-10 on the season. Meanwhile, the 49ers dropped to 16-10. Long Beach State ultimately recorded more hits than the Seminoles (7-6), but FSU’s scrappy defense stranded the 49ers on the bases until the seventh inning when one run was scored.
McDonald pitched seven innings and struck out just one batter and walked four. Marcel Torres earned the loss for the 49ers.
Florida State played error-free ball for just the seventh time this season.
FSU will hit the field tomorrow to vie for a spot in the championship bracket. The Seminoles must upset top-ranked Arizona at 12:00 p.m. (ET) in order to continue in the top of the tournament. Live stats are not available for the contest.
Kim Hoffer’s first collegiate home run and trip around the bases was probably not as graceful as the junior probably would have wanted. After slamming the ball over the fence in left center, Hoffer tripped over first base and fell flat on her face before standing up to bow and wave to the audience as she finished her trip around the bases. Needless to say, she provided the audience on both sides with quite a laugh. Perhaps we now have a nickname for her: Hoffer The Flopper.
With Texas’ victory over top-ranked Arizona, there is no more NCAA Division I undefeated teams left in the country. The game lasted 10 innings and the Longhorns won 1-0. Florida State needs to upset Arizona in order to advance to the championship bracket on Saturday.
Hoffer replaced senior Lesley Palmer at third base during the game. Palmer committed two errors in the first game of the day and that may have played a part in the change.
Junior left fielder Natasha Jacob entered today with a team-high and ACC second-best .417 batting average before going 0-for-7 against Texas and Long Beach State to drop to .378. As those close to her know, it should be no time at all until Jacob breaks free from her “vacation.”
Whitney Buckmon had a team-high two stolen bases against the 49ers, including a breakaway to home. She got caught in a run down, but when the ball was in mid-air, she slid under the throw head first and was called safe.