May 11, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With its back to the wall in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, the Florida State softball team staved off elimination by scoring seven unanswered run to beat Maryland 7-4 on Friday (May 10).
With the victory, Florida State improved to 44-22, matching last year’s entire win total. Maryland finished its season at 33-26. The win was also the 1,399th for FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. One more would make her the first coach in softball history to amass 1,400 wins.
Florida State moves on to take on #19 Georgia Tech at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Seminoles have to beat the Yellow Jackets twice to advance to the championships game.
“I’m proud of the way our team fought back tonight,” Graf said. “After the way we struggled in the first game we could have easily packed it in after Maryland scored three runs in the first inning, but we stayed disciplined at the plate and just kept chipping away at the lead. Tiffany did a great job of coming into a tough situation and shutting them down.”
Coming on in the second inning to get the victory was Florida State Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she improved to 17-14. The right-hander threw the final five and two-thirds innings, giving up one run on four hits with one strikeout and one walks. Starter Terese Gober (McDonough, Ga.) gave up three runs in an inning and a third. Taking the loss was Maryland’s Meredith Nelles, who fell to 19-15.
Florida State pounded out nine hits, led by three from two-time All-American Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) who also crossed the plate twice. Center fielder Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.) also crossed the plate twice while catcher Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) had two hits and shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) drove in a pair of runs.
Maryland got out to an early lead as a double by Jennifer Wellborn brought in a pair of runs to give Maryland a 3-0 after the top of the first.
The Seminoles got their first run of the day in their half of the first. With two outs, Wynn drew a walk and moved up to second on a passed ball. Alicart drilled a double of the fence in left field to cut the deficit to 3-1.
After McDonald came on in the second to get Florida State out of a bases loaded jam, the Seminoles scored two runs to tie the game at 3-3. Ahrberg led off the inning with a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Amanda Moore (Niceville, Fla.). Left fielder Jessica Gilmore (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) more picked up her third hit in as many ACC Tournament games with an infield chopper. Following a sacrifice, a ground out by third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) scored Moore. Wootson followed with a single through the left side of the infield to score Gilmore and tie the game at 3-3.
Florida State got its first lead of the night in the fourth with the aid of only one hit. Snyder reached first when the ball slipped out of Amber Jackson’s hand as she went to throw to first. Wootson followed with her second hit of the night and a ground out put runners at the corners. Wynn was walked to load the bases then Alicart drew a four-pitch walk to score Snyder then Wootson came across on a ground out by first baseman Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.).
Maryland gave the Seminoles two more runs in the sixth inning. Wootson picked up a lead off single and moved up to second on a throwing error by the Maryland catcher. A sacrifice moved her up to third and she scored on a wild pitch. Wynn followed with an infield single and moved to second on a walk to Osmon. Ahrberg drilled a single to left field to score Wynn and push FSU’s lead to 7-3.
After winning the opener in Atlanta, Florida State dropped the last two games of its series with Georgia Tech earlier in the year.