March 12, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
It wasn’t the championships the Florida State University softball team was looking for but the Seminoles will definitely take all the win it picked up over the weekend. The host used a five-run fourth inning en route to a 7-2 win over St. John’s on Sunday (March 12) to capture the Silver bracket championship of the Florid State Invitational.
The Seminoles completed a week in which they went 7-1 to improve their record to 18-9. St. John’s dropped to 10-10.
“Their pitcher struggled a little bit early and I think we took advantage of that,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “I think we were a little bit more selective and we hit the ball hard. I think this weekend helped our confidence. Even though we were in the Silver Bracket, we at least one the championship and learning how to win those kind of games is important.”
Following two rough outings to start her career, hurler Kayla Collins (Niceville, Fla.) threw her second complete game of the season. The freshman righty gave up just two runs on six hits with four strikeouts. The Red Storm’s Lisa Geer took the loss, dropping her to 2-4.
“For a freshman, as many innings as she’s going to pitch she’s going to get stronger and stronger,” Graf noted. “It was good for her to get the complete game because with the conference season starting tomorrow we need as many fresh arms as possible.”
After a pair of singles to open the game by left fielder Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) and right fielder Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.), the Seminoles scored their two runs in the top of the first without putting a bat on the ball. With one, center fielder Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla.) was walked to load the bases. One out later first baseman Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) was walked, scoring Jacob. The first pitch to designated player Kim Hoffer (Houston, Texas) was wild, allowing Buckmon to score and give Florida State a 2-0 advantage.
Florida State opened up a 7-0 lead when it pushed five more runs across in the fourth inning. With one out, catcher BillieAnne Gay (Tallahassee, Fla.) drilled a single. Jacob followed with her second hit of the day – her 14th career triple – to score Gay. Buckmon followed with her second hit of the afternoon, an infield single, then advanced to second on an attempt to pick off Jacob. Second baseman Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to plate both Jacob and Buckmon.
Brieske picked up her second free pass of the day with a walk. Short stop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) chased Geer out of the game with a two-run home run to dead center field.
“I think she’s seeing it well, Graf said of Alicart. “She’s got a small body, but she’s got a lot of power in that body. She’s a great hitter and every day she’s getting more and more use to Division I pitching so I think she’s going to improve as the season goes on.”
The seven runs would be more than enough for Collins. Even though she allowed at least one runner to get on in five of the first six innings, the Red Storm did not have a runner get past second base until the seventh inning when they scored their two runs.
The Seminoles are back in action on their own field Monday (March 13) when they open the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule against North Carolina with a single game at 6 p.m.