March 11, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Like a Chicago election, the Florida State University softball team scored early and often as it won its first round game in the Silver bracket of the Florida State Invitational. For the second game in a row, the Seminoles pounded out double digit hits as they knocked out 13 to beat Georgia State 5-2 on Saturday (March 10).
Florida State won its second game in a row, and sixth out of seven, to improve to 16-5. The Lady Panthers dropped to 6-14. The Seminoles will now play cross-town rival Florida A&M in a 9:30 a.m. contest at Messer Park in the semifinals of the Silver bracket.
“We didn’t look good the day before so we really focused on being selective and getting a hit early,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “When we got ahead, it relaxed them, allowed them to be more selective at the plate and they hit better pitches.
Sophomore Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) threw her tenth complete game of the year to get the victory and improve to 10-5. The right-hander gave up just two unearned runs on three hits with eight strikeouts. GSU’s Meghan McCoy took the loss, as he record fell to 1-6.
“Every time Tiffany goes out she’s getting better,” Graf added. “She’s learning what she needs to do in big situations to get people out and that’s really critical for us.”
For the second game in a row, the Seminoles got the bats going in the top of the first. With one out, Right fielder Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountan, Ga.) laid down a bunt single then stole second base. A passed ball put her on third then second baseman Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) scored Buckmon on a double with the first run of the game. Wootson herself stole third then crossed the plate on a single by Carly Brieske (Safety Harbor, Fla) to open up a 2-0 lead.
Wootson was the catalyst for the Seminoles’ next run in the third inning. The All-America candidate led off the frame with her second double of the game, setting a career high, then moved up to third on Brieske’s sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly by shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) made a 3-0 game.
Some two-out magic got Florida State its fourth run in the fourth inning. Jacob’s reached on fielder’s choice then stole second. A single to center field by Buckmon gave the Seminoles a four-run advantage.
Three-straight singles got the Seminoles started in the top of the fifth. Brieske led off with her second base knock then Alicart followed with a rope through the left side. Designated player Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) picked up her team-high third hit to score Brieske.
“The more she gets to play the more comfortable she’s going to get,” Graf noted about Osmon. “Once she gets her timing back its going to help her confidence. She’s done a great job mentally staying in the games and that’s really neat that she’s been able to do that.”
The Lady Panthers scored a pair of runs thanks to Florida State errors, getting one in the bottom of the fifth and another in the seventh. Georgia State had the tying run at the plate but McDonald got out of the jam with a fly ball.
The 16 runs scored between the two games on Saturday (11 against Western Illinois and five versus Georgia State) are the second-most by the Seminoles in back-to-back games this year. Every hitter in the starting line up of both games got on base at least once and six different hitters collected a base knock in each of the two contests.
Four different players had two or more hits against the Lady Panthers with Wootson and Brieske leading the way at three each. Brieske’s two hits in each game made her the only Seminole to have a pair of multi-hit games.