May 16, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State sophomore pitcher Sarah Hamilton pitched a no-hitter to lead top-seeded Florida State (44-15) to a 5-0 victory over Mississippi State in an elimination game at the NCAA Softball Tournament Tallahassee Regional Saturday at JoAnne Graf Field. The no-hitter was Hamilton’s third of the season and third of her career and advanced the Seminoles into a second elimination game Saturday night against Oklahoma State. Mississippi State, which lost to Cal Friday’, was eliminated from the tournament and finished the year 28-28.
Hamilton’s no hitter was her third of the season with her first coming against Indiana on Feb. 21, 2009 and her second coming against Boston College on May 2. It was the second no-hitter in the span of two weeks for the Tallahassee native and 2009 ACC Pitcher of the Year.
Hamilton struck out 10, walked only two, enjoyed three 1-2-3 innings, allowed only one runner as far as third base and did not allow multiple base runners in the same inning until the seventh and final inning. Fittingly, Hamilton snared a line-drive off of the bat of Bulldog shortstop Jessie Spain to end the game.
Forida State scored the only two runs it needed in its half of the third inning on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. Centerfielder Carly Wynn was hit to lead the inning off and moved to second on a single by right fielder Shayla Jackson. A walk to shortstop Ashley Stager loaded the bases. Leftfielder Monica Montez then laced a two-run single up the middle to score Winn and Jackson.
The Seminoles’ offense was not finished.
Florida State increased its lead to 5-0 on a bases loaded double in to the gap in left field by Stager. Her bases clearing hit scored first basemen Brittany Joseph, Jackson and catcher Kaleigh Rafter who had all singled. Stager was stranded on second when Montez popped out to the Bulldog catcher Chelsea Bramlett to end the inning.
Cal, which has won its first two games and already advanced to the championship round, is awaiting the winner of Saturday night’s game. The Bears will face the winner of the Florida State vs. Oklahoma State game Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Cal needs to win only one game to advance to the Super Regional championship while the winner of Saturday’s game would have to defeat Cal twice on Sunday in order to advance to the Super Regional against the winner of the Gainesville Regional.
Mississippi State Head Coach Jay Miller:
“Well, Hamilton threw a great ballgame. She really kept us off balance and we just couldn’t get anything started offensively. I thought Lindsey (Dunlap) pitched pretty good overall. She made a few mistakes but then at this level that’s all it takes. But really the story is Hamilton. We just struggled getting the bat on the ball and getting any type of solid hits. She threw her off speed very well and kept us off balance.”