March 3, 2006
For the first five and a half innings, the Florida State University softball team played like head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf knew her club could. Then seventh-ranked Michigan showed why it’s the defending national champions. The Wolverines scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to come from behind and win the game 6-3 on Friday (March 3).
The Seminoles dropped their first game in the Sunshine State Tournament and fell to 9-7 on the year. Michigan improved its record to 10-4. Taking the loss for FSU was Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as her ledger fell to 7-4. Lorilyn Wilson got the win after coming on in the fifth as her record increased to 3-2.
A free pass gave the Wolverines their first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning as UM was the designated the home team via a coin toss. With one out, Stephanie Bercaw walked, and then stole second. One out later she scored on a single by Samantha Findlay.
Two innings later the Seminoles gave McDonald some of the run support she’s needed as they scored their first run against a ranked opponent in four tries. Short stop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) led off the frame with an infield single then moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.). Catcher BillieAnne Gay (Tallahassee, Fla.) delivered a single into left field to plate Alicart and tie the game at one run apiece.
No player this year has scored more timely runs or had more timely hits that Alicart and she did it against Michigan. With one out in the fifth, the junior ripped a double to right center. Buckmon followed with a double of her own to score Alicart and give FSU a 2-1 lead.
McDonald did a great job of getting out of jam in the fifth and not letting Michigan score the tying run as the Wolverines had a runner 60 feet from home with just one out. The sophomore wasn’t as fortunate in the sixth as Findley hit a two-run home run over the center field fence to give UM a 3-2 lead. Becky Marx followed with a solo home run to extend the lead.
Florida State continues the Sunshine State Tournament on Friday (March 3) when it takes on Western Michigan in the last game.