May 12, 2005
COLLEGE PARK, Maryland – Florida State participated in the longest game in ACC Softball Championship history but came up on the short end of a 14-inning marathon after falling to seventh-seeded Virginia Tech (40-21), 3-2, Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the league tournament on the campus of the University of Maryland. Senior pitcher Casey Hunter (19-16) tossed an incredible game in the circle for the Seminoles, throwing a career-long 13 innings while retiring a career-high-tying 17 batters.
The game lasted over four hours and the Tribe must now turn around and play at 1:30 p.m. Friday against Maryland. FSU, seeded second, dropped its seventh game in eight outings and will have steep hill to climb in the double elimination tournament if the Seminoles hope to advance to the title game. Freshman pitcher Angela Tincher retired 21 Seminole batters and improved her record to 18-6.
FSU has won 11 ACC Championships in 14 seasons.
Tincher got the win after shutting down the Seminoles over 12.2 innings of work, while setting a new conference tournament record with 21 strikeouts.
Virginia Tech struck early in the second as Hokie center fielder Sarah Prosise sent the first pitch of the inning over the wall in right center for an early 1-0 lead. The home run by Prosise was her sixth of the season. Kathleen Jones followed with a single to left and advanced to second on a groundout by first baseman Caroline Stolle. With runners on second and third and two outs, the Hokies extended their lead to 2-0 as Seminole shortstop Kim Hoffer bobbled a ground ball by Caitlin Murphy scoring Jones from third.
In the third, the Hokies threatened as catcher Megan Evans was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Crystal Beach pinch ran for Evans at first and advanced to third on an errand pickoff attempt at first. She was stranded at third as Florida State pitcher Casey Hunter struck out the side.
In the bottom half of the third, Florida State looked to get on the board as Hoffer walked with one out and advanced to third after a wild pitch and a ground out by designated player BillieAnne Gay. But Tincher got lead-off hitter Natasha Jacob to fly out to deep right to end the inning.
Hokies’ Katie Maynard relieved Tincher, who registered five solid innings of work, in the sixth. With one out, the Seminoles recorded back-to-back hits off Maynard, but the junior hurler caught FSU third baseman Lesley Palmer looking on a called third strike before inducing a ground out by LaShaun Davis to close out the sixth.
After two walks and a fielder’s choice to start the bottom of the seventh for the Seminoles, Tincher reentered the contest for the Hokies replacing Maynard with two on and one out. Florida State’s Jacob laid down a bunt single to load the bases for second baseman Veronica Wootson. Wootson hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field scoring pincher runner Whitney Buckmon from third and Hoffer all the way from second. Hoffer, coming around third base, was given the green light from head coach JoAnne Graf and was able to score after the relay throw was bobbled by Hokie first baseman Stephanie Savre.
The game would move into the 14th when Virginia Tech’s Kelly Brown led off the top of the inning with a double over the head of Jacob in left field and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Caitlin Murphy. Alisia Narodowski and Evans drew a pair of one out walks to load the bases for Savre. Savre laced a line drive past Palmer at third scoring Brown and giving the Hokies the 3-2 lead.
Tincher finished off the Noles in order in the bottom half of the inning to guide the Hokies to their first ACC Tournament victory. The freshman hurler tossed 12.2 innings allowing no runs on five hits, while striking out 21 batters and allowing just three walks in the win. In the loss, Hunter registered 14 innings of work allowing two earned runs on eight hits while fanning 19.
Virginia Tech (40-21) will advance to face Virginia on Friday, May 13 at 11:00 am. With the loss, Florida State (33-25) will face Maryland on Friday, May 13 at 1:30 pm.
* The longest game in ACC Tournament history
* Virginia Tech’s Angela Tincher sets the ACC Tournament individual game record with 21 strikeouts in 12.2 innings of work.
* Virginia Tech sets team-single game tournament record with 22 strikeouts (Tincher 21, Maynard 1)
* Virginia Tech and Florida State tie two team, single game record for errors in a game with six
* Hunter sets individual-single game record for innings pitched with 14.0.
* Virginia Tech’s Kelly Brown ties individual-single game record for walks with three (10th time)
* Florida State sets team-single game record for walks with nine
W-Angela Tincher (18-6)
L-Casey Hunter (19-16)