April 5, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With every outing, sophomore pitcher Tiffany McDonald keeps getting better and better. No. 24 Florida found out just how much she has improved as she kept the Gators off the scoreboard to help the Seminoles win game one of Wednesday’s (April 5) doubleheader 4-0.
The Seminoles won their third game over a ranked team in the last five days as they improved to 28-18. Florida dropped to 31-13.
Going the distance for her league-leading 22nd complete game was McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she improved to 18-10. The right-hander took a no-hitter into the fifth inning as she notched her second shutout of the year. McDonald gave up just two hits with seven strikeouts and five walks. Taking the loss was Florida starter Stacey Stevens as she dropped to 13-3.
Leadoff hitter Natasha Jacob (Coppell, Texas) was responsible for each of the Seminoles’ two runs. She led off the first inning with a single before moving up to second on a sacrifice by Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.). As she stole third, the throw from UF catcher Kristen Butler went into left field, allowing Jacob to score the first run.
The All-America candidate started the third inning in similar fashion with an infield single. Buckmon followed with an infield single of her own to put runners on first and second. Jacob advanced to third on a ground ball by Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.). With two outs, first baseman Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) lifted a shallow pop up over first base and just past the out-stretch arms of the Florida second baseman to score Jacob.
Two innings later, Florida State tacked on a pair of runs to give itself a 4-0 lead. With one out, Wootson cranked her fourth home run of the season. It was the 15th home run of her career, tying her for sixth in school history with Monique Marier and Lesley Palmer. Osmon followed with her second hit of the day, a double in the left field gap, then scored on Wood’s second hit of the day.
The Gators had their chances to score as McDonald walked a batter in four of the first five innings. UF’s best chance to score came in the fifth inning when Brooke Johnson walked and almost came around to score on a double by Lacy Howard, but fell coming down the third baseline and was tagged out at the plate.
Six different players had a hit with Jacob leading the way at three singles, as FSU pounded out ten hits as a team. Osmon and Wood added two each.