April 23, 2011
Follow the FSU Softball Team on Twitter: @fsu_softball
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – With some quality pitching and timely batting by Maryland, the Florida State University softball team suffered two difficult losses on Saturday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field, losing game one, 1-0, and falling in game two, 7-4.
It was the hitting of Maryland junior outfielder Vangie Galindo that burned the Seminoles (25-23, 7-9) all day, as the left-handed batter went a combined 6-for-8 with five RBIs this afternoon. Her two-out, three-run home run to centerfield in game two broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the seventh and provided the game-winner for the Terrapins (32-13, 8-4).
Lost in both losses was the solid pitching of FSU starters Sarah Hamilton (15-15) and Jessica Nori. In game one, Hamilton absorbed a loss despite allowing just one run in seven innings with eight strikeouts. Dueling starter Kerry Hickey (14-6) of Maryland won the first game after throwing a no-hitter with five walks and 10 strikeouts, then took a relief victory in game two after Maryland gave her a three-run cushion to work with heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Hickey threw the FSU hitters off all day with an unorthodox delivery that makes it hard for the opposition to track her release point. The only base runners allowed in her game one start were from two walks by freshman Celeste Gomez, as well as base-on-balls from Tiffani Brown, Ashley Stager and Amber Bryant. FSU was able to put runners in scoring position in the first, fourth and seventh innings, but never had a legitimate chance to score against the tough-right hander.
Maryland’s game-winning hit came in the first inning on a double to centerfield by Marisha Branson, scoring leadoff batter Sara Acosta. Despite allowing two hits and a walk in the frame, Hamilton recorded three strikeouts to finish the inning, and rung up three more in the second frame. From there, she simply made the right pitches to get key outs and end any scoring threats that came in the third, fourth and seventh innings.
Although she pitched brilliantly in game one, Hamilton endured a loss in the second part of the twinbill in relief. The Tallahassee native relieved Nori for a save situation in the seventh inning as Maryland trailed 4-3 with a runner on third base and one out. Hickey stepped to the plate and Hamilton struck her out on a high fastball to put FSU within one out of a split.
However, Acosta came through when she hit a chopper to second base that corralled off the glove of a diving Tiffani Brown, bringing in the tying run and spoiling Nori’s victory bid. Galindo then stepped up and launched a game-breaking three-run shot to centerfield to give Maryland a sweep.
FSU showed plenty of fight in the second game when it came back from a 2-0 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Jen Lapicki tied the game with a two-run double down the left field line, and Robin Ahrberg’s fielder’s choice bunt scored pinch-runner Kirstin Austin from third base after catcher Samantha Mallory did not make an attempt to tag Austin at the plate on a force play, making it 3-2. Gomez then extended the lead to 4-2 on an RBI bloop single to left center before Maryland responded with a five-run seventh.
Morgan Bullock led the Seminoles with a 2-for-3 performance in game two.
The Seminoles finish their regular-season home schedule when they face Maryland on Sunday at noon as part of senior day. Six seniors in Ahrberg, Hamilton, Ashley Stager, Kristie McConn, Lapicki and Lauren Varsalona will be honored before and after the game.