April 7, 2007
ATLANTA, Ga. –
Ever since she burst onto the seen her freshman year, Veronica Wootson has been destined to break the Florida State career home run record. The journey was completed on Saturday (April 7) for the two-time All-American as she belted a pair of dingers in her first two at-bats to lead the Seminoles to an 8-0 victory over #25 Georgia Tech in the first game of their ACC series.
Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) came into the game tied for second with Tiffany Daniels at 24 home runs and she passed the mark set in 2003 by fellow two-time All-American Brandi Stuart. The two hits also moved her up to ninth on the ACC hit charts, number six in FSU history, as she tied former Seminole Myssi Calkins with 253 career hits.
“There have been so many great players in Florida State history so to be the all-time leader in home runs is truly an honor,” Wootson said. “My job as the leadoff hitter is to jumpstart the offense and make something happen and she gave me some pitches I could drive.”
It was the second time in Wootson’s career that she hit two home runs in a game as she duplicated the feat from the first game last year at Jacksonville. Her two home runs upped her season total to eight, tying her single-season high from her rookie year.
“Veronica has been a very special player for us all four years of her career so it’s great to see her break the record,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “One of the things that make her stand out is that she is one of those rare players that can beat you with power and speed. We’re going to have a big hole to fill next year.”
Florida State improved 6-4 in the ACC, 28-17 overall as FSU won in Atlanta for the first time since 2003. Georgia Tech dropped to 34-13, 4-6 in the league.
Getting the victory for the Seminoles was starting pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she improved to 10-11 overall, 2-2 in the ACC. In throwing her fourth complete game shutout of the year, the right-hander gave up just two hits with ten strikeouts and four walks. Taking the loss was former FAMU pitcher Tiffany Johnson, as he record fell to 14-6.
Nearly half of Florida State’s nine hits came from Wootson and Jessica Gilmore (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) each had a pair of hits. Wootson reached base all four times as she drew two walks to go along with a pair of runs scored and she drove in three. Right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) was next with a pair of RBIs on her triple while first baseman Brittany Osmon (San Diego, Calif.) crossed the plate twice.
Florida State got the offense going right away as Wootson drilled a leadoff home run in the top of the first put the Seminoles up 1-0. One out later, Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.) picked up an infield single and stole second base. She moved up to third on a bunt single by shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) then came around to score when GT second baseman Jennifer Yee dropped the throw to first on Alicart’s bunt.
Wootson’s long ball prowess accounted for two more runs for the Seminoles in the second inning. Osmon started the frame with a walk then with two outs Wootson drilled the record-breaking home run over the center field fence to make it 4-0 in FSU’s favor.
Three more runs came across in the third as Florida Stated mounted a 7-0 lead. With one out, catcher Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) drew a leadoff walk and moved up second on a Gilmore single. Gilmore was eliminated on an Osmon grounder, but Davis cleared the bases with a triple on a high fly ball that was misjudged in the gusting winds by the Yellow Jacket center fielder. A single through the left side by third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) scored Davis.
Alicart led off with a walk in the seventh and stole second. A double into the right field gap by Gilmore scored Alicart with the eighth run of the day.
Georgia Tech had its best scoring opportunity of the game in the fifth inning as it drew a pair of walks and got a base hit to load the bases. McDonald got out of the jam by striking out Jennifer Yee and Whitney Haller then got Savannah to foul out.
The two teams complete Saturday’s doubleheader with game two.