March 31, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
It took a walk-off home run by freshman Monica Montez ended the longest regular season game in Atlantic Coast Conference history. The rookie slammed a two-run dinger just below the scoreboard in centerfield to give the Florida State softball team a 4-2 victory over Maryland in 14 innings during the first game of Saturday’s (March 31) doubleheader.
After both team scored a pair of runs in the third inning, the two squads combined to stranded 18 runners until the bottom of the 14th. First baseman Kelly Langston (Sopchoppy, Fla.) led off the frame with a walk then Montez (Corona, Calif.) belted her second walk-off homer of the year to end the game.
The 14-inning affair ties the longest game in conference history as the Seminoles went 14 innings against Virginia Tech on May 12, 2005, during the ACC Tournament. The game took 3:58, leaving it just six minutes short of the record set during that same game.
Keeping the Seminoles in the game the whole time with one of the best outings of her career was pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.) as she threw all 14 innings to get the victory and improve to 9-10. Her 14-inning outing ties former teammates Casey Hunter for the longest performance in conference history. McDonald set a career-high with 23 strikeouts as she gave up just the two runs on eight hits with four walks.
Florida State got its first victory to open an ACC series as it improved to 3-4 in the league, 25-15 overall. Maryland was handed its first conference loss as it dropped to 3-1, 19-11 overall.
Leading the way with a team-high three hits, including two doubles, was center fielder Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.) as four players collected two or more hits. Montez went 2-for-3, drew a walk and was hit by a pitch, while Langston had two hits and scored two runs and third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) had two hits and an RBI.
Florida State had opportunities to score in the first two innings, but stranded five runners on base, including three in scoring position. Maryland took advantage of its scoring chances in the third as it pushed the first two runs across. The Seminoles came back to score a pair in its half of the third to tie the game at 2-2.
Free passes contributed to the first run as shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) drew a walk to start the inning, Montez was hit to load the bases and a walk to catcher Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) brought in the first run for FSU. A single by Snyder sent Langston across with the tying run.
The Seminoles managed to put a runner on base in eight of the next ten innings with a runner getting to third in the fourth and 13th innings. Allowing the Seminoles to stay in the game was McDonald as after the fourth she only allowed three hits with 16 strikeouts.
The two teams wrap up the doubleheader with game two.