Feb. 9, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Coming into the first weekend of the season, Florida State pitcher Tiffany McDonald wasn’t sure she was going to throw that much and she certainly didn’t expect to have the evening she did on Friday night. The junior threw the second no hitter of her career as she stifled the Florida A&M bats and gave the No. 25 Seminoles a 5-0 victory during the first day of the Seminole Classic.
Florida State swept both of its games during the first day of competition to improve to 2-0 for the 19th time under Dr. JoAnne Graf. The Rattlers dropped to 0-2 on the season.
“I really did know about it,” McDonald admitted. “There were a few times they had a few balls that I thought might be counted as hits but I was too into the game and into my zone to realize it. I’m glad no body mentioned it to me.”
The no hitter is her first no-no since an 11-0 victory over Jacksonville on March 30, 2005. During her seven innings of work, the right-hander only issued three walks and had one runner reach base on an error. Taking the loss for FAMU was Destiny Gordon as she fell to 0-1.
“She’s been excited all day and she was really pumped to get out there,” Graf said of McDonald. “She threw a great game and had a great defense behind her.”
FSU got a total team effort offensively as six different batters picked up FSU’s half dozen hits and five different Seminoles crossed the plate. Freshman catcher Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) topped all hitters with three RBIs.
Designated hitter Brittany Krbec (Orlando, Fla.) picked up where she left off in the opener as she roped a double to right field to start FSU’s offense in the second inning. Right fielder LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) laid down a sacrifice bunt but the throw to first base went over the fielder’s head, allowing pinch runner Courtney Rosen (Sugarland, Texas) to score from second. One out later, Davis scored the second run on a ground out by first baseman Kelly Langston (Sopchoppy, Fla.).
The Seminoles scored again in the third as Player of the Year Candidate Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) led off with a single then stole her third base of the night to get to second. A ground out moved her to third then she came in to score on an Ahrberg ground out.
“I thought we hit pretty well for the first two games,” Graf added. “We were aggressive at the plate and we’re leaving how to read different pitches. It was a great all-around effort, the defense played well, the hitters did well and our pitchers did great. We’ve got to keep getting better every day.”
Florida State got back on the board in the fifth when it scored two more runs. Third baseman Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) started the frame with a walk then moved up to second on a ground out. Center fielder Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) laid down a bunt single then stole second to put runners at second and third. Ahrberg drove in her second and third runs of the game with a single up the middle.
That would be more than enough offense for McDonald as she faced only two batters over the minimum through the first five innings. The junior started the game by striking out the first five batters she faced. Florida A&M only had one runner reach second base all night as FSU played strong defense behind McDonald and Ahrberg threw out a pair of runners.
“It’s been a long week, my shoulder was hurting a little bit so I was taking it easy and I didn’t expect anything like this,” McDonald said. “I just went out there and tried to do my job and the girls picked me up the entire night and they were great. When I’m out there I never have any doubt about my teammates, they are there for me every time.”
The Seminoles are back in action on day two of the Seminole Classic as they take on Radford at 1:30 p.m. An FSU victory would but it in the 6:30 p.m. championship game.