May 8, 2014
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Seminoles.com) – Carried by two home runs by 2014 ACC Player of the Year Maddie O’Brien, the No. 4 Florida State Seminoles (48-6) defeated Georgia Tech (23-24) by a score of 11-5 in a quarterfinal game on May 8 at Maryland Softball Stadium. The Noles have advanced to the ACC semifinals for the ninth straight season.
“It was a great job today out of the entire team,” said head coach Lonni Alameda. “While Maddie’s home runs might get the headlines, the entire lineup worked the count to get walks and saw good pitches to hit and took advantage of them. JB did great out of the pen today for Lacey and that is great to see at this time of year. There are things we can improve on, and we look forward to get right after it again tomorrow.”
The Seminoles plated three runs in the first without recording a hit as Georgia Tech starter Kylie Kleinschmidt issued six walks to the first eight batters of the ballgame. Tiffani Brown scored the first run on a wild pitch, Bailey Schinella pushed across the second run by reaching on a GT fielding error and a bases-loaded walk to Alex Powers made it 3-0 FSU after the first inning.
Georgia Tech threatened in the second inning, loading the bases with one out in the inning. The Jackets were able to score just one run before the Noles were able to get out of the jam on a Lacey Waldrop strikeout and a nice play by Brown on a groundout to second.
Florida State broke it open in the second inning as Brown led off the inning with an infield single and was brought into score a batter later on Courtney Senas’ double down the left field line.
Maddie O’Brien then crushed a 1-0 pitch deep over the trees beyond the right field wall to make it 6-1 Florida State. Kelly Hensley added a base hit of her own and Victoria East scored on a Celeste Gomez single after reaching on a fielder’s choice, extending FSU’s lead to 7-1.
The Yellow Jackets answered back with three runs in the third inning after opening the inning with two runs off three singles and a hit-by-pitch. Jessica Burroughs came in for Waldrop and got out of the inning allowing just one more to score on a bases loaded groundout to the circle. Waldrop allowed four runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts in 2.0 innings.
The Florida State offense continued to dominate in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs that were sparked by Powers leading off the inning with a single to left. Victoria Daddis followed a batter later with an RBI double to the left field corner to score Alex Kossoff who reentered the game.
O’Brien added the remaining three runs of the frame with a home run to deep center. It marked the third time this season she has hit two home runs in a game, matching her production against St. Mary’s on Feb. 9 and at Pitt on April 16.
Georgia Tech would not go quietly as it added another run in the fourth on a solo home run by Alysha Rudnik.
Burroughs silenced the Yellow Jacket bats the rest of the way, allowing just four hits and one run on 5.0 innings of relief to get the victory. She improved to 17-1 on the season and has only allowed one run in her last 25.1 innings.
The Seminoles ended with 12 walks to set a new record in an ACC Tournament game, surpassing the previous record set by FSU when it issued nine walks to Virginia Tech in a 14-inning game won by the Hokies, 3-2, in 2005. O’Brien’s two home runs and five RBI also tied ACC Tournament single-game records.
Florida State advances to the semifinal round and will take on the winner of North Carolina-NC State at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 9.
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