Feb. 7, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The No. 12 Florida State softball team (1-1) started the 2014 season with two games at the Hotel Encanto Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M. The Seminoles dropped the opener against No. 9 Nebraska, 4-3, and took down host school New Mexico State, 11-0, in five innings.
"It was a hard fought game with some unique elements to test our adversity," said head coach Lonni Alameda. "The team played well and will learn from this and grow. It was great to come back in game two and do what we are capable of."
Against Nebraska, the `Noles opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a leadoff single by Tiffani Brown. The senior moved over to second on a groundout by Courtney Senas and came into score when Maddie O'Brien laced an RBI single into right.
Nebraska scored two in the top of the third after Austen Urness led off the inning with a double to left. She scored due to a pair of singles from Kiki Stokes and Taylor Edwards. The Huskers took a 2-1 lead with a two-out bases loaded infield single by Mattie Fowler that got past first baseman Ellie Cooper and Brown got the `Noles out of the inning by gunning down Taylor Edwards trying to score on the play.
The Huskers had the bases loaded in both the fourth and fifth innings yet didn't score a run. To close out the fifth, Lacey Waldrop (0-1) tossed a pair of three-pitch strikeouts to Alicia Armstrong and Urness.
In the home half of the sixth, O'Brien led off the inning by hitting the first pitch she saw over the left field wall for a 3-2 FSU lead.
A pair of errors in the top of the seventh gave the Huskers the lead back as Mattie Fowler reached on an O'Brien error with one away. Sophomore Dawna Tyson hit a fly ball to left with two on and two outs that went in and out of the glove of left fielder Kelly Hensley, plating both runners to make it 4-3 Nebraska.
Florida State would get the winning run to the plate after Hartness reached on an error, but the `Noles would go down in order after that to give Nebraska the 4-3 victory.
In game two against New Mexico State, the Seminoles started by breaking into the scoring column in the first as Brown led off the game with a walk, a stolen base and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
A 10-pitch walk by Macey Cheatham in the second frame ignited a two-run inning with RBIs by Alex Kossoff and Brown. Stephanie Hartness added an RBI single along with Ellie Cooper's RBI double in the third.
A four-run fourth was highlighted by O'Brien's second home run of the day, a three-run blast to center, scoring Senas and Brown. Hartness added another RBI single up the middle to score Briana Hamilton to make it 9-0 Florida State.
This all happened before redshirt freshman Jessica Burroughs (1-0) surrendered a hit in her first collegiate appearance. With four strikeouts in 3.1 innings, the Aggies scratched out their first hit with one out in the bottom of the fourth on a single to left by Lacey Rother. Burroughs finished with 4.0 innings, four strikeouts, two walks and allowed only that one hit. Redshirt senior Jessica Nori came in to close out the fifth and secure the run-rule victory.
"Burroughs pitched very well today. She did a great job of staying ahead of the hitters and looked really good in her first start for us," added Alameda. "We have two more games tomorrow and we will look to build off of that success."
The No. 12 Seminoles will play UTEP at 11:30 a.m. ET and take on Saint Mary's at 1:30 p.m. ET on February 8. Florida State will have another shot at No. 9 Nebraska on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
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