Feb. 14, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The No. 12 Florida State softball team (6-1) won a pair of games on Friday during day one of the Renegade Classic. The Seminoles defeated Southern Miss (0-5) by a score of 5-1, and took down North Dakota State (4-2) by a score of 4-1. FSU pitchers recorded 17 total strikeouts in the wins.
"It was an outstanding job to come out in front of our home crowd and give them two wins," said head coach Lonni Alameda. "It can be nerve-wracking to be on your field for the first time but girls did great and put a game plan to work. It was a lot of fun."
Southern Miss got out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a pair of doubles off of Seminole starter Jessica Burroughs (3-0). The redshirt freshman kept her composure and closed out the inning with a strikeout and a groundout to the circle. That initial burst proved to be all that USM would have at the plate as Burroughs only allowed one hit over her final 6.2 innings to get the complete game win. Burroughs finished with a career-high nine strikeouts, allowing only three hits and one run in 7.0 innings of work.
Offensively, the Seminoles picked up right where they left off in New Mexico. Tiffani Brown laced an 0-2 pitch down the right field line for a triple in her first at bat and was brought in by a Senas single to tie the game at 1-1.
In the third inning, freshman Ellie Cooper laid down a perfect bunt to start the inning and was advanced by Kossoff getting hit by a pitch. A bunt single by Brown loaded the bases and Maddie O'Brien gave the `Noles the lead for good after a single up the middle which brought in two and made it 3-1. A Briana Hamilton walk loaded the bases and Victoria East extended the lead to 4-1 with a sac fly to right.
In the fifth, the `Noles added their final run when Brown led off the inning with an infield single, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. O'Brien made it 5-1 with her third RBI of the game, taking a 3-1 pitch through the left side to score Brown. Burroughs retired the final nine batters she faced to secure the win.
In the second game, runs were hard to come by for either team. North Dakota State broke into the scoring column in the third inning after an Alex Sobrero double and a Logan Moreland single made it 1-0 Bison.
NDSU starter Tabby Bayers was impressive in the circle. She did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when O'Brien took the first pitch deep into the gap in left center for a double. The rally soon cooled when Bison left fielder Maritza Lopez-Portillo made a nice grab in the gap to rob Hamilton of a hit and doubled up O'Brien trying to tag from second.
However, miscues by Bayers in the sixth inning would prove to be the difference. Celeste Gomez drew a walk and Alex Kossoff bunted into a fielder's choice at to third. An infield single by Brown and intentional walk to O'Brien loaded the bases with two outs. On consecutive pitches to Hamilton, Bayers threw a wild pitch and was called for an illegal pitch which brought in two runs for Florida State. Hamilton would eventually walk and East roped a two-RBI double down the right field line to make it 4-1 FSU.
Lacey Waldrop (3-1) would then strikeout the first two batters in the seventh on six pitches and get the final out on a slow roller back to the circle. Waldrop pitched very well in her own right, nearly mirroring her teammate's line from earlier in the day. The junior finished with eight strikeouts, allowing only four hits and one run in her complete game victory.
The `Noles are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2:30 p.m. against North Dakota State and play again at 5:00 p.m. versus Southern Miss. Sunday will have two games with Florida State playing USM at 12:30 p.m. and NDSU at 3:00 p.m.
Follow Florida State softball on Twitter (@FSU_Softball) and Instagram (fsusoftball), and like our Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUsoftball) to keep with everything about Seminole softball throughout the 2014 season.