Feb. 16, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Junior Courtney Senas highlighted the No. 25/21 Florida State softball team's excellent offensive day as she recorded eight RBIs in a two-game sweep over No. 21/25 Hofstra on Saturday at the Unconquered Invitational at JoAnne Graf Field.
Florida State defeated Hofstra in game one by a 9-1 score in six innings, its fourth mercy-rule win of the season. FSU then defeated the Pride in game two, 4-0.
The Wahiawa, Hawaii native went 4-for-7 in two games against the nationally-ranked Pride (1-3) with one home run, two doubles and nine total bases. Arguably her biggest at-bat of the day was her final one in the tournament semifinals against Hofstra when she ripped a two-run single to give the Seminoles a cushion at 4-0 in game two, helping send Florida State to the tournament championship game.
The schedule has changed for the final day of the Unconquered Invitational. No. 2-seeded Florida State will play top seed Tulsa on Sunday with a new start time of 10 a.m. The Seminoles (7-1) are scheduled as the visiting team and will bat first. The consolation game between No. 3 seed Hofstra and fourth-seeded Arkansas will follow 30 minutes after.
Senas was not the only Seminole putting together quality plate appearances on Saturday. Florida State batted .396 (21-for-53) against one of the nation's top pitchers in senior Olivia Galati, who guided the Pride to an NCAA Super Regional appearance and an NCAA Regional win at UCLA last season.
Galati pitched against Florida State in both games and allowed 13 earned runs and 21 hits in 11.1 innings pitched.
Aside from Senas, who recorded 2/3 of the team's RBIs on Saturday, senior Morgan Bullock wreaked havoc at the plate and on the bases. The Dacula, Ga. native went 3-for-5 with an RBI double, two stolen bases and a sacrifice hit. Senior Tiffani Brown was 3-for-7 with an RBI triple, while Briana Hamilton matched Brown's stats with three hits and a triple.
The Seminoles' two wins over Hofstra give Florida State 16 Top 25 victories under head coach Lonni Alameda since she began coaching in Tallahassee in 2009.
"We definitely took a step in the right direction today," Alameda said. "Our hitting was outstanding today and we took advantage of some real big situations. Courtney was huge for our offense and it's never easy producing these types of numbers off one of the country's best pitchers. I was proud of the way our pitchers threw too in Monica (Perry) and Lacey (Waldrop). We've got a tough opponent on Sunday in Tulsa who gave us a tough loss in this tournament, so we'll look to take what we learned from that game and minimize our mistakes."
In the first game, Perry (4-1) earned her fourth win of the season after allowing just one run on four hits in six innings pitched with six strikeouts. Waldrop (3-0) followed with an outstanding start in game two, mixing her pitches well and earning a complete-game shutout with eight strikeouts.
Against the Pride in game one, the Seminoles manufactured their first run as a fielder's choice grounder to second base by Brown resulted in a chaotic rundown between third base and home plate by Victoria East. The freshman managed to get past a Hofstra infielder on the basepaths and scored Florida State's first run. Senas then had a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Bullock, make it 2-0.
In the next inning, Celeste Gomez led off with a long home run to centerfield to extend the Seminole lead to 3-0. Three runs were added in the fifth inning on an RBI triple by Brown to left center and a two-run homer by Senas down the left field line.
In the sixth, Bullock added to her fine performance with an RBI double to score pinch runner Alex Kossoff. Senas then ended the contest on a two-run double to right center, giving the Seminoles another mercy-rule victory at 9-1.
Against the Pride in the tournament semifinal, Brown got things going for the Seminoles quickly in the bottom of the first with a bunt single. She then raced around the basepaths on a Senas double down the left field line to make it 1-0 early.
Florida State's immense speed was shown again when Hamilton, who was on first base following a single, scored on a double down the left field line by Gomez in the third inning to create a 2-0 advantage.
Perhaps the biggest hit of the game came off the bat of Senas in the sixth, as she drove in East and Bullock on a two-out, two-strike single up the middle to put the Seminoles at a 4-0 lead late in the game.
Be sure to follow the Seminole softball team on its official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUSoftball) as well as on Twitter at @FSU_Softball.