Feb. 19, 2012
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Another dynamic performance by freshman pitcher Lacey Waldrop paved the way for another victory by the Florida State University softball team as it defeated Mercer, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon at the second Seminole Classic at JoAnne Graf Field.
Waldrop (4-0), who hails from Colonial Heights, Va., threw her second complete game of the season. She kept the Bears (2-7) from putting runners in scoring position throughout most of the day, allowing just one player to reach third base. Using a variety of pitches, Waldrop once again kept her hitting guessing as she picked up her fourth consecutive start without surrendering a run.
Waldrop has now reached 22 consecutive innings pitched without allowing a run, spanning her last four starts versus Mercer, Coastal Carolina, Ole Miss and Tennessee Tech. Coincidently, FSU holds a near unbreakable NCAA record as a team for consecutive scoreless innings pitched, totaling 124 from Feb. 20 to March 19, 1993.
"She continues to grasp what we want out of her and keeps developing and getting better with each start," head coach Lonni Alameda said about Waldrop. "It's important for any team to start the way we have started, but now we have to keep working on the little things offensively and defensively that can help us sustain it."
Helping Waldrop to her fourth victory was junior Tiffani Brown, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two stolen bases. The Tallahassee native was responsible for putting FSU on the scoreboard early, grounding out to the Mercer first baseman but forcing the fielder to run her down briefly to spell time for Kirstin Austin to cross the plate from third base. Brown then added an insurance run in the sixth inning when her infield single plated Austin again, creating the 3-0 score.
For the season, Brown is 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts.
FSU recorded seven base hits against an energized Mercer squad. The Seminoles' (9-0) other scoring play occurred in the second inning when Shayla Jackson's infield single in front of shortstop Sara Stukes brought home Morgan Bullock from third base. Jackson finished 1-for-4 with one RBI.
Bullock had a solid day at the plate for FSU, finishing 2-for-3 with two infield singles, one run scored and one stolen base. Briana Hamilton capped her impressive weekend by going 1-for-2 with one walk. Junior Kirstin Austin added a single to right center to finish 1-for-2 with two runs against Mercer.
For the first time in 2012, FSU did not record an extra base hit and instead manufactured its runs to back another strong outing by Waldrop. The result includes an unblemished 9-0 record that is the best start by FSU since the 2004 squad began the year 11-0.
Mercer starter Jessica Holsinger (1-1) took the loss after allowing two earned runs on seven hits in six innings pitched. Her lineup finished 5-for-25 against Waldrop, as Mercer's only legitimate opportunity came in the fourth inning when first baseman Kristin Marko led off with a double to centerfield. Waldrop responded by inducing two consecutive groundouts, including one that advanced Marko to third base. With two outs, Waldrop struck out catcher Sarah Santana swinging to end the threat.
In FSU's four victories at the second Seminole Classic, Waldrop finished 2-0 and allowed just six hits and two walks in 12 innings pitched while striking out seven. Her only extra base hit allowed was Marko's double.
Hamilton led the Seminoles over the weekend, hitting .600 (6-for-10) with two home runs, six RBIs, one double, one triple and five runs scored.
The Seminoles look to keep their undefeated streak intact when they host UCF on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field. The game will be webcasted on Seminoles.com All-Access.