Feb. 25, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Redshirt junior Monica Perry came within three outs of the first perfect game by a Seminole since 2004, but settled for another victory as the Florida State University softball team won two more games in day two of the Citrus Classic at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
Perry (5-0) struck out a season-high 11 batters in FSU's 4-1 victory over Marshall in game two. Through six innings pitched she was in line for a perfect game, attempting to become the first Seminole pitcher to achieve perfection since Casey Hunter did so on March 13, 2004, versus St. Joseph's.
After getting ahead of her hitters all evening and forcing them to chase out of the strike zone, Ashley Gue's leadoff single that was chopped over the outstretched arms of third baseman Briana Hamilton spoiled Perry's perfect pursuit in the seventh. Regardless, she improves to 5-0 on the season after allowing just two hits to the Thundering Herd (7-6), both in the final frame.
"Monica was in the zone tonight. She really brought her A game and has pitched so well for us," Head coach Lonni Alameda said. "Both she and Lacey (Waldrop) really guided us today and I'm proud of our entire team for the way we've started this season. There's still more areas for improvement, but we're off to a good start."
The Seminoles' (14-0) undefeated 14-0 record is now tied for the second-best start in school history with the 1994 team.
Junior Loren Smith recorded her first career home run as a Seminole in the bottom of the second in game two versus Marshall. Smith stepped to the plate versus Marshall starter Erika Bennett and unleashed a big fly to centerfield on the first pitch she saw for a three-run home run. Earlier in the frame, Mallory Borden garnered an RBI single through the left side to put FSU on the scoreboard first.
Tiffani Brown led FSU with a 2-for-3 performance, continuing her hot streak at the plate. Brown currently owns a six-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 11 consecutive games.
Courtney Senas' one-out double down the left field line plated Briana Hamilton from first base to give the Seminoles a 1-0 advantage in the top of the second inning against Southern Illinois. FSU then manufactured its run in the third inning, as Brown led off with an infield single then stole second base. Brown reached third on a wild pitch before scoring on Shayla Jackson's groundout to second base, making it 2-0.
It turned out that the two runs were all that were needed for Lacey Waldrop (7-0), who allowed just two hits in her fourth complete game of the season. Facing a talented Saluki hitting lineup, Waldrop continued to baffle the opposition by changing speeds and locations. The result included just three Southern Illinois runners in scoring position all afternoon, as Waldrop pitched well enough to leave those runners on base.
FSU put together seven base hits in 25 at-bats against Southern Illinois starter Brittney Lang (2-2), who allowed two runs and struck out six in the loss. Senas led FSU with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate.
The Seminoles finish up their stint at the Citrus Classic with a 10 a.m. matchup versus Wisconsin on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. FSU will then prepare for the Hawaii Classic on March 2-6 in Honolulu.