March 10, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After winning a couple of nail-biters during the first three games of the FSU Invitational, the Florida State softball team has started flexing its offensive muscle. The No. 25 Seminoles belted out double digit hits for the second game in a row and scored in its first five at-bats to beat Florida A&M 9-4 on Saturday (March 10).
FSU advances in the championship bracket where it will face No. 18 Southern Illinois at 9:30 a.m. for a spot in the title game.
Florida State rattled off its fifth win in a row - putting it one game short of its season-best six-game winning streak - to improve to 17-7. The Rattlers dropped to 4-19.
Getting her second victory of the tournament was FSU starter Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) as she improved to 5-1. The left-hander pitched her sixth complete game, giving up four runs, two earned, on two hits with six strikeouts and two walks. The loss went to FAMU's Destiny Gordon.
Leading the way for Florida State at the plate was shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) who fell just a double short of hitting for the cycle. The senior went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored as she hit her team-leading sixth home run of the year.
Also collected a pair of hits was designated player Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) as she went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Player of the Year candidate Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) scored a pair of runs as did left fielder Monica Montez (Corona, Calif.).
Just like it has done the first four games of the tournament, Florida State started the game with Wootson scoring in the first inning. The two-time All-American led off with a walk and stole second. A sacrifice moved her to third and then a ground out by Brittany Krbec (Orlando, Fla.) scored the first run.
Florida A&M briefly took the lead as it scored a pair of unearned runs off May in the second. The Seminoles answered in their half of the inning to recapture the lead for good. Another leadoff walk led to the tying run as Montez drew the free pass.
One out later, Michelle Snyder (Wenatchee, Wash.) drilled a double down the left field line to score Montez. A ground out moved Snyder to third and she scored on a wild pitch.
For the third inning in a row the leadoff hitter came around to score for the Seminoles as Alicart drilled a triple to the gap in right field. A single through the right side by Ahrberg scored Alicart and she moved up to second on the throw home. A sacrifice bunt moved Ahrberg to second and she crossed the plate on a single up the middle by Montez.
In an instant replay of the first three innings, the leadoff runner scored in the fourth inning as Wootson put down a bunt single then stole second base. Wootson crossed the plate when LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) - who singled to put runners on the corners - was caught in a run down, allowing Wootson to score. One out later, Alicart blasted a solo home run to make it a 9-2 FSU advantage.
Mirroring the previous four at-bats, the opening hitter came all around to score in the fifth. Montez drew her second walk of the game and moved up to second when pinch hitter Camille Garcia (Sandia Pueblo, N.M.) was hit by a pitch. One out later, Wootson's rocket shot off the pitcher scored Montez. Pinch hitter Jessica Gilmore (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) hit nearly the identical ball off the pitcher to plate pinch runner Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.)
Sunday's first game is a rematch of the NFCA Classic where Southern Illinois defeated then No. 19 Florida State 4-2