March 11, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - At the NFCA Leadoff Classic, Southern Illinois pitcher Ashley Hamby had the Florida State softball team baffled in their Silver Bracket match up. Two weeks later the No. 25 Seminoles solved the mystery as they beat No. 18 SIU to advance to the championship game of the Florida State Invitational on Sunday (March 11).
FSU will play the winner of the Georgia-Syracuse contest in the 2:30 p.m. championship game.
Florida State stayed unbeaten in its own tournament and improved to 18-7 for the season. The Seminoles won their sixth game in a row to match their longest winning streak of the year. Southern Illinois dropped to 18-5.
Picking up the victory for the Seminoles was starting pitcher Terese Gober (McDonough, Ga.) as her record climbed to 6-2. The right-hander worked six shutout innings with two hits, seven strikeouts and seven walks. Lefty sophomore Melissa May (San Diego, Calif.) came on to pitch a scoreless seventh. The loss went to SIU's Hamby as she fell to 9-3.
For the third-straight game Florida State pounded out double-digit hits with ten off the Salukis. Two players put up a trio of hits, led by Player of the Year candidate Veronica Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) who went 3-for-4, including two triples, with a run scored and an RBI. Center fielder Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.) matched Wootson's line as she banged out a pair of triples.
The Seminoles batted around in the fourth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate, as they peppered the Salukis for six runs. Krbec was hit by a pitch to start the inning then shortstop Yuruby Alicart (Maracay, Venezuela) beat out a bunt to put runners on first and second. One out later, pinch runner Courtney Rosen (Sugarland, Texas) and Alicart came around to score on a double by Langston.
A Wynn single to center scored Langston then left fielder Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) chased Hamby out of the game with a bunt single. With two outs, Wootson dropped a single into center field to plate Wynn. After LaShaun Davis (Marietta, Ga.) was hit with a pitch to load the bases, Krbec delivered a two-run single to score Buckmon and Wootson and make it 6-0 in FSU's favor.
Both teams had their opportunities to score in the first three innings. The Seminoles had runner on second and third with one out in the first but Hamby came through with a pair of strikeouts to end the threat. The Salukis had two on in the third when Gober struck out Amanda Clifton.
Following the tournament, Florida State is back at home Tuesday (March 13) when it plays host to Southern Mississippi in a 4 p.m. doubleheader.