May 6, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (seminoles.com) - Playing with a 3-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the No. 19 Florida State University softball team could not close the game as it fell at Maryland by a 4-3 score in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon in the last regular-season game at Taylor Stadium.
With the loss, the Seminoles (45-13, 16-5) relinquished their chance at their first regular-season ACC title since 2004, moving down to the No. 2 seed as North Carolina earned the top seed with its win over Boston College combined with FSU's loss. The Seminoles open up next week's ACC Tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C., by playing seventh-seeded N.C. State at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 10.
FSU`s final loss of the regular season was its first of the season when leading after six innings, showing a 35-1 record in the late-game situation. Sunday's game also marked the first ACC series loss of the season for the Seminoles, going down in two of three games against the Terrapins (34-19, 10-8).
Leading 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, FSU starter Monica Perry began the frame strong by forcing a lineout by Amanda McCann and a strikeout by Kelly Trimble. However, Melissa Mancuso was hit by a pitch and Kathy McLaughlin singled down the left field line to set up Vangie Galindo's game-tying two-run double to left center.
The Seminoles had a prime chance to score in the top of the ninth when they loaded the bases on a walk from Briana Hamilton with two outs. Courtney Senas followed with a flyout to right center to end the threat for FSU, which stranded 12 runners in scoring position versus starter Kendra Knight (27-11). Knight earned the win after throwing all 10 innings and allowing three runs with nine strikeouts and eight walks.
Maryland won the game in the bottom of the 10th with the bases loaded and one out, as Sara Acosta hit a ball that was dropped in centerfield for the walk-off run. Despite not allowing an earned run, Jessica Nori (4-3) took the loss in the final 2.2 innings pitched. Perry allowed three runs and struck out five in 6.2 innings.
The Seminoles scored their lone runs in the third and sixth innings. Shayla Jackson's sacrifice fly to left field brought in Kelly Hensley for the first run, and Hamilton began the scoring in the sixth by crossing the plate on an error by catcher Shannon Bustillos. The other run was provided by Celeste Gomez's RBI single. Gomez finished 2-for-4 while FSU was only able to record four hits in 36 at bats against Knight. FSU's 45 wins by the end of the regular season are its most in a single season since 2004 when it finished 62-12 and reached the Women's College World Series.
Check back with Seminoles.com for more information on the upcoming ACC Tournament.