No. 3 Seminoles Blank No. 6 Maryland, 3-0, in First Game of 2010 ACC Softball Championship

May 14, 2010

BLACKSBURG, Va.—No. 3 seed Florida State defeated Maryland, 3-0, in the first game of the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship today at Tech Softball Park in Blacksburg, Va. The shutout was its ACC-leading 20th of the season.

The victory improves the Seminoles to 42-15 (12-9 ACC) and advances them to tomorrow’s first semifinal game where they will play the winner between No. 7 seed Virginia Tech and No. 2 seed Virginia. The Terrapins fall to 33-22 (8-11 ACC).

“We’re excited to get a win and move on,” said Florida State head coach Lonni Alameda. “Maryland is a tough team. They swing the bats and have good pitching.”

Junior second-team All-ACC pitcher Sarah Hamilton started on the mound for Florida State and improved to 20-8. Hamilton scattered seven hits and struck out nine batters, while walking only two. It was her 13th complete game and seventh shutout of the season.

“Sarah mixed speeds well and we had a few good plays in the outfield,” added Alameda. “We stuck to our scouting report and got good defense.”

The Seminoles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Senior first-team All-ACC outfielder Carly Wynn led the inning off with a walk and advanced to second on a bunt from freshman third baseman Tiffani Brown. A wild pitch to the next batter advanced Wynn to third and Brown to second, and a throwing error from Maryland freshman catcher Samantha Mallory on a pickoff attempt scored Wynn.

Junior second-team All-ACC shortstop Ashley Stager provided a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning with a double to right field, scoring Brown and sophomore outfielder Shayla Jackson.

Maryland put a scare into the Seminoles in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, two runners in scoring position, and the tying run at the plate, Hamilton got Maryland freshman outfielder Sara Acosta to swing at strike three, and junior catcher Jen Lapicki fired to first base to record the drop-third-strike out.

Stager’s 1-for-2 performance and two runs batted-in led and Brown’s 3-for-3 day led the Seminoles. Sophomore shortstop Kathy McLaughlin went 3-for-4 at the plate for the Terrapins.

Junior Kerry Hickey started for Maryland and worked the first 3.0 innings, surrendering one run on two hits, while striking out four, and was tagged with the loss to fall to 20-11. Sophomore Kendra Knight pitched 3.0 innings in relief and gave up two runs on two hits, and fanned a pair of Seminoles.

Florida State returns to the diamond tomorrow, Saturday, May 15 at 1 p.m. to face either Virginia Tech or Virginia in the first semifinal game. The game will be video-streamed live via ACC Select on theACC.com. USA Softball Assistant Coach Barbara Jordan and Jerry Massey have the call.

2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship
Tech Softball Park; Blacksburg, Va.
#6 Maryland vs. #3 Florida State Postgame Quotes

Florida State head coach Lonni Alameda:

Opening Statement: “We’re excited to get a win and move on. Maryland is a tough team. They swing the bats and have good pitching. We’re happy to get past [the first round]. It’s a good feeling.”

On the pitching of All-ACC second-team junior Sarah Hamilton: “She mixed speeds well and we had a few good plays in the outfield. We stuck to our scouting report and got good defense.”

Junior All-ACC second-team pitcher Sarah Hamilton:

On throwing a shutout while allowing seven hits: “Our defense played awesome and we didn’t have any errors. That’s how we got out of a few of those jams. Luckily, I kept all but one of their hits to singles.

Maryland head coach Laura Watten:

Opening Statement: “We played well and out-hit them, but our defense made mistakes. Usually, the defense doesn’t make many [mistakes]. It’s a disappointing loss.

On having trouble bringing runners around to score: “We tightened up a little instead of relaxing. We carried some pressure on ourselves and gave ourselves some stress [at the plate].

2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship Tech Softball Park; Blacksburg, Va. #6 Maryland vs. #3 Florida State Postgame Notes

Florida State… …improves to 42-15 (12-9 ACC). …improves to 41-9 all-time against Maryland and 10-1 in the championship. …junior pitcher Sarah Hamilton improved to 20-8 and threw her seventh shutout of the season. …engineered its league-leading 20th shutout of the season and 20th in an ACC Softball Championship game. …pitched a shutout for the first time since beating Boston College, 2-0, in the first round last season. …won its first game of the championship for the fifth consecutive year. Starting Lineup: 1. Carly Wynn, cf; 2. Tiffani Brown, 3b; 3. Shayla Jackson, rf; 4. Ashley Stager, ss; 5. Robin Ahrberg, dp; 6. Jen Lapicki, c; 7. Tory Haddad, 1b; 8. Kristie McConn, 2b; 9. Morgan Bullock, lf.

Maryland… …falls to 33-22 (8-11 ACC). …falls to 9-41 all-time against Florida State and 1-10 in the championship. …junior pitcher Kerry Hickey falls to 20-11. …lost its first game of the championship for the sixth consecutive season. Starting Lineup: 1. Kathy McLaughlin, ss; 2. Vangie Galindo, lf; 3. Sara Acosta, cf; 4. Alex Schultz, 3b; 5. Kerry Hickey, p; 6. Marisha Branson, 2b; 7. Nadine Blackie, dp; 8. Courtney Kane, 1b; 9. Niki Lau, rf; 10. Samantha Mallory, c.