No. 3 Florida State Rallies Past No. 7 Virginia Tech in ACC Softball Semifinal

May 15, 2010

BLACKSBURG, Va.— No. 3 seed Florida State scored four runs in the top of the seventh to come from behind and defeat No. 7 seed Virginia Tech, 5-3, in the first semifinal game of the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship this afternoon at Tech Softball Park in Blacksburg, Va.

Junior catcher Robin Ahrberg led the Seminoles at the plate by going 2-for-3 with three runs-batted in, including what would prove to be the game-winning hit two runners in scoring position and one out in the seventh inning.

Florida State improves to 43-15 (12-9 ACC) and advances to tomorrow’s championship game where it will play the winner of Saturday’s second semifinal game between No. 4 seed North Carolina and No. 1 seed Georgia Tech. The Hokies end their season at 25-33 (8-13 ACC).

After leaving nine runners on base and scoring just one run through the first six innings, Florida State trailed the Hokies, 3-1, going into the top of the seventh inning. Facing elimination, the Seminoles put two runners on with singles from senior first-team All-ACC outfielder Carly Wynn and freshman third baseman Tiffani Brown, and loaded the bases when Virginia Tech failed to record an out on sophomore outfielder Shayla Jackson’s fielder’s choice.

Ahrberg the drilled a two-run scoring single, scoring Wynn and Brown and moving Jackson to third. Ahrberg followed Jackson to the plate when junior catcher Jen Lapicki singled, forcing Virginia Tech’s starter, junior Kenzie Roark, from the game.

Junior second-team All-ACC pitcher Terese Gober started on the mound for Florida State, but pitched only 2.0 innings, giving up just one run (earned) on one hit, and striking out four batters. Junior second-team All-ACC pitcher Sarah Hamilton worked 5.0 innings in relief, allowing only two earned runs on five hits, while fanning eight.

Roark suffered the loss for Virginia Tech, falling to 10-20 this season. She allowed all five of Florida State’s runs on nine hits and struck out seven over 6.1 innings. Freshman Jasmin Harrell closed the game for the Hokies.

The Hokie offense was led by junior pitcher/utility player Ashton Ward and freshman catcher Courtney Liddle with two hits each, including a double. Senior shortstop Misty Hall hit her 11th home run of the season in the final game of her career.

The Seminoles, who are making their second straight and 14th overall appearance in the championship game, will face either Georgia Tech or North Carolina at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 16. The game will be televised live by CSN Mid-Atlantic, SportsSouth, and FS Carolina, on delay at 4:30 p.m. by FS Florida, and on delay at 5:30 p.m. by NESN. USA Softball Assistant Coach Barbara Jordan and Mike Hogewood have the call.

2010 ACC Softball Championship Semifinals
#3 Florida State vs. #7 Virginia Tech
Postgame Quotes

Florida State head coach Lonni Alameda

Opening Statement: “It was a good ball game, it was a lot of fun. Just a really hard fought ball game from both teams. We caught a break there at the end.”

On capitalizing with a four-run seventh inning: “We started to zone in a little bit better toward the end. Once we really got a feel for the umpire’s zone we were able to focus better.”

On the significance of a come-from-behind win going into the championship game: “Any time a team comes from behind to win, it’s big. Whoever we play—both Georgia Tech and North Carolina are great teams—it’s nice to know we can fight and exciting to have a big day like today because it’s important going into the championship game.”

Florida State junior catcher Robin Ahrberg

On her game-winning hit in the top of the seventh inning: “I was thinking on deck, ‘Just take it easy.’ I tried to stay calm and when I got up to the plate my nerves set in a little bit, but I just waited for a good pitch.”

Virginia Tech head coach Scot Thomas

Opening Statement: “Our kids fought hard. A couple things didn’t go out way.”

On finishing the season strong: “It’s huge for us because we battled injuries all year, but everyone saw we we’re capable of doing.”

2010 ACC Softball Championship Semifinals
#3 Florida State vs. #7 Virginia Tech
Postgame Notes

Florida State… ...improves to 43-15 (12-9 ACC), 10-12 all-time against Virginia Tech, and 47-16 in the championship. …won its first game against the Hokies in the ACC championship. …won its fourth game of the season when trailing through five innings. …will play in its 14th championship game since 1992, and second consecutive. …left nine runners on base. …junior pitcher Sarah Hamilton earned the win in relief to improve to 21-8. …used four players from its bench.

Virginia Tech… …ends its season at 25-33 (8-13 ACC). …falls to 12-10 all-time against Virginia Tech, and 14-6 in the championship. …left eight runners on base. …junior pitcher Kenzie Roark suffered the loss to end the season at 10-20.