2007 ACC Softball Championship: Florida State Rallies Past Maryland, 7-4
May 11, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Fourth-seeded Florida State fought back to winning ways in its second 2007 ACC Softball Tournament game of the day, a 7-4 victory over No. 6 seed Maryland. The Seminoles used three two-run innings and a first-inning RBI to breeze past the Terrapins Friday evening at JoAnne Graf Field on the campus of Florida State University.
"I'm proud of the way our team fought back tonight," FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. "After the way we struggled in the first game we could have easily packed it in after Maryland scored three runs in the first inning, but we stayed disciplined at the plate and just kept chipping away at the lead. Tiffany did a great job of coming into a tough situation and shutting them down."
With the win, the Seminoles (44-22) advance to Game 11 Saturday at 11:00 a.m., facing No. 3 seed Georgia Tech. A victory would give Dr. Graf her 1,400 career win, a mark that no other coach has ever reached. Graf, who nears the conclusion of her 29th season at the helm of Florida State, is second in the NCAA for most victories in Division I history.
The Seminoles lost their first game of the day against top-seeded Virginia Tech, 4-0, which forces the ballclub to win back-to-back games against No. 3 seed Georgia Tech in order to advance to the title game on Sunday.
Maryland jumped on the boards early, tallying a 3-0 advantage going into the bottom of the first, while host Florida State countered with only one run.
Shortstop and Terrapin standout Amber Jackson walked to touch base first, followed by right fielder Jenny Belak, who singled to third, and second baseman Keri Lounge, who sacrifice bunted to advance the runners, despite retiring to the dugout. First baseman Lindsay Klein then reached on a fielder's choice, sending Belak to third and Jackson home, earning the first run for the Terps.
Maryland catcher Jennifer Wellborn fired a double, giving Belak and Klein runs and earning her 31st and 32nd RBI of the season. With two outs after the initial Seminole batters, center fielder Carly Wynn tallied a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball, while teammate and shortstop Yuruby Alicart brought her home with a double to left field.
The Terrapins left three on base following three hits in the top of the second, turning the opportunity to the Seminoles, who quickly took advantage, earning two runs and knotting the score at 3-3 and the bottom of the second.
Rookie Amanda Moore, who was pinch running for catcher Robin Ahrberg, circled the bases first for the Seminoles. Ahrberg walked off of Maryland starting pitcher Meredith Nelles. Posting the first run of her first ACC Tournament, Moore gives credit to sophomore left fielder Jessica Gilmore's single up the middle, classmate Whitney Buckmon's sacrifice bunt and rookie Michelle Snyder's groundout to shortstop. Gilmore scored next for the Noles off of a single from junior Veronica Wootson en route to closing out the second.
After a scoreless third inning, it was Florida State whose bats remained hot as the ballclub picked up another pair of runs, improving the scoring edge to 5-3 at the bottom of the fourth.
Snyder earned her 27th run of the season, after taking base off an error by shortstop. Wootson advanced Snyder with a single to left field, while right fielder Monica Montez's ground out and Wynn's walk, loaded the bases for FSU.
Alicart made Nelles work, finally pulling off a walk and giving Snyder an unearned run. Immediately following, first baseman Brittany Osmon grounded out to second base and gave Wootson another unearned run for the Noles.
With the score at 5-3, Florida State continued to dominate the offensive side in the bottom of the sixth as Wootson scored on a wild toss by Maryland pitcher Abbey Welch. Wynn also picked up another tally for the Seminoles as the rookie singled to third base for her first hit of the day. Osmon's walk and Ahrberg's single to third base pushed Wynn across home plate, improving Florida State's advantage to 7-3.
Fighting until the finish, the Maryland Terrapins made a comeback effort that fell short as the squad added one final run in the top of the seventh. Jackson proved her heart was in the game as the senior walked, advanced to third on Belak's groundout to shortstop and crossed the finish with a Lounge single.
The Terrapins wrap up the season with a 33-26 record.
The Seminoles will face the Yellow Jackets, Saturday at 11:00 a.m. ET and will return to play Georgia Tech at 5:00 p.m. should FSU win the first contest of the day.
Fans may watch live coverage of this year's ACC Tournament on ACCSelect.com. For more information on the ACC Spring Championships, visit TheACC.com.