Tallahassee, FL - The Florida State University softball team recorded a season-high 16 base hits as it defeated cross-town opponent Florida A&M, 9-2, on Wednesday evening at the Lady Rattler Softball Complex.
The Seminoles (16-14) did most of their scoring in two big innings, scoring four runs in the second and fourth innings. The win against the Rattlers (13-17) was the 100th victory for FSU over its Tallahassee-based opponent.
“It was great to see our offense clicking once again,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We’ve got some players who are beginning to step up and if we can continue to progress at the plate and get more good pitching we can be a tough team to beat.”
Junior Shayla Jackson led FSU with a 3-for-5 performance and two RBIs, marking her second three-hit game of the season. The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native has 11 multiple-hit performances this season, tying senior Robin Ahrberg for the most on the team. Jackson had two doubles, a single and two RBIs in tonight’s contest.
Leadoff hitter and sophomore third baseman Tiffani Brown added two RBIs tonight, going 2-for-5 with two singles. The bottom three hitters in the starting lineup – Kristie McConn, Kirstin Austin and Morgan Bullock – combined to go 5-for-10 with two RBIs and two doubles.
Senior Ashley Stager went 2-for-3, while Ahrberg recorded her fifth home run this season, including her third home run in her last five at-bats. FSU’s 16 base hits came in 36 at-bats.
Equally impressive was the Florida State pitching staff consisting of Sarah Hamilton (9-9), Jessica Nori and Lauren Varsalona. Hamilton earned her fourth consecutive victory by allowing two runs on two hits while striking out six in four innings pitched against 17 batters. Redshirt freshman Jessica Nori then came in and pitched two hitless innings, and Varsalona closed out the game with one shutout frame.
The three pitchers prevented the Rattlers from getting a base hit between the second and seventh innings, a span of 25 batters.
Florida A&M took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-strike double by Whitney Robinson to left center, scoring Tenisha Dixon and Tera Gainer on the play. Robinson was caught in a rundown trying to go to third base and was tagged out to end the inning. The play before, Stager attempted to field a ball at shortstop but was run into by base runner Dixon from second base, with no call being made.
FSU came back with four runs in the second inning. Stager led off with a walk, and later scored on an infield single by Austin. Two runs then scored on a fielder’s choice to third base by Bullock, including one resulting from a rundown. Brown then hit a single and was scored on an RBI single by Jackson up the middle.
The Seminoles scored four runs on five hits in the fourth inning, extended their lead to 8-2. Bullock hit an RBI single to left center, and Brown followed with another run-scoring single to left center. Jackson then totaled her third hit of the game on an RBI double, and later scored on a wild pitch.
Ahrberg then put the finishing touches on the game with a solo home run to centerfield in the sixth inning.
The Seminoles go back to ACC play as they travel to face North Carolina beginning with a doubleheader this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Chapel Hill, N.C. The series wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m.