Palm Springs, CA - Northwestern pitcher Jessica Smith (1-3) held the Florida State University softball team to three hits as the Seminoles fell to the Wildcats, 3-0, on a chilly Friday evening at the Cathedral City Classic.
Tiffani Brown, Ashley Stager and Shayla Jackson provided the lone base hits for FSU (8-6), all being singles. Senior Jen Lapicki also drew a walk against Smith, who showed a sharp fastball with pinpoint location throughout the evening.
The Wildcats (6-3) only recorded four base hits off Seminole ace Sarah Hamilton (4-4), who endured a tough loss despite surrendering just two unearned runs in six innings pitched. Although she allowed seven walks, the Tallahassee native continued to work her batters and escaped a few jams that could have resulted in more runs for Northwestern.
In the first frame, Hamilton mowed down her first two batters before allowing a walk to Adrienne Monka and a single to Michelle Batts. Hamilton proceeded to strike out Marisa Bast to end the inning.
Northwestern led off with another walk in the third, and Robin Thompson advanced leadoff batter Emily Allard to second base with a sacrifice bunt. Monka’s groundout to second baseman Mallory Borden then put Thompson at third base with two outs, but Hamilton came up with another big pitch as she forced a groundout by Batts to get out of another small jam.
The Wildcats’ first run came unearned, as an overthrow by FSU allowed Bast to score from second base. Jordan Wheeler then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score the game’s second run.
With two outs in the fifth inning, FSU allowed a hard-luck run to cross the plate and extend its deficit to 3-0. With two outs and runners on first and second base, Hamilton threw a 2-2 inside pitch that appeared to nab the corner of the plate on batter Mari Majam. After a ball was called, Majam took the next pitch up the middle for an RBI single.
FSU attempts to come away with a 3-2 mark on the trip as it faces Long Beach State and San Diego State at 6 p.m. PST and 8:30 p.m. PST, respectively, on Saturday evening.