TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The No. 3-ranked and No. 8-seeded Florida State Seminoles (53-7) couldn’t seem to get on track and were defeated by No. 13 Michigan (47-13) by a score of 17-3 in six innings in game one of the NCAA Super Regional at JoAnne Graf Field on May 22.
“Obviously not the game plan we wanted coming out,” said head coach Lonni Alalmeda. “We will go back to the drawing board tonight and get some good meals and good rest and take two tomorrow. That’s why we play best two out of three. We expect to be out on our game plan tomorrow.”
Michigan opened the scoring in the top of the first with two-out hits by Sierra Romero and Caitlin Blanchard. After a passed ball moved the runners up a base, an RBI single by Sierra Lawrence gave the Wolverines a 1-0 after their half of the first inning.
The Seminoles squared the game at 1-1 in their half of the first with singles by Tiffani Brown and Courtney Senas to lead off the inning. Kelly Hensley drove in her 20th RBI of the season with a single to right.
Florida State took the lead in the second with back-to-back singles by Victoria East and Briana Hamilton. Both runners would come in to score later in the inning on a two-out, two-RBI single to left by Senas to give FSU a 3-1 advantage.
The Wolverines fought back with seven runs in the third as the first eight batters reached base. Another Lawrence RBI single as well as bases-loaded 2-run singles by Lauren Sweet and Kelly Christner gave Michigan a 6-3 lead to end the night for FSU starter Lacey Waldrop.
Jessica Burroughs came in to relieve Waldrop and recorded outs to the first two hitters she faced before surrendering a 2-RBI single to USA Softball Player of the Year Top-3 Finalist Sierra Romero to push U-M’s lead out to 8-3.
Waldrop (36-5) tossed 2.0 innings, allowing six hits, eight runs, four earned with five walks and two strikeouts in the loss. She matched a season high for runs allowed and set a new season high for walks.
Florida State loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth behind a triple by Brown, a fielding error on a hit by Senas and a walk to Maddie O’Brien. The Seminoles would be unable to plate a run as the next two batters would pop out and strikeout respectively.
Burroughs pitched very well in relief of Waldrop, retiring eight of the first nine batters she faced. Michigan was able to push across another run in the fifth inning as Lyndsay Doyle reached on a two-out throwing error by Brown and came into score a batter later on an RBI double by Nicole Sappingfield.
The Wolverines loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth inning to end Burroughs’ outing. The Warner Robins, Ga., native went 3.0 innings and allowed five hits, four runs, three earned with one walk and three strikeouts. Jessica Nori pitched 1.0 innings for FSU, giving up four hits and five runs.
Michigan went on to add eight more runs in the sixth to earn the mercy-rule victory. Megan Betsa pitched the final 4.1 innings to get the win and improve to 18-3. She scattered three hits without allowing a run and recorded seven strikeouts with only one walk.
Michigan will look to close out the series on May 23 and advance to the Women’s College World Series. Friday’s game two will start at 4:00 p.m. and will air on ESPNU. If Florida State wins the first game on Friday, the third and final game of the series will take place immediately following at 7:00 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN.
Tickets for Friday are on sale and are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors. Tickets can be ordered either on Seminoles.com or by calling 1-888-FSU-NOLE. The ticket office is located at Gate B on the west side of Doak Campbell Stadium and the office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. Tickets can also be purchased at JoAnne Graf Field prior to the game.
Follow Florida State softball on Twitter (@FSU_Softball) and Instagram (fsusoftball), and like our Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUsoftball) to keep with everything about Seminole softball throughout the 2014 season.