TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State University softball team finished up a tough week with a 9-2 loss to second-ranked Alabama on Sunday afternoon at the Easton SEC/ACC Challenge in Rhoads Stadium.
Not executing with runners in scoring position and giving up the big play with two outs hurt the Seminoles (12-13) offensively and defensively all week, and today’s contest was no different. Alabama capitalized once again when the innings were nearly over, scoring six of its runs with two outs.
Jen Lapicki had a tremendous week at the plate for FSU, finishing 3-for-3 with three singles this afternoon. In the four games played at this weekend’s conference challenge, she finished 11-for-15 with one home run, three RBIs, one double, 15 total bases and just one strikeout. FSU outhit the Tide, 10-8. It was FSU’s 11th double-digit hit performance this season.
Jackson, a junior, finished with two hits – including a double in the sixth inning.
Alabama started off well in the opening inning, as Cassie Reilly-Boccia hit a full-count offering for a two-run single through the right side. During the next at-bat, Alabama tried to force a rundown between first and second base to bring a run home from third base, but Robin Ahrberg made a pinpoint throw to the plate to throw Locke out.
Lapicki extended her hitting streak to nine games with a leadoff single up the middle in the second inning. Ashley Stager followed with a single to right field to put two runners on, and after Jackson’s sacrifice bunt brought both runners in scoring position, Morgan Bullock hit an RBI infield single on a 3-2 pitch. Kristie McConn then worked the pitcher for a walk to load the bases, and Tiffani Brown hustled out an infield single by diving head-first into first base to drive in Stager.
An opportunity was squandered in the third inning by FSU, albeit another tough call went against the Seminoles. Ahrberg led off with a single, followed by a hit-and-run single through the right side from Lapicki that put runners on the corners with no outs. After Stager’s flyout to shortstop, Lapicki tried to start a rundown from first base, and Ahrberg proceeded to run home. Catcher Kendall Dawson appeared to have missed the tag at the plate, but Ahrberg was nonetheless called out. Jackson then singled up the middle, but a groundout by Amber Bryant ended the threat.
Bullock (5-2), who started the game at pitcher, was unable to catch a break in the third inning, as Jazlyn Lunceford began the inning with a bunt that was misplayed and resulted in a fielding error at first base. With two outs and the inning being over if the error was not made, Reilly-Boccia hit a three-run home run to right field – with all runs being unearned.
The Tide put the game away with four runs in the fourth inning, which included two run-scoring doubles and a solo home run by Jackie Traina. Traina (10-0) earned the win in the circle in today’s contest.
Lauren Varsalona gave FSU some good relief today in the circle, allowing no runs on two hits in the final 2.1 innings.
FSU returns with a televised contest on Wednesday, March 16, at 6 p.m. against South Alabama at JoAnne Graf Field. The game will feature St. Patrick’s Day promotions as well as eco-friendly promotions for all fans.