TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State softball sophomore pitcher Lacey Waldrop pitched a dominant complete-game shutout on Monday evening at JoAnne Graf Field as the 25th-ranked Seminoles defeated Virginia, 2-0, in front of an ESPNU national audience.
Waldrop (17-7) picked up her fourth shutout and her 10th complete game of the season against the school that resides in her home state. The Chester, Va. native threw seven innings and allowed just two hits while striking out 10, helping move along a game that took just 1 hour 35 minutes to complete.
Waldrop retired the Virginia side in five of her seven innings pitched. For the Florida State pitching staff, it was the 15th time in 48 games played that the opposition was held to two hits or less this season. The only base hits recorded against Waldrop were a chopping infield single by Shannon McGinley in the third and a leadoff single by Marcy Bowdren in the fourth frame.
“Throughout the season you’re going to have your ups and downs and have different people carry you,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We’re taking everything game by game right now, and it’s a lot of fun playing in front of our fans here at home. It was fun tonight to watch some good pitching.”
The pitchers’ duel victory for the Seminoles (34-14, 13-2) gives them a three-game lead in the ACC standings over second-place North Carolina with six conference games left. Florida State’s two final ACC series are daunting games on the road, including a three-game set at Virginia Tech on April 20-21 and a series at Georgia Tech on April 27-28.
Virginia pitcher Melanie Mitchell (13-13) was also impressive against a Florida State group hitting .313 entering the ballgame. Mitchell allowed two runs on four hits in six innings pitched with six strikeouts while absorbing the loss.
The key contributors at the plate for Florida State were redshirt sophomore Maddie O’Brien and senior Morgan Bullock. O’Brien finished 1-for-2 and recorded a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning, marking her third consecutive game with a round-tripper.
Bullock added to her splendid senior season by going 2-for-2 with a key RBI single. The Dacula, Ga. native now leads Florida State with a .366 batting average.
Monday’s win for the Seminoles was their 73rd in 90 meetings with Virginia, the most games they’ve played against any ACC squad. O’Brien’s big home run marked the 48th this season for Florida State, putting it just one shy of tying the school record of 49 held by the 2007 team.
O’Brien catapulted the Seminoles on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning when she launched a solo shot to centerfield, her eighth of the season. It was O’Brien’s third straight game with a home run.
Bullock added to the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a key two-out, RBI bloop single down the left field line. With one out, Kelly Hensley recorded her first triple of the season on a towering shot that hit off the top of the wall in left center to help create the scoring chance.
Scoring chances were minimal for both teams in what was a pure pitcher’s duel. Virginia’s best opportunity came in the fourth inning following Bowdren’s leadoff single. Waldrop came back to strike out Megan Harris, and after a groundout by Alex Skinkis advanced Bowdren to second base, Aimee Chapdelaine struck out swinging to finish the frame.
Leading 2-0 in the top of the seventh, Waldrop mowed down the middle of the order. The game ended on a spectacular play from O’Brien at shortstop where she ranged to her right on a hard-hit grounder from Chapdelaine and threw her out to punctuate the victory.
Florida State hosts third-ranked Florida in its final home regular season game of the season on Wednesday, April 17. The matchup will be on ESPN3.com at 6 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field, with shakers being passed out to fans in attendance.
Following the game on Wednesday against the Gators, fans can participate in the Home Wrecker Home Run Derby brought to you by Moe’s Southwest Grill. To register or ask questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.