TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Going up against one of the best pitchers in the country, the Florida State softball team knew it had little margin for error. Unfortunately, the Seminoles gave 15th-ranked and top seeded Virginia Tech too many opportunities as the Hokies prevailed 4-0 on Friday (May 11) during the second day of play at the ACC Tournament.
The loss dropped Florida State to 43-22. Virginia Tech improved to 46-14. The Seminoles will try to stave off elimination Friday night at 8 p.m. against Maryland. Virginia advances in the winner's bracket and will take on the winner of the North Carolina-Boston College game in the semifinals on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Taking the loss for the Seminoles was starting pitcher Tiffany McDonald (Belfair, Wash.), who dropped to 16-14. The right-hander threw her 20th complete game of the year, giving up four runs on five hits with five strikes outs and one walk. Picking up the victory for Virginia Tech was 2007 ACC Pitcher of the Year Angela Tincher, who improved to 35-5.
"You have to give Virginia Tech credit, they came up with the big hits when they needed to," FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. "With Tincher pitching you can't spot a team like Virginia Tech four runs in the second inning and expect to have much success. I thought we did a better job of being patient at the plate against her, but we couldn't make the big plays when we needed to defensively."
Florida State got more hits in the first three innings (two) off Tincher than it did in two previous regular season games (one). Catcher Robin Ahrberg (Stillwater, Okla.) was the only player to reach base more than once with a single in the second inning and walk in the fourth. Designated player Whitney Buckmon (Stone Mountain, Ga.) also had a hit, as did center fielder Carly Wynn (Sharpsburg, Ga.).
Virginia Tech got all the run support Tincher would need in the bottom of the fourth inning. After McDonald walked in the first run, Erin Ota drilled a triple to right field to clear the bases and put VT up 4-0.
Florida State swept this year's season with Maryland, including the opener which Florida State won 4-2 in an ACC record-tying 14 innings.