TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Senior Tiffani Brown’s career-best four base hits, all singles, led the No. 25/24 Florida State softball team to a 4-0 victory over Florida A&M on Friday evening at JoAnne Graf Field as part of the Panhandle Invitational.
Brown delivered ground-ball singles in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings to produce four of Florida State’s five base hits while scoring two runs. Heading into the game, the senior second baseman had never reached four hits in a single game, settling for a then career-high three base hits on 14 occasions at Florida State.
“Tiffani showed the type of senior leader she is tonight,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “She really sparked our offense with four of our five base hits and showed how valuable she is as our slapper at the top of the lineup. I thought the combination of Tiffani’s offense and Monica Perry throwing well in the circle really helped put us over the top tonight.”
Florida State’s other base hit was an emphatic run-scoring triple by redshirt sophomore Maddie O’Brien, as she pulled an offering down the right field line and placed the ball hard off the right corner wall where it trickled past Florida A&M outfielder Ashanti Shepherd. The extra base hit scored a hustling Brown from second base to give the Seminoles a 2-0 lead in the third frame.
O’Brien’s triple matches her total from last season when she led the Seminoles with 43 RBIs.
Seminole ace Monica Perry (1-0) took command in the circle from the start and displayed an overpowering presence that seemed to carry over from last season. The Whitesburg, Ga. native notched her 23rd career win as a Seminole by tossing a complete-game, two-hit shutout with six strikeouts.
Perry held an athletic Florida A&M squad to a 2-for-21 day at the plate, surrendering only a pair of singles by Shepherd and Arianna Stewart. She also stranded four runners on base as the Rattlers (0-1) never had a runner reach third base in the contest. Perry faced the minimum batters faced in four of her seven innings pitched.
The Seminoles improve to 103-7 against Florida A&M in the long series history. Florida State is now 10-2 against Sunshine State opponents since 2012.
Florida State started its offense in the first inning when Brown led off with a single and advanced to third on a two-base throwing error from Florida A&M starter Jennifer Lindsey (0-1). That set up an RBI sacrifice fly by freshman Stephanie Hartness to make it 1-0 Florida State.
Hartness would add her second RBI of the contest in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice grounder that scored Briana Hamilton to give the Seminoles a 3-0 lead. A slow-rolling single by Brown in the sixth eventually led to Florida State’s fourth run of the game.
Four games will take place on Saturday at JoAnne Graf Field as part of the Panhandle Invitational. The Seminoles play at approximately noon against North Florida.