TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State softball redshirt senior pitcher Monica Perry tossed the first no-hitter of her Seminole career as Florida State defeated Tennessee State, 8-0, in five innings on Wednesday evening at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Whitesburg, Ga. native shut down the Tigers (8-16) by tossing five innings and striking out eight of her 17 batters faced while allowing just one walk. Perry’s effectiveness in the circle created a one hour, 19 minute game that marks the shortest of the season for the Seminoles (20-8).
Perry’s no-hitter also marks the second of her collegiate career, as she tossed a no-no in her freshman season at Illinois against Wisconsin on April 4, 2009. She is the second Florida State pitcher to throw a no-hitter this season, as teammate Lacey Waldrop accomplished the feat for the second time in her career on March 3 against Troy.
“Monica pitched tremendously tonight,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “She has really been locked in and utilizing her pitches very well. Once again, it’s always easier to focus out there when you are playing behind a good-hitting lineup and they were able to spot her seven runs in the early going. From there, she really took control and threw some great pitches.”
Perry has flirted with no-hitters before as a Seminole, most notably last season when she came within three outs against Marshall of throwing the first perfect game at Florida State since Casey Hunter did so in 2004. Perry is now 11-5 this season with a 1.54 ERA and has struck out 102 batters in 86.1 innings pitched.
Helping the Seminoles extend their win streak to 10 games were two freshman hitters in first baseman Victoria East and second baseman Kaitlin Allen. Both players led Florida State with two RBIs apiece, while junior Courtney Senas and senior Morgan Bullock each finished with two hits.
The Seminoles did all their work within the ballpark on Wednesday, not homering in a game for the first time since facing Appalachian State on March 2. Florida State entered Wednesday’s game having homered in eight straight games.
Florida State recorded seven runs in the bottom of the first. Maddie O’Brien began the scoring with an RBI single through the right side to make it 1-0. Kirstin Austin then stepped up and delivered a line-drive hot shot that was misplayed in left field to bring in two more runs. Allen added a two-run single up the middle and East ended the scoring with a line-drive two-run double to right center.
In the second inning, Austin extended her hit streak to 11 games with a single up the middle on a 1-1 pitch from Tiger reliever Shea Morris. Junior Kelly Hensley would add to her hit streak as well as her single through the left side to start the fourth inning extended it to nine games.
Florida State’s 10th mercy-rule victory, including their fifth in their last eight games, came off the bat of Alex Kossoff in the fifth. The freshman from Redondo Beach, Calif. hit an infield single to third base that brought home Bullock from second base for the walk-off win.
Florida State returns to JoAnne Graf Field hosting the Sunshine Classic beginning Friday, March 15. The Seminoles host Minnesota on Friday at 6 p.m. in a game that will also be streamed on ESPN3.com and available on the WatchESPN app.
On Saturday, the Seminoles face Georgia Southern at 4 p.m., then wrap up the tournament with two matchups on Sunday against repeat opponents Minnesota (Noon) and Georgia Southern (2 p.m.).