TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Another strong pitching performance by Tulsa’s Aimee Creger (4-0) was too much for No. 25/21 Florida State softball as Tulsa defeated the Seminoles, 4-1, in the Unconquered Invitational championship on Sunday at JoAnne Graf Field.
For the second consecutive outing against the Seminoles (7-2), Creger was virtually flawless against Florida State’s offense as she threw a complete game and allowed one unearned run while striking out 11 and surrendering just four hits. Creger was largely responsible for Tulsa’s victory over Florida State earlier in the tournament, delivering seven no-hit innings before giving up a few runs to the Seminoles in extra frames.
“Tulsa was an impressive bunch,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We played well this tournament but struggled against Tulsa a little bit. Our hitting wasn’t on point today and we seemed to struggle a little bit against a good pitcher. You just learn to take what you can from the losses, get back to work, correct the mistakes and focus on the next opponent.”
Sophomore pitcher Lacey Waldrop put together a fine appearance for the Seminoles when she entered with one out in the third inning. Using a combination of pitches, Waldrop threw the Golden Hurricane (7-3) off-balanced and retired all 11 of her batters in relief.
Waldrop relieved starter Monica Perry (4-2), who took the loss after allowing four runs in 2.1 innings pitched on a cold morning in Tallahassee. She was only supported by four base hits, all singles, from Tiffani Brown, Briana Hamilton, Celeste Gomez and Kelly Hensley.
Tulsa jumped on the scoreboard first in the opening inning when Lacey Middlebrooks delivered a two-out RBI single through the right side to plate Caitlin Everett. Haley Henshaw then followed with a first-pitch swing for a two-run home run to centerfield to pad the Golden Hurricane lead to 3-0.
Florida State crawled back in the top of the second inning with a run scored on a chopping grounder from Morgan Bullock with the bases loaded. Bullock’s ground shot was mishandled by Tulsa second baseman Shelby Blanton to bring home a run. Two batters later, Courtney Senas hit a bloop shot to left field that was snagged by diving outfielder Jodi Edmiston to save a few more runs scored.
Opportunity knocked for the Seminoles in the third inning when Hamilton and Hensley recorded singles through the left side to eventually set up runners on the corners with two outs. With two outs, Victoria East stepped to the plate and hit an in-between pop-up that was grabbed by Creger to end the scoring threat.
In the third inning, Caitlin Everett doubled to left field and was driven home with one out on a single up the middle from Samantha Cobb, making it 4-1. Waldrop then entered with one out and struck out cleanup batter Lacey Middlebrooks before getting a groundout from Henshaw to end the third.
The early run support was all Creger needed as she finished the rest of the game to cap an impressive showing at the Unconquered Invitational. Tulsa finished 4-1 at the tournament, while the Seminoles went 3-2 which included two Top 25 victories over Hofstra on Saturday.
Florida State takes a 10-day hiatus from playing at home, with its next game at JoAnne Graf Field being played on Feb. 28 against Troy. The Seminoles play next on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at UCF with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
Be sure to follow the Seminole softball team on its official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUSoftball) as well as on Twitter at @FSU_Softball.