Virginia Softball Knocks Off Second-Ranked Florida State
April 17, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team rallied for four two-out runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to register a 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over second-ranked Florida State in the second game of a doubleheader at The Park. UVa also played brilliantly in the first game of the twinbill, but fell to the Seminoles 1-0. With the victory in the second game, the Cavaliers defeated the highest ranked opponent in program history and also snapped a pair of Florida State streaks. UVa halted the Seminoles’ 13-game winning streak this season as well as their 23-game ACC winning streak. Virginia now stands at 30-23 overall and 2-4 in the ACC, while FSU falls to 46-5 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
“This is an awesome team win,” said head coach Cheryl Sprangel. “I have to give my team a lot of credit because they all stepped up when we needed them to. They never gave up even when we got down and that’s what it takes to beat a team like Florida State. We played really well all day and got great pitching performances from Joanna Barstad and Erin Horn. Our defense was also terrific which was another key factor.”
The Cavaliers trailed 4-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning of the second game. Third-year catcher Jenn Wynn (Herndon, Va./Herndon) led off with a single to left field. With one out, Wynn was forced out at second on first-year designated player Brooke Sorber’s (Alexandria, Va./Mount Vernon) fielder’s choice grounder to short. The Cavaliers loaded the bases with back-to-back walks to third-year left fielder Lauren Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) and second-year right fielder Jackie Greer (Portage, Mich./Portage Northern). Second-year center fielder Jessica Taylor (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy) was hit by a pitch to force in Sorber to make the score 4-2. Fourth-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln), who had been hitless on the afternoon, then hit a hard grounder that took a high hop over the shortstop’s glove and settled in left center to score Dennis and Greer to knot the game at 4-4. Field advanced to second on the play and Taylor moved to third. First-year second baseman Elea Crockett (Tucson, Ariz./University) then delivered the biggest hit of her collegiate career with a single up the middle that brought Taylor home with the winning run.
The Seminoles took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Beth Wade’s infield single that scored Veronica Wootson from third. Virginia tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Crockett led off the inning with a single through the right side and then second-year third baseman Sara Larquier (Burbank, Calif./Burbank) drilled a two-out RBI double off the wall in right center to score Crockett from first base. The Seminoles used four hits to score three runs in the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead. Jessica van der Linden had a RBI single and then Tatiana George added a two-run double to left with two outs.
First-year Erin Horn (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon) captured the complete-game victory in the circle to improve to 13-8 on the season. She allowed four runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts and no walks. van der Linden took the loss and fell to 20-4 on the season. She gave up five runs on six hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks.
In the first game, UVa fourth-year Joanna Barstad (Canby, Ore./Canby) and Florida State’s Casey Hunter hooked up in a classic pitcher’s duel with Hunter and the Seminoles coming out on top 1-0. Hunter improved to 26-1 with the complete-game shutout. She allowed six hits and struck out nine without walking a batter. Barstad was equally impressive as she gave up one run on three hits while falling to 10-8. Barstad walked two and struck out one.
Florida State scored what proved to be the only run of the game in the top of the second inning. George walked with one out and came around to score on Carly Brieske’s triple down the right field line. The Cavaliers had their best chance to score in the bottom of the seventh. Larquier led off the inning with a double to right center and advanced to third on Sorber’s sacrifice bunt. Hunter then struck out the next batter and induced a pop up to shortstop to end the game.
Virginia returns to action on Tuesday, April 20 when it travels to Lynchburg, Va. for a doubleheader against Liberty University. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m.