Feb. 17, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – South Carolina rallied late with a three-run sixth, but it was not enough as the Gamecocks fell to the Florida State Seminoles, 4-3 in day one at the Seminole Classic. Christie Hamilton (3-2) took the loss while Tiffany McDonald (4-1) recorded the win and Melissa May (2) earned the save. Becky Martinez went 2-for-2 with an RBI, while Ashley Smith went 1-for-3 with two RBI.
The Gamecocks were down 4-0 going into the sixth inning before USC salvaged some runs. Lisa Longo led off the inning with a walk, followed by a bunt by McKenna Hughes. McDonald then walked Hamilton to load the bases with no outs. Smith came through with the big hit as she roped a double to deep left center field to drive in two runs and cut the FSU lead in half.
After the runs scored, Jacqueline Wetherbee was hit by a pitch and Becky Martinez drew a walk with the bases still loaded and to force Hamilton home, making the score 4-3. The Seminoles then changed pitchers and brought in May. With May in the circle, the next three batters grounded out to force plays at the plate and an unassisted groundout at third to prevent the Gamecocks from scoring again. Once again, the Gamecocks had trouble driving in runs as they stranded 10 runners on base for the game.
USC had one last chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh when Hamilton drew a two-out walk to keep the inning alive, but Wetherbee hit a hard line drive to third base to end the game and hand FSU the win.
Freshman Ashton Payne went 0-for-4 in the game and saw her eight-game hit streak come to an end. In the sixth, Payne reached on a fielder’s choice to continue her streak for reaching base to nine consecutive games.
Hamilton gave up a season high six hits and four runs as she threw six innings and struck out five batters. Of the four runs allowed, only one was earned.
USC returns for day two of the Seminole Classic on Saturday when they take on Iowa State again at Noon and FSU at 2 p.m.