PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The 23rd-ranked Florida State softball team received fine performances from pitchers Lacey Waldrop and Monica Perry on Sunday afternoon but were unable to make use of it as it fell to both Nebraska and No.17 Stanford in their final day at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
In a 3-1 loss to Stanford, Perry (5-4) took an undeserving loss after allowing just one unearned run on seven base hits with two strikeouts in seven innings. Perry held the Cardinal (13-3) to a .241 batting average (7-for-29) while stranding seven base runners. Despite the low strikeout total, Perry kept Stanford’s offense at bay especially when Cardinal runners would reach base.
Playing against some of the best competition in the nation this weekend, Perry held her own by showing a 2.57 ERA in three games started against LIU-Brooklyn, No. 1 Oklahoma and 17th-ranked Stanford.
Waldrop (4-2) also threw a complete game, stifling Nebraska for most of the game by allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts. Like Perry, Waldrop kept her composure and made some of her best pitches when runners were on base and threatening to score, constantly keeping the Seminoles in the ballgame.
In her three appearances against No. 22 Washington, Oklahoma and Nebraska, Waldrop held the opposition to just a .222 batting average.
On Sunday, Briana Hamilton led the Seminoles with two base hits in five at-bats. For the tournament, junior Kelly Hensley finished batting .308 (4-for-13) with one home run and five RBIs. The Seminoles (9-6) finished 1-4 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic and are currently on a four-game skid.
Against Stanford, Courtney Senas’ RBI single to left field got the Seminoles going in the first inning, fouling off several pitches before hitting a drifter over to the short part of the outfield. Victoria East scored from second base to put Florida State ahead early. It was the first time this season Florida State lost when scoring first, showing a 9-1 record in the given situation.
Florida State’s run off Stanford starter Kelsey Stevens (8-1) was the first earned run scored off her in just over 30 innings pitched. Stevens was coming off a perfect-game performance on Saturday evening against Virginia.
Three errors by the Seminoles in the second inning helped Stanford take a 2-1 lead. With one out, Tegan Schmidt recorded an RBI single to left center field to tie the game. Two batters later with two outs, a fielding error at second base kept the inning alive. Stanford then scored another run in the inning on an errant throw down to second base trying to catch a Cardinal stealing. Schmidt would score on the play from third base to make it 2-1 Stanford.
Florida State’s best scoring chance of the game came in the bottom of the sixth when Senas and Hensley began the inning with consecutive walks. Stanford then brought in reliever Teagan Gerhart and she forced a foul pop-up, a strikeout and a groundout to get the Cardinal out of a jam. Gerhart would end up getting the save.
Arguably the biggest run of the ballgame came with two outs in the seventh and a Stanford runner on first base. Sarah Hassman hit a slicing single down the left field line that was mishandled and allowed Leah White to score, making it 3-1 Stanford. Perry kept her memory short and promptly forced a groundout from Jenna Rich to end the frame.
In the bottom of the second against Nebraska, Florida State put two runners on with one out when Hamilton and Maddie O’Brien recorded consecutive singles. However, Nebraska starter Tatum Edwards (7-3) was able to record back-to-back strikeouts against Florida State’s bottom of the lineup to prevent the Seminoles from crossing the plate early.
Two singles and a walk allowed Nebraska to load the bases in the top of the fourth with no outs. Tatum Edwards then took a two-strike offering and chopped a two-run single through the right side to give Nebraska the lead. Waldrop bounced back by inducing a short flyout, a strikeout and a groundout to escape what could have been a bigger inning for Nebraska.
Pinch hitter Kaitlin Allen provided a spark for the Seminoles in the bottom of the fifth against Nebraska when she recorded an infield single to lead off the inning. With one out, Allen advanced to second base and then reached third on a fielding error at third base off the bat of Senas. Hensley then drew a two-out walk to load the bases for Celeste Gomez, who grounded out to second base on the first pitch to eliminate the threat.
Florida State returns home to host Troy on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. The Seminoles then host the Renegade Classic from March 1-3 against Southern Miss, Troy and Appalachian State.