Baylor 9, Florida State
Baylor 9, Florida State 5May 21, 2005
AUBURN, Ala. --- After leaving Friday's game with an injury, Baylor outfielder Kelly Osburn limped to the plate in the sixth inning against Florida State with the score tied at 5-5 and delivered a two-out, run-scoring single off the top of the right-center field wall as the Lady Bears went on to defeat the Seminoles 9-5 in action at Jane B. Moore Field. With the win, Baylor sets a school record for wins in a season and improves to 49-12 on the year as the Lady Bears advance to the championship game of the Auburn Sub-Regional at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 22.
"Kelly (Osburn) really came through for us today in a tough situation," head coach Glenn Moore said. "She is a true competitor and her at-bat just showed the amount of heart this team has. I was extremely proud of the way the team fought back from the early deficit and mistakes in order to pull out a win against an extremely good team."
The Lady Bears were forced to rally from an early deficit after three Baylor errors in the third inning led to three unearned runs for the Seminoles as Florida State (34-27) grabbed the early 3-0 lead. Florida State got on the board first when Tatiana George executed a perfect squeeze play, scoring Veronica Wootson from third as the Seminoles grabbed a one-run lead. Brittany Osmon added a RBI single in the inning and George scored on an error as the Seminoles took a three-run lead into the fourth.
Baylor answered the Florida State scoring outburst; however, with five runs in the fourth to grab a two-run lead. The first four batters reached base in the inning as the Lady Bears managed to tie the game before Florida State could record an out. After Carrie Leerberg singled and Tessa Lynam walked to open the inning, Chelsi Lake delivered a two-run double down the left-field line, as Baylor cut the lead to 3-2. Jordan Daniels then came into the game as a pinch-runner for Lake and scored when Stephanie Pomes lined a single to right-center field as the Lady Bears tied the game at 3-3.
Melissa Huffhines then delivered the key hit in the inning when the senior catcher blasted a two-run homer, her third of the season, well over the center field wall to score April Luce and give the Lady Bears a 5-3 lead.
Florida State managed to tie the game at five; however, with single runs in the fourth and the fifth. Wootson had a RBI double in the fourth as Whitney Buckmon added a run-scoring double in the fifth to tie the game for the Seminoles.
Baylor responded; however, behind the heroics of Osburn who hit her game-winning, pinch-hit RBI single after Kim Wilmoth walked to open the inning. Osburn was then replaced at first by left-fielder Kylie Conroy as Baylor took a one-run lead into the bottom of the inning.
After Florida State was unable to score in the bottom of the inning, Baylor added three insurance runs in the seventh to grab a 9-5 lead. Aided by an error on the play, Leerberg and Lynam scored on a single by Wilmoth while Luce added a RBI single in the frame as the Lady Bears took a four-run lead into the Seminoles' final at-bat.
Lisa Ferguson, who came into the game in relief, retired Florida State in order in the bottom of the inning to pick up her second win of the tournament as she improved to 19-5 on the season. In the win, Ferguson allowed one run on two hits in 3.1 innings of work.
Tiffany McDonald took the loss for Florida State after allowing four runs on five hits in three innings of work as she fell to 14-10 on the season.
Leerberg led the Lady Bears attack, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored as Baylor improved to 4-2 all-time at the NCAA Softball Championships. Huffhines and Lake each added two RBI in the win as Baylor evened the all-time series with Florida State at 2-2.
The victory allows Baylor to advance to the sub-regional championship without a loss, meaning the Lady Bears have a loss to work with when facing Florida A&M, Florida State or Auburn. Should the Lady Bears lose the first game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, the two teams would play an "if necessary" game at 3:30 p.m. to determine who would advance to the NCAA Softball Championships Super Regional round.
-- Courtesy Baylor