Reprinted here in its entirety.
TUSCALOOSA — Jacksonville State's Amy Brown didn't have to wait long for her
shot at redemption.
Brown failed to score from third on a fly ball to right field in the fifth
inning Thursday, momentarily keeping the Gamecocks tied with Florida State in
their NCAA Softball Regional opener at the Alabama Softball Complex. Moments
later, the Alexandria native raced home on a passed ball to provide JSU with the
winning margin in a 4-3 victory over the Seminoles.
"When the ball came off the bat, I thought it was going to be a base hit,"
said Brown, who had entered the game as a pinch-runner for Courtney Underwood.
"Obviously, when the girl caught it, I should have tagged up. I was just praying
for a passed ball."
Brown got her passed ball, and freshman pitcher Ashley Eliasson made the run
stand up. The Californian allowed three runs in the first inning, but none
thereafter in a complete-game five-hitter that moved her record to 15-3 on the
Jacksonville State (39-14) returns to action today against top-seeded and
host Alabama, which knocked off fourth-seeded Chattanooga in Thursday's late
game. JSU coach Jana McGinnis said her team wasn't intimidated against Florida
State, and won't be today.
"Coming from a small school such as Jacksonville State, I don't think many
people give us a chance to win," McGinnis said. "But the most important thing
was that our players believed we could win, and that we could play with Florida
State if we played our game, we'd give ourselves a chance to win. I'm proud of
Florida State (37-27) reached Eliasson for three runs on two hits in the
first inning, taking advantage of a throwing error and two hit batters. Eliasson
bore down with the bases loaded and one out, retiring consecutive hitters to end
The Seminoles got only one runner past first base after that, and managed
just three hits in the final six innings. Eliasson struck out four and started a
nifty double play to end the sixth inning.
"I wish I could tell you what happened," Florida State coach Joanna Graf
said. "We answered back when they scored early, but then it was like we got a
little anxious and stopped hitting. We were trying to force things to happen,
rather than waiting for our pitch to hit."
Jacksonville State scored a run on a passed ball in the first, then pulled
within 3-2 on Kayla Collins' RBI double in the fourth. Graf pulled FSU starter
Tiffany McDonald after that, and the Gamecocks reached reliever Terese Gober
(10-13) for the tying and winning runs in the fifth.
Whitney Elder drove home the tying run with a one-out RBI single, but Alana
Hicks' flyout to right froze Brown at third. With Collins at the plate, the ball
got away from FSU catcher Jessica Gilmore and Brown came home to give JSU the
JSU ended the day with eight hits, two by catcher Allie Barker, Brown's
former Alexandria teammate. Shortstop Mary Beth Ledbetter went 1-for-2 with a
double, in addition to turning in at least three excellent defensive plays
"I had a bit of first-inning jitters," Eliasson said. "But once I got past
the first inning, I was able to hold them. My defense really pulled me through."
Florida State faces Chattanooga in an elimination game at 5 p.m. today.
Today: Jacksonville State vs. Alabama
2:30 p.m., 91.9 FM
Game 3 — Jacksonville State (39-14) at Alabama (52-6), 2:30 p.m.
Game 4 — Florida State (37-27) vs. Chattanooga (41-21), 5 p.m.
Game 5 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 7:30 p.m.
Game 6 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7:30 p.m.
Game 7 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, if necessary, 9:30 p.m.
About Creg Stephenson
Creg Stephenson covers the University of Alabama for The Anniston Star.
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com