The 2016 Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Women’s Softball season is over, having ended in heartbreaking fashion in the NCAA Division One regionals at cross town Florida State, May 20 and 21.
FAMU (27-30) dropped a stunning 1-0, rain-marred decision to seventh-ranked Florida State (51-8) on Friday evening, before bowing out of the tournament despite a late-inning rally, 6-4 to No. 24 South Florida, in two nationally-televised games.
In Friday’s game, junior pitcher Kenya Pereira tossed a scintillating one-hitter against the No. 7 Florida State Seminoles, but it wasn’t enough as the hosts of the Tallahassee Regional escaped with a 1-0 victory over the FAMU Lady Rattlers in an opening round game, delayed over two hours due to thunderstorms.
Pereira (14-16), the 2016 MEAC Pitcher of the Year, who was also named to the Southeast All-Region Team, justified those accolades, twirling a no-hitter through five innings and into the sixth, before FSU’s Jessica Warren lined a double down the left field line for the game’s only hit.
The Kissimmee, Fla. native Pereira struck out two and walked three in six innings of work for FAMU.
The Seminoles scored the game’s only run in the first inning when leadoff hitter Meagan Klaevermann reached on a throwing error by FAMU third baseman Amber Fullwood, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ellie Cooper, before coming home on Jessica Warren’s sacrifice fly to right field.
FAMU mounted one serious scoring threat in the top of the fifth inning, getting runners on the corners with two outs when the heavy weather moved in, resulting in a two hour and 38 minute delay.
When play resumed with Taylor Rosier and Whitney Farris, who both reached on walks on base, Tashayla Irvis struck out to end the threat.
FSU’s Jessica Burroughs (25-5) tied a personal best with 14 strikeouts against FAMU against just those two fifth inning walks in seven complete innings.
In Saturday’s elimination game, against No. 24 South Florida, the FAMU Women battled back valiantly from a 5-0 deficit in the late innings, but came up two runs short in a season-ending 6-4 setback to South Florida.
FAMU (27-30) fell behind 1-0 after the first inning, and USF (45-15) added three runs in the second and one more in the fourth to build a 5-0 advantage.
The Lady Rattlers began their comeback bid in the bottom of the fifth, when Whitney Farris’ single to left center scored Miesha McBride for the first FAMU run. Raven Moseley, who walked, then advanced to second and third on two passed balls, and scored from third on a USF wild pitch for a 5-2 score.
The Bulls plated their final run in the top of the sixth to extend their lead to 6-2, but FAMU had one last gasp in the bottom of the seventh, aided by two USF errors, scoring two runs to pull to 6-4.
Moseley scored on an error on Tashayla Irvis’ ground ball, then Alexis Day’s sacrifice fly to right scored Farris for a 6-4 score.
FAMU managed to load the bases with two outs, but Kieifi Myrick grounded back to the pitcher to end the game.
The Lady Rattlers finished with six hits, as Farris, Day, Taylor Rosier, Toni Anderson, McBride and Moseley each had singles. Day, Farris and Irvis each had a run driven in.
Veronica Burse (8-12) took the loss for FAMU, lasting into the second before being lifted for Kenya Pereira. Burse allowed four runs on three hits with two walks in one-and-one-third innings, while Pereira allowed two runs on five hits with one strikeout and one walk in five-and-two-third innings.