GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Freshman first baseman Brittany Allocca blooped an RBI single to leftfield with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Hofstra softball team a 1-0 win over Florida Atlantic in the first game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional on Friday at Pressly Stadium.
The Pride (38-12-1), which has won 12 of its last 13 games, had only four hits. "It's not how many, it's when," coach Larissa Anderson said. "We didn't get a lot of base hits, but we got it when we needed it. Runner in scoring position and Brittanny Allocca was able to put the ball in play and we scored the one run that we needed."
Kim Smith was hit by a pitch to lead off the sixth, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Allocca's single just over the head of third baseman Carnesha Thompson. "I just focused on swinging at strikes, staying aggressive," Allocca said.
Hofstra relief pitcher Taylor Pirone (19-10) retired the side in order in the seventh. After inheriting a runner at second with none out in the top of the fifth, Pirone struck out four in three scoreless innings.
"My mindset is trying not to have a mindset," Pirone said. "I've finally learned to just shut it off, shut my brain off. My focus is just through the roof right now. Knock on wood, I'll keep it that way."
Hofstra will face top-seeded Florida, the defending national champion, at 1 p.m. Saturday. Florida defeated fourth-seeded Florida A&M, 6-0, in the second game Friday.
Florida Atlantic (37-17-1) loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but third baseman Kim Smith stabbed a one-hop line drive and got a force at third. Centerfielder Caryn Bailey threw out Kiley Southall trying to score from second on a single to end the fourth. Pirone fielded a comebacker and threw out Lindsey Shell at the plate in the fifth.
Said Anderson, "Defense is what kept us in the ballgame."