TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Behind a dominating performance in the circle by Jessica Burroughs, No. 5 Florida State (43-7) ended its 2016 non-conference slate with a 12-3 win in five innings over Florida A&M (23-27) on Thursday night at JoAnne Graf Field. Burroughs tossed 4.0 innings without allowing a hit and recorded 10 strikeouts in the win.
“It was nice to come back out and be focused from the first pitch after the emotional high of playing Florida last night,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We made some adjustments and made them play some defense tonight and were able to put some runs on the board. Jessica had a great night in the circle and Abby battled back after giving up some base hits to close out the game on a good note. Overall, a good win tonight as we get ready for Louisville this weekend.”
Burroughs retired the first four batters she faced before a pair of FAMU hitters reached base in the second on FSU fielding errors. The redshirt junior pitcher was able to get out of the inning after a pair of strikeouts.
After a perfect third inning in the circle, Burroughs recorded a rare four-strikeout inning in the fourth as Florida A&M’s Raven Moseley led off the inning and swung through strike three, but the ball got away from catcher Macey Cheatham and Moseley beat the throw to first. Burroughs proceeded to get the next three outs on strikeouts to Miesha McBride, Amber Fullwood and Kenya Pereira.
Burroughs tossed 4.0 shutout innings without giving up a hit, allowing just one walk and recording 10 strikeouts in the win to improve to 23-4 on the season.
The Noles offense got out front in the first inning on a two-run home run from Alex Powers, scoring Ellie Cooper who reached on a walk. It was the redshirt junior’s fourth career home run against the Rattlers and her 13th of the 2016 season.
Morgan Klaevemann led off the third inning with a bunt single and a stolen base. After Jessica Warren was hit by a pitch, Powers drove in another run with an RBI single up the middle. Warren took advantage of a poor throw to the plate and came in to score and make it 4-0 FSU.
The Seminoles scored eight runs in a wild fourth inning, recording just two hits as Florida A&M committed three errors, along with two wild pitches. Carsyn Gordon started the inning with an infield single and ended up on third after a stolen base and a FAMU throwing error. Victoria Daddis then walked and was pinch-run for by Korina Rosario.
On a pitch to Cali Harrod that the Florida A&M players thought was tipped foul, Gordon came in to score and Rosario went all the way to third, extending the FSU lead to 5-0. Harrod completed her at bat with an RBI single to the shortstop to score Rosario.
Harrod stole second and Klaevemann followed with a walk. Cooper hit into a fielder’s choice, but the Rattlers were unable to get Klaevemann at second as Harrod scored on the play. Warren reached on a fielding error to score Klaevemann to push the lead to 8-0.
A wild pitch scored Cooper and a walk to Powers put runners on the corners with nobody out in the inning. Powers initiated a double steal and slid safely into second as Warren dashed home for a 10-0 lead.
The Noles tallied seven stolen bases in the game to bring their season total to 125. That ranks third-most in FSU single-season history, trailing only the teams from 1999 (147) and 1996 (160).
The inning continued and Macey Cheatham walked and Victoria East reached on a fielder’s choice to the pitcher. Both of them would score off the bat of Rosario as her grounder went under the glove of FAMU 2B Jessica Nathan and all the way to the wall in right center to close out the scoring for the Seminoles at 12-0.
Freshman pitcher Abby Evans entered the game in relief of Burroughs in the fifth inning and gave up base hits to the first three hitters she faced. Nachelle Watson and Whitney Farris reached on singles and Florida A&M got on the scoreboard after a three-run home run to center from Nathan made it a 12-3 ballgame.
Evans settled in and retired the next two batters with a strikeout and closed out the game with a pop out to Powers at first base to secure Florida State’s 18th run-rule victory of the season.
The Seminoles will close out the regular season at home this weekend with a three-game series against Louisville on May 7-8. Saturday’s doubleheader between the Noles and the Cardinals will begin at 4:00 p.m., while Sunday’s finale will begin at 12:00 p.m.
All three games of the series will be broadcast on ESPN3 and live stats will be available on Seminoles.com. Prior to Sunday’s game, there will be an on-field ceremony to celebrate FSU’s three seniors – Alex Kossoff, Victoria East and Macey Cheatham.
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