BLACKSBURG, Va. – Scoring early and often, No. 1 Florida State (21-1-1, 5-0 ACC) earned a pair of five-inning victories against Virginia Tech (10-10, 2-5 ACC) on Friday afternoon at Tech Softball Park. The Noles earned wins of 12-3 and 13-2 to sweep both games of the doubleheader against the Hokies and take the season series.
The Seminoles are now unbeaten in their last 35 conference series, dating back to the start of the 2013 season. Overall, FSU is 88-10 (.898%) in its last 98 regular season games against ACC opponents.
“Great day today out of this team,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Knowing the forecast with the cold and the wind, it could have been easy to begin to get distracted by that, but I loved how it didn’t affect anyone’s focus and we battled through it and continued to play Seminole softball. Scoring early in the game helped put the pressure on and our pitchers did a great job all afternoon. Hopefully, we can get the final game in tomorrow before more weather comes in.”
The Noles immediately got out in front in the first inning of game one of the doubleheader. Morgan Klaevemann and Alex Powers reached on a pair of walks and Sydney Broderick loaded the bases on a single to left field. A walk to Cali Harrod and a hit-by-pitch to Ellie Cooper gave the Noles a 2-0 lead, prompting a pitching change from the Hokies.
Virginia Tech brought in Carrie Eberle to replace starter Aysha Richardson and Eberle issued a walk to Dani Morgan and Carsyn Gordon hit a double to right field to give the Noles a 5-0 lead after the first inning.
FSU added a pair of runs in the second inning to extend the lead to 7-0. Powers and Jessica Warren reached on an infield single and a walk, respectively, and after two wild pitches by VT’s Eberle, Powers was able to score the first run of the inning. Harrod followed with an RBI single to the second baseman to bring in Warren.
Powers and Warren each hit singles to lead off the FSU fourth inning and both came into score on a sacrifice fly by Harrod, as her fly ball to right was misplayed and dropped to allow both runners to score for a 9-0 Seminole lead.
The Noles brought in three more runs in the top of the fifth – all with two outs – as Sabrina Stutsman got the offense started with a pinch-hit single up the middle. She was pinch run for by Korina Rosario who took second on a wild pitch and ended up on third on a bunt single by Klaevemann. Another wild pitch brought in Rosario, while an RBI single by Powers extended the FSU lead to 11-0. Warren closed out the scoring with an RBI triple to left field.
Meghan King (9-0) was great in the circle for the Noles and scattered two infield hits in 4.0 innings, one that bounced off the first base bag and another that was chopped behind the circle. She gave up three walks and posted four strikeouts before being relieved to start the fifth inning.
Cassidy Davis entered to pitch for King, but gave up four doubles to the first four batters she faced, allowing the Hokies to cut the lead to 12-3.
The runs snapped a streak of 21.1 scoreless innings by FSU pitchers, dating back to March 4 against Georgia Tech.
King re-entered to pitch for the Noles and retired the first batter she faced on a groundout, but gave up a single to put runners on the corners with one out. A line drive to Morgan at second base was caught and thrown to first for the game-ending double play to secure the 12-3 FSU victory.
VT’s Richardson (1-3) took the loss, giving up five runs on a hit and three walks in 0.1 innings. Eberle pitched 2.2 innings, allowing six hits, four runs, three earned with four walks and three strikeouts. Olivia Lattin tossed the final 2.0 innings for the Hokies, giving up three runs on four hits.
The Seminole offense kept rolling right into game two as FSU scored 11 runs in the first inning. Warren hit a two-run home run and an RBI single in the inning, as Cooper and Stutsman both hit RBI doubles.
Virginia Tech also committed four errors in the inning as four runs were scored directly off of two of the errors. Broderick ended the scoring with her first home run of the season.
The Hokies got a run back in the bottom of the second on a solo home run by Breanna Davenport, but that would be just one of two hits allowed by FSU’s King through her 2.0 innings of work.
A leadoff triple by Klaevemann in the FSU third turned into the 12th run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Powers.
Jessica Burroughs replaced King for the bottom of the third and struck out all three batters in the inning.
Cooper opened the FSU fourth, reaching base on a fielding error by the VT centerfielder and advancing to third on an infield single by Morgan. Gordon extended the Seminole lead to 13-1 with a sac fly to right to score Cooper.
VT’s Davenport launched her second solo home run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, to cut the FSU lead to 13-2.
Burroughs improved to 11-1 on the season, tossing 3.0 innings of relief and giving up just one run on one hit with one walk. She recorded eight strikeouts, striking out the side in the third and fifth inning.
VT’s Taylor Barnes gave up eight unearned runs and five hits in 0.1 innings with one walk. Eberle gave up seven hits and five runs with a walk and two strikeouts as she pitched the final 4.2 innings of the game.
The Seminoles and Hokies will plan to close out the series on Saturday, March 11 at 12:00 p.m. A broadcast of FSU softball radio will be available, as well as live stats, on Seminoles.com.
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