TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Seminole bats were on display Friday night at JoAnne Graf Field as No. 13 Florida State (10-3) powered its way to wins over Hofstra (7-5) and Bradley (4-8) on the first day of the Unconquered Invitational. The Noles defeated the Pride, 8-0, in the first game and took down the Braves, 14-0, in the second game as both contests ended in the fifth inning due to the run rule.
“I think we’re getting progressively better every time we go out,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Like we’ve said, we’re a young team, so we’re still figuring ourselves out. Coach Snider and Coach Wilson have been working hard on each kid’s mentality, and that’s starting to show up. Confidence comes with that and it is awesome to see.”
FSU got out to an early start against Hofstra as Morgan Klaevemann walked to open the Seminole first inning. Alex Powers gave the Noles a quick 1-0 lead with a double off the wall in left field.
The Noles exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to break the game open. A single from Klaevemann and a walk from Zoe Casas set the stage for Powers to hit her third home run of the season – a three-run shot to centerfield. Jessica Warren followed with a solo shot on the first pitch of her at-bat that ricocheted off the right field foul pole. It was the first time the Noles have hit back-to-back home runs since Powers and Victoria Daddis went deep against Auburn on March 25, 2015.
The extra-base parade continued as Sydney Broderick doubled off the wall in left. Ellie Cooper added the first home run of her career in the next at bat, crushing a ball over the wall in center to give the Noles a 7-0 lead.
FSU closed out the game in the fifth on back-to-back doubles from Klaevemann and Daddis to give the Noles an 8-0 victory in five innings. In all, seven of the 11 hits for Florida State went for extra bases versus Hofstra.
FSU starter Jessica Burroughs (6-2) nearly pitched a perfect game in the circle, allowing just one runner to reach base for the entire game on a two-out single in the first. She retired the final 13 batters she faced and finished with 5.0 innings pitched, eight strikeouts and zero walks.
In the final game of the night against Bradley, FSU again used a big inning at the plate to put the game out of reach, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first inning. Klaevemann got things started with an infield single and after stealing second, came into score on an RBI single from Powers. A walk to Warren set the table for Broderick who roped a two-RBI double down the left field line to make it 3-0.
A Bradley error and a walk to Alex Kossoff loaded the bases for Carsyn Gordon, who promptly unloaded them with a bases-clearing double to right center to extend the lead to 6-0. Cali Harrod doubled off the wall in center to close out the scoring in the opening frame as FSU posted a 7-0 advantage.
The Noles plated three in the second inning on an RBI double from Warren, RBI single from Broderick and a sacrifice fly from Victoria East. Cooper and Powers also added singles in the inning.
A four-run third inning highlighted the depth of the Seminole lineup, as reserve players Macey Cheatham and Jasmine Palmer came up huge to push the lead to 14-0. Cheatham came to the plate with runners on second and third and lined a two-RBI single to center, setting a single-game career high in runs batted in for the senior catcher. Palmer stepped in to the box after Cheatham and the freshman launched the first home run of her career into the bushes beyond the wall in left field.
In the circle for the Noles, Meghan King and Tessa Daniels combined to shut down the Bradley offense. Much like in the earlier game against Hofstra, the first inning would be the only frame that FSU’s opponent would have a batter reach base.
After allowing the first two batters to get on with singles, King settled in and retired the next two hitters with a groundout and a strikeout. A walk to Bradley’s Rachel Huggins loaded the bases, but Powers fielded a grounder to first to end the inning and the threat.
That was the last time a Bradley player reached base in the game as King sent down the next 10 batters she faced until the fifth inning when she was replaced by Daniels. King (4-1) finished with 4.1 innings pitched and gave up two hits, one walk and recorded four strikeouts in the combined shutout, throwing just 57 pitches on the night. Daniels closed out the game with two flyouts to give the Noles the 14-0 run-rule victory.
Florida State continues the Unconquered Invitational on Saturday, February 27 with a game against UAB (4-9) at 2:30 p.m. If the Seminoles win that game, they will earn the No. 1 seed in the bracketed portion of the Invitational, and will play the No. 4 seed on JoAnne Graf Field at 5:00 p.m. If they end up as the No. 2 or 3 seed, the Noles will play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Admission is free for all regular season games at JoAnne Graf Field. A free live radio broadcast for all games involving Florida State, as well as live stats, will be available on Seminoles.com throughout the weekend.
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