SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Showing why they entered the weekend with the nation’s best batting average, No. 1 Florida State (38-1-1, 18-0 ACC) hit the ball all over the yard on Sunday in a doubleheader sweep of Syracuse (19-15, 3-9 ACC) to remain perfect in ACC play on the season. The Noles won the first game of the day 13-4 in five innings, and closed out the sweep with a 6-5 victory.
The Seminoles hit 11 home runs by six different players and 16 total extra-base hits on the weekend as FSU scored 37 runs in the three-game sweep. Florida State was consistent at the plate as well, scoring at least one run in 14 of the 19 innings in the series, including nine multi-run innings.
Jessica Warren carried the offense on Sunday, going 4-for-5 over both games with three home runs, a double, six runs scored and seven RBI. The junior third baseman leads the team with a .458 batting average, 15 home runs, 55 RBI and a 1.019 slugging percentage. Cali Harrod also hit a home run in each game on Sunday, including a go-ahead two-run HR in the top of the sixth of game two to give FSU a 6-5 lead.
The Noles now have 18 conference wins, which is tied for sixth-most in a single season in conference history. The mark is tied with the 2008 UNC and 2013 FSU teams, and trails only the 2014 FSU (24), 2016 FSU (21), 2015 FSU (20), 2010 Georgia Tech (19) and 2014 Virginia Tech (19) teams.
“Really proud of how we battled today,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “One of our goals every week is to win the series and just play the next game that is in front of us. None of our streaks or successes have come because we aimed to win 20 or 25 games in a row, they are because we focused on winning the next game, the next at bat, the next pitch. As you build up all those little wins, you can start to see the big wins happen. There is still plenty of room for us to grow and get better, and I’m excited to head down to Gainesville and play UF on Wednesday.”
The Seminoles replicated their offense production in the top of the first inning in game one, launching a pair of two-run home runs to gain a quick 4-0 lead. Dani Morgan hit a single through the left side, and Warren deposited her 13th home run of the season into the trees beyond the wall in left. After a walk to Sydney Broderick, Harrod drove her sixth home run of the year to right field.
Ellie Cooper and Carsyn Gordon later walked in the inning, as well as a stolen base from Cooper, but both would be left stranded as the Noles brought nine batters to the plate in the inning.
Broderick extended the Seminole lead to 5-0 in the second inning with an RBI double to left center, scoring Morgan Klaevemann who drew a walk on 11 pitches to lead off the inning.
Harrod walked on four pitches to open the FSU third and stole second base. After a walk by Cooper, both of them stole a base to move into scoring position. Zoe Casas hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Harrod and make it 6-0 Florida State.
FSU starter Jessica Burroughs got out to a hot start in the circle, holding the Orange without a hit until a two-out single in the bottom of the third inning by Sammy Fernandez.
The Noles pushed their advantage in the fourth inning as Warren led off with a walk and moved up to second base on a ground out. A two-out RBI double by Harrod, followed by an RBI single by Cooper gave the Noles an 8-0 lead.
Syracuse threatened in the fourth inning, getting runners to second and third with one out on a single and a double, but Burroughs kept the Orange scoreless with a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning.
The Seminoles brought in five runs in the top of the fifth to make it 13-0 FSU. Anna Shelnutt walked and was pinch-run for by Deja Bush. Bush stole second and came in to score on an RBI single by Klaevemann. An infield single by Morgan and a two-RBI double from Warren made it 11-0 FSU, while Broderick followed with a two-run home run to right center to close out the scoring.
Abby Evans made her first pitching appearance of the season to start the fifth inning and retired the first batter she faced on a line out to short. The next four Orange hitters reached base on two walks and two hits as Syracuse made it 13-1.
A sac fly, an FSU error and a single to left cut the lead to 13-4, before Evans ended the game with a strikeout.
Burroughs improved to 19-1 with her win in game one, giving up just three hits in 4.0 shutout innings with six strikeouts and zero walks.
Just like the first game of the day, Warren opened the scoring in game two with a two-run home run in the first inning, scoring Klaevemann who led off the game with a walk.
The Noles used their speed and aggression to plate another run in the top of the second inning. Harrod led off the inning with a walk, stole second and ended up on third after a Syracuse throwing error. A fly out to shallow right field by Carsyn Gordon was just deep enough to allow Harrod to tag from third and make it 3-0 FSU.
Warren continued to show off her power with her second home run of the game, and fourth of the series, adding to FSU’s lead with a solo home run in the top of the third inning.
Syracuse took the lead in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs on a bases-loaded walk to Sydney O’Hara, an RBI groundout by Faith Cain and a three-run home run by Bryce Holmgren to go out in front by a score of 5-4.
Burroughs came in to relieve FSU starting pitcher Meghan King in the bottom of the fourth and struck out six of the first seven batters she faced.
The Seminoles regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning as Warren led off the inning with an intentional walk. Harrod drove her in with a two-out, two-run home run to right center to make it 6-5 Florida State.
Burroughs closed out the game, retiring the last nine batters she faced to win her 20th game of the season. She struck out nine in 4.0 innings, giving up just one hit and zero walks.
The Seminoles return back to the state of Florida this coming week with the first game of the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown with the University of Florida on Wednesday, April 12. The No. 1 Noles will travel to Gainesville to take on the No. 3 Gators with first pitch coming at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network, and live stats and FSU softball radio links available on Seminoles.com.
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