BLACKSBURG, Va. – Competing in temperatures that hovered in the upper 30s, along with wind chills in the upper 20s, No. 1 Florida State (22-1-1, 6-0 ACC) closed out the series with Virginia Tech (10-11, 2-4 ACC) with a 5-2 win on March 11 at Tech Softball Park.
The victory gives Florida State 25 sweeps in the last 35 ACC series, including six of the last seven.
The Seminoles are off to their best start in 24 years, and the fourth-best record in program history through the first 24 games of the season. The 1992 team started 24-0, while FSU opened with a 23-1 record in both 1993 and 1986.
“Really pleased with how we closed out the weekend,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We got out to an early lead and were able to withstand their attempts to comeback. There was production up and down the lineup and Meghan and JB again combined for a solid game in the circle. Playing a team for the third time is always difficult and we made enough adjustments to get the win.”
Florida State scored in the first inning for the third consecutive game to take an early lead in the series finale. Morgan Klaevemann and Alex Powers each got on with singles and a walk to Jessica Warren loaded the bases.
FSU got its first run on the board on an infield fly by Cali Harrod that was dropped by the Virginia Tech shortstop, allowing Klaevemann to score from third base. The Noles added two more runs without putting a ball in play as Ellie Cooper and Carsyn Gordon walked and Dani Morgan was hit by a pitch to give FSU a 3-0 lead after the top of the first.
It is the 11th time in 24 games that Florida State has scored in the first inning and the Noles are undefeated in those games, posting a record of 10-0-1.
Powers launched her third home run of the season to deep center in the top of the second to make it 4-0 FSU. Harrod followed with a double to center in the inning, but would be left stranded.
Virginia Tech cut the lead to 4-1 in the second inning, getting a pair of runners on with a hit-by-pitch to Emma Strouth and an infield single by Caitlyn Nolan. VT’s Chelsea Whitcomb drove in the only run of the inning on a two-out double to center, and FSU starting pitcher Meghan King got out of the inning with a groundout to second base.
The Noles scored for the third consecutive inning as Sabrina Stutsman lined a two-out single to center in the third. Fellow redshirt freshman Deja Bush replaced her at first base and Bush came in to score on a double down the left field line by Klaevemann.
The Hokies got another run back in the bottom of the third, getting the first two runners on base via a single and a walk. A fielder’s choice and an RBI groundout brought in the second run of the game for VT to cut the lead to 5-2.
After allowing the first two batters to reach base in the Virginia Tech fifth inning, King was replaced in the circle by Jessica Burroughs with one out and runners on the corners. Burroughs was able to get out of the inning on a fly out to center and a strikeout to maintain the Seminole lead.
Burroughs retired all eight batters she faced, finishing with four strikeouts, to earn her second save of the season and the seventh of her career, which moves her into a tie for fourth in FSU history.
King (10-0) scattered six hits in 4.1 innings, giving two runs and two walks with one strikeout.
VT’s Whitcomb (2-3) took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeout in 4.0 innings. Aysha Richardson tossed the final 3.0 innings for the Hokies, giving up four hits.
The Seminoles will head down to Florida Gulf Coast this week for three games on March 14-15 in Ft. Myers, Fla. FSU and FGCU will play at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, while the Noles will take on Canisius at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Tickets are available for all three games at www.fgcuathletics.com, or can be purchased at the stadium on the day of the games. There will be a radio broadcast stream, as well as live stats, available on Seminoles.com.
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