LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Playing a total of 15 innings in a doubleheader isn’t all that uncommon, however the way that No. 2 Florida State (43-3-1, 20-0 ACC) and Louisville (26-16, 9-6 ACC) went about it on Sunday afternoon was very unusual. The Noles earned an 11-0 win in five innings in game one, while it took 10 innings before FSU pulled out a 4-3 win in game two.
The win in game one of the doubleheader clinched the 2017 ACC regular season championship for the Seminoles, marking the fifth consecutive season, and 15th overall, that Florida State has ended the year with the best record in ACC play.
“It is a goal of ours every year to win every conference series and make our adjustments throughout the three games,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Really proud of the girls, and even though this is a different team, it says a lot about your program when you can have that kind of sustained success throughout the season and build on it every year.
“I thought JB did a great job of mixing speeds and moving inside and outside of the plate in the first game. We had some quality plate appearances and also took advantage of some their miscues defensively. In the second game, Megan Hensley was spinning the ball well and we needed to figure out a way to get to her. Coming from behind and scoring late will be a huge character mark for us moving forward, moments where you can look at each other and know that we can battle to the very last out.”
Florida State 11, Louisville 0 (5 inn) – Game One
The Seminoles got out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning of game one as each of the first five batters got on base to open the game. Ellie Cooper led off and reached on a Louisville throwing error, while consecutive singles by Jessica Warren and Alex Powers made it 1-0 FSU.
A walk to Sydney Broderick loaded the bases and a single by Cali Harrod brought in two runs to make it a 3-0 game. Harrod stole second on the first pitch of the next at bat, and the throw sailed into centerfield, allowing Broderick to score from third. Dani Morgan closed out the scoring in the inning with an RBI on a ground out to first base.
It marked the 17th time this season that the Seminoles have scored at least five runs in an inning.
FSU starting pitcher Jessica Burroughs had a dominant start in the circle for the Noles as she posted two strikeouts in each of the first and second innings and allowed just three runners through the first four innings of the game.
Cassidy Davis led off the FSU fourth inning with an infield single, and Zoe Casas followed with a bunt single. Davis moved up to third on a fly out and came in to score on a wild pitch to Powers. Powers eventually walked and Broderick hit an RBI single to left to make it 7-0 Noles. Harrod made it an 8-0 game with an infield single and a throwing error by Louisville.
Warren tied an FSU career record in the top of the fifth inning, as the junior third baseman hit the 55th home run of her career to center, tying Maddie O’Brien’s total from 2012-15.
The home run was a three-run shot that scored Leslie Farris and Morgan. Farris pinch-ran after Cooper was hit by a pitch and Morgan lined a double down the left field line.
Burroughs was one strike away from the fifth no-hitter of her career, but UofL’s Morgan Meyer hit a two-out double down in the left field line in the bottom of the fifth inning. A ground out to second base ended the game, giving the Noles the 11-0 victory.
Burroughs improved to 22-2 on the season, walking two and striking out seven in 5.0 shutout innings.
Florida State 4, Louisville 3 (10 inn) – Game Two
It was a pitcher’s duel through the first five and a half innings of game two as the only base hit allowed until the fourth inning was a double by Louisville’s Nicole Pufahl to lead off the bottom of the second. It ended the streak of FSU’s starting pitcher Meghan King of retiring 19 consecutive batters, dating back to the game against Troy on April 18.
The Seminoles threatened in the top of the fifth as a pair of one-out singles, as well as aggressive baserunning by Carsyn Gordon and Morgan put Seminole runners on second and third with one out. They would both be left stranded as Louisville pitcher Megan Hensley got out of the inning with two strikeouts.
King faced just one over the minimum through the first 5.1 innings of the game, before a pair of one-out singles gave the Cardinals runners on first and second. Louisville loaded the bases with one out on an FSU error, causing the Seminoles to make a pitching change and bring in Burroughs.
Louisville’s Maryssa Becker gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth with a single up the middle, but Burroughs got the next two batters out on a strikeout and a pop out to end the inning.
The Noles tied the game in the top of the seventh as the bottom of the order produced two runs to force extra innings. The 7-8-9 hitters all reached base as Gordon walked and a double to left-center by Morgan put a pair of Seminoles in scoring position with one out. Casas brought both of them in with a two-RBI single to left. Casas was pinch run for by Deja Bush and the freshman stole second and moved up to third on a ground out, but was left stranded.
After a scoreless eighth, FSU took its first lead of the game as Gordon blasted a solo home run to left to lead off the Seminole ninth inning. A walk to Morgan, a single from Bush and a sacrifice bunt by Korina Rosario put FSU runners on second and third with one out, but a line out to short doubled off Morgan at third to end the inning.
The Cardinals got their leadoff batter on in the ninth due to an FSU error, and a groundout advanced her to second base. Louisville was down to its last strike before Alison Szydlowski hit an RBI single to right to tie the game at 3-3.
King re-entered to pitch for Burroughs and issued a walk to the first batter she faced. The next hitter, Morgan Meyer, reached on an FSU error, but Szydlowski overran third base and was retired to end the inning.
The Noles scored again in the top of the 10th as Powers singled to center and came around to score on an RBI double by Broderick to make it 4-3 Florida State.
The Cardinals threatened in the bottom of the 10th as a hit-by-pitch and a Seminole error put UofL runners on the corners with two outs, but Warren ended the game on a line drive catch at third base.
King picked up her 20th win of the season, scattering five hits and two runs over 6.2 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. Burroughs gave up just one unearned run over 3.1 innings with two hits, a walk and three strikeouts.
The Noles and Cardinals will close out the series on Monday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m., with a game that will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Admission is free at Ulmer Stadium, while links for live stats and the FSU Softball radio stream will be available on Seminoles.com.
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