TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State softball team played an outstanding afternoon of softball on Saturday in the 2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge as the No. 3 Seminoles (9-0) earned a pair of shutouts, topping Northwestern by a score of 7-0 to start the day and ending with a 9-0 win in five innings against Nebraska.
It was a complete team effort on Saturday as six different Seminoles combined to score the seven runs against Northwestern and nine separate FSU players scored a run against Nebraska to close out the day.
In the circle, Florida State faced 39 total batters on the day, just three over the minimum of 36 in the 12 innings that were played.
“Really pleased with how we played today,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We were able to get quality at bats up and down the order, and all of our pitchers were great in the circle. While we have a lot of depth that came back from last year, Team 34 is still young and we are beginning to figure out what this team is all about. Looking forward to close out the weekend on a high note tomorrow.”
As the visiting team to start the day, the Seminoles jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first against Northwestern (1-6) behind a sacrifice fly by Jessica Warren. Morgan Klaevemann led off the game with an infield single, stole second and moved to third on a groundout to put herself in position to score on the sac fly.
FSU starting pitcher Jessica Burroughs got out to a great start, striking out each of the first six batters she faced and not allowing a base hit until the fourth inning.
The Noles added to their lead in the third inning as Dani Morgan and Morgan Klaevemann each hit a double in the top of the frame. Morgan was retired at the plate on a bunt by Cooper, but as the play continued, Cooper forced a rundown, allowing Klaevemann to score.
Alex Powers led off the FSU fourth with a double to right field and Zoe Casas followed later in the inning with a two-out walk and was pinch-run for by Korina Rosario. Freshman Leslie Farris drove in the first RBI of her career on a single to right to score Powers, and Rosario came in to score as the duo executed a perfect first-and-third situation to make it 4-0 FSU. Morgan added a single and a stolen base in the inning but was left stranded.
The Noles closed out their scoring with a three-run sixth as Carsyn Gordon led off with a walk. Redshirt freshman Sabrina Stutsman drew a pinch-hit walk and Casas re-entered to run for her at first base. Anna Shelnutt placed a perfect bunt single down the first base line, and when the NU fielder turned and threw to first base, no one was there and the ball sailed into right field to bring in two runs. Morgan made it 7-0 with her second sacrifice fly of the season to bring in Shelnutt.
Cassidy Davis entered the circle to start the bottom of the sixth, ending the day for Burroughs. The redshirt senior improved to 4-0 with 5.0 shutout innings, giving up just one walk with zero walks and nine strikeouts.
Davis closed out the game and gave up just one hit in her 2.0 innings pitched, tossing a pair of strikeouts without giving up a walk.
In the second game of the day against Nebraska (0-7), neither team was able to get out to a quick start as the Noles and Huskers managed just one baserunner each through the first two innings.
Nebraska got a runner on a single by Taylor Otte in the top of the third, but FSU’s Shelnutt gunned her down trying to steal second to end the inning. It was the third baserunner thrown out by the freshman catcher as opponents are just 2-for-5 against her on the season.
The Noles batted around in the third inning, bringing 12 batters to the plate and breaking the game open with eight runs scored. Gordon opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a walk from Klaevemann. Cooper gave FSU the lead with an RBI double to right center and Warren added an RBI single of her own to make it 2-0 FSU.
Powers made it 4-0 with a two-RBI double to left center, marking her first RBIs of the season. Surprisingly, the redshirt senior entered the game batting .455 (10-for-22) with five doubles, yet zero RBI.
Morgan continued the inning with a bunt single and stole second, while a walk by Davis loaded the bases. Cali Harrod hit into a fielder’s choice to short, but the throw home was off target, allowing Powers and Morgan to score for a 6-0 lead. Gordon hit an RBI single through the left side and Sydney Broderick added an RBI on a groundout to complete the eight-run inning.
FSU added a run in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Morgan, scoring Powers who reached earlier in the inning on a single.
FSU starting pitcher Meghan King (4-0) earned the win after she scattered two hits in her 4.0 shutout innings, posting one strikeout without allowing a walk. Tessa Daniels entered to pitch the fifth inning and the Nebraska leadoff hitter reached base on an FSU fielding error. The next hitter hit a long fly ball into the gap in right center, where Klaevemann tracked it down and threw back to first to complete the double play. The sophomore pitcher capped the game with a strikeout.
The Seminoles will wrap up the 2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Sunday, February 19 against Nebraska. First pitch at JoAnne Graf Field will come at 12:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra while FSU Softball Radio will also be available, along with live stats, on Seminoles.com.
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