TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Continuing its dominance of the Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 7 Florida State (41-5, 18-1 ACC) earned wins over Pitt (30-15, 7-9 ACC) in both games of the doubleheader at Vartabedian Field on April 30. The Noles outlasted the Panthers 16-11 in game one and took a 4-3 win in game two. All nine hitters in the starting lineup of game one had at least one base hit and eight different players scored at least one run.
Victoria Daddis’ two-run home run highlighted the Seminole offense in game two as Meghan King recorded her 12th complete game of the season.
FSU has won 11 straight games in conference play and 80-9 in its last 89 regular season games against ACC opponents. The Noles have won the ACC regular season championship in each of the last three seasons and can add another title with a win on Sunday over Pitt.
“A lot of positives today, and a lot of things that we know we can work on,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Getting a pair of wins is great, but the way we finished each game leaves room for improvement. Proud of the team as a whole for battling, whether in the lineup, coming off the bench or whatever. We needed everyone today, and we’ll need everyone tomorrow to close out the series.”
GAME ONE – Florida State 16, Pitt 11
FSU exploded for six runs in the second inning, highlighted by a grand slam by Jessica Warren, her 14th home run of the season. Singles by Sydney Broderick and Carsyn Gordon, along with a walk by Cali Harrod loaded the bases early in the inning.
Victoria East opened the scoring with an RBI single to center, followed by a sacrifice fly from Morgan Klaevemann to make it 2-0 FSU. Warren capped the top of the second with a grand slam, giving her 58 RBI on the year and moving her into sole possession of second place on the FSU single-season record list.
It marked the 13th time in 2016 that the Seminoles scored at least six runs in an inning.
Pitt got a run back in the bottom of the second after a leadoff walk to Jenna Modic from FSU starter Jessica Burroughs. A single by Ashlee Sills and an FSU fielding error allowed Modic to score and cut the Seminole lead to 6-1 after two complete innings.
The Noles added another run in the third inning to extend the lead to 7-1 after Harrod reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and came in to score on an RBI single to right field by Gordon.
The Panthers used the long ball to get back in the game in the third inning, scoring three runs on home runs by Jenna Modic and Giorgiana Zeremenko to make it a 7-4 game.
A three-run home run from Alex Powers, her 11th HR of the season, pushed the Noles back out to an 10-4 advantage in the fourth inning. Cooper and Warren scored on the play after hitting singles earlier in the inning.
Abby Evans entered to pitch in relief of Burroughs to start the Pitt fourth inning. The freshman tossed a perfect inning, retiring all three batters she faced.
The Noles added a run in the fifth on an RBI bunt single from Klaevemann. Harrod led off the inning with a walk, stole second and ended up on third after a Pitt throwing error.
Pitt got a sacrifice fly from Modic in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 11-5, scoring Maggie Sevilla who reached on a double.
FSU brought in four runs in the sixth inning, including RBIs on three straight plate appearances from Broderick, Casas and Harrod. Broderick later scored on a passed ball to make it a 15-5 ballgame.
Pitt scored three runs, all with two outs, to stave off the run-rule ending of the game. Kathryn Duran hit an RBI double and Sevilla and McKayla Taylor added RBI singles in the inning for a 15-8 FSU lead.
FSU added a run in the top of the seventh as Lauren Harris led off with a walk, moved up to second on a single from Cooper and scored on an RBI single by Broderick. The single was Cooper’s fourth base hit of the game, setting a career high.
The Panthers hit two home runs from the first three batters in the seventh inning to make it 16-11 and end Evans’ day in the circle. Meghan King pitched the final 1.0 inning, retiring all three batters she faced to secure the victory.
Evans (1-0) earned her first career win, tossing 3.0 innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits with one walk and zero strikeouts. Burroughs worked 3.0 innings and allowed four hits, four runs with one walk and four strikeouts in the no decision.
GAME TWO – Florida State 4, Pitt 3
In stark contrast to the first game of the day, runs were at a premium in the second game of the doubleheader at Vartabedian Field.
The Noles managed just three hits through the first four innings, including two hits in the top of the first. Klaevemann led off the game with an infield single and nearly scored later in the inning on an infield single by Powers, but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning after Pitt failed to make a play at first. Victoria Daddis added a single for FSU in the top of the third.
Pitt managed only one base runner through the first four innings against FSU’s King, posting a single to left by Erin Hershman in the second inning.
The Seminoles opened the scoring in the top of the fifth, highlighted by Daddis’ first home run of the season. It was a two-run shot, scoring Gordon who had reached earlier in the inning on a Pitt fielding error.
The inning continued on a walk to Cooper and a single by Warren. Powers made it 3-0 FSU with an RBI single down the left field line.
The Noles added an unearned run in the sixth after loading the bases on a double by Harrod and walks by Gordon and Klaevemann. Cooper hit a ground ball that was misplayed by Pitt SS Taylor, allowing Gordon to score and extend the lead to 4-0.
The Panthers refused to give up the bottom of the seventh, getting a pair of runners on with two outs on infield singles by Sills and Hershman. Kaitlin Manuel was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Duran drove in the first Pitt run of the game on an RBI walk to make it 4-1, and Shelby Pickett followed with a two-RBI single to right to cut the lead to 4-3, putting runners on the corners. King induced a groundout to second base to end the game and give the Noles the series victory.
King (18-2) recorded her 12th complete game of the season, tossing 7.0 innings and giving up three runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Pitt’s Modic took the loss and moved to 6-7, allowing four runs on seven hits with five walks and one strikeout in 7.0 innings.
The series will wrap up on Sunday, May 1 with a game at 11:00 a.m. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on Seminole Softball Radio, a free live streaming service through Seminoles.com. Robin Ahrberg and Ryann Day will be on the call, while live stats can also be found online at www.seminoles.com. A paid premium live video broadcast will be available on www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
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