TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Earning a sweep of an ACC opponent for the seventh time in its last eight conference series, No. 8 Florida State (38-5, 16-1 ACC) defeated Virginia Tech (24-27, 10-11 ACC) by a score of 13-1 in five innings on Sunday afternoon on Military Appreciation Day at JoAnne Graf Field. It is the 22nd time that Florida State has swept an ACC opponent in the last 31 regular season conference series.
The Noles have won the regular season conference title in each of the last three seasons and have not lost an ACC series since 2012.
“Sundays are the mentally tough days as you deal with the muscle soreness and all that stuff, as well as the mental battle you have to have against a team you played twice before,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Very pleased with the way they came out and made adjustments today and jumped on a really good pitcher in Maggie Tyler. More impressed with staying in there and giving it all they had to end on a good Sunday.”
The Noles got out to a 9-0 lead in the first inning, scoring three runs before recording an out as the first six batters of the inning reached base. Morgan Klaevemann led off with a walk and came in to score on Ellie Cooper’s sacrifice bunt that was thrown wide of first by VT’s starting pitcher Maggie Tyler.
A hit-by-pitch to Jessica Warren and a walk to Alex Powers loaded the bases and allowed Sydney Broderick to drive in two runs on a single through the right side. A walk to Zoe Casas and an infield RBI single by Carsyn Gordon extended the lead to 4-1.
Macey Cheatham nearly hit a grand slam to left, but it ended up as a sacrifice fly as it was caught at the wall by VT’s Vanessa Gonzalez. Klaevemann walked for the second time in the inning to reload the bases and chase Tyler from the game after just two-thirds of an inning.
Cooper added another run after being hit by a pitch from reliever Chelsea Whitcomb and Warren closed out the inning with a bases-clearing single down the right field line, getting tagged out on the play after slipping and falling after rounding first base.
It marked the third time this season that the Noles have scored nine runs in an inning and the first time since a 10-run second inning against Stephen F. Austin on February 17.
Virginia Tech scored its only run of the game in the second inning after Kelsey Mericka led off with a walk against FSU starter Jessica Burroughs and came around to score on an RBI double by Vanessa Gonzalez.
Florida State had another explosive inning in the third, bringing eight batters to the plate and scoring four runs. Walks to Klaevemann and Cheatham, along with a wild pitch from VT’s Whitcomb allowed Warren to drive in two runs on a two-out single to left center. Power followed with her 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot to centerfield to make it 13-1 FSU.
Burroughs exited the game to start the fourth inning as freshman pitcher Abby Evans worked the final two innings. Burroughs earned the run-rule victory and moved to 22-3 on the year, giving up just one hit and one run with two walks and three strikeouts in 3.0 innings.
Evans closed out the game in the circle for the Noles, scattering three hits in 2.0 innings with one walk and one strikeout. For the season, Evans has yet to allow a run in six relief appearances.
Florida State will stay at home this week to play a game against UCF on Tuesday, April 24. The Noles and Knights will face off at 6:00 p.m. in the rescheduled rain out from March 29 in Orlando. The game will be broadcast on Seminole Softball Radio, a free live streaming service through Seminoles.com. Robin Ahrberg and Maddie O’Brien will be on the call, while live stats can also be found online at Seminoles.com.
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