TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Matching its output from Friday, No. 3 Florida State (4-0) earned two wins on Saturday, earning a 1-0 victory over Marshall (2-1) and defeating Furman (0-4) by a score of 9-1 in six innings to reach the championship game of the 2017 Unconquered Invitational. It is the first time since 2013 that the Noles have opened the season with four straight wins.
“Two different games today, but great to get two wins,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “In game one, we needed to focus on pitching and defense to find the win, and against Furman we found a lot of offense from the bottom of our lineup. Jessica (Burroughs) and Meghan (King) again pitched great to put us in positions to win and everyone is working for the team and being prepared to come through when called on.”
The Thundering Herd threatened in the top of the first of game one as Elicia D’Orazio led off the game with a single and a pair of stolen bases put her on third base with one out in the inning. Seminole starting pitcher Meghan King recorded a strikeout and induced a slow roller back to the circle to end the inning.
For the third consecutive game to open the 2017 season, Florida State scored in the first inning to take an early lead as Jessica Warren launched her third home run of the young season over the wall in right center to give the Noles a 1-0 advantage.
Runs were hard to come by for both teams in the middle innings, despite Florida State and Marshall each having baserunners thrown out at the plate. Ellie Cooper reached base via a hit by pitch in the second and quickly stole second. On a two-out single to center by Dani Morgan, Cooper rounded third but was narrowly tagged out to end the inning.
In the Marshall half of the fourth, Taylor McCord singled and was replaced by Jordan Colliflower. On a two-out base hit to shallow right, FSU’s Carsyn Gordon dove to try make the catch, but the ball bounced by her. Cooper tracked it down and fired home to Broderick who tagged Colliflower out to maintain the 1-0 FSU lead.
FSU’s King allowed just three baserunners for Marshall from the second to the sixth inning, while from the second until the sixth inning, Marshall’s Jordan Dixon had retired 13 Seminole batters in a row before giving up a double to Alex Powers.
Marshall’s best scoring chance came in the seventh inning as the Thundering Herd loaded the bases with nobody out on two infield singles and a Seminole fielding error. The Florida State defense turned a 5-2-3 double play to bring up Marshall’s last chance, but another infield single reloaded the bases. King got Marshall’s D’Orazio to softly line out to shortstop to end the game.
King (2-0) tossed her second consecutive complete game of the season, scattering seven hits while giving up zero runs and zero walks with four strikeouts.
Marshall’s Dixon (2-1) took her first loss of the season, giving up just one run on three hits in 6.0 innings with zero walks and four strikeouts.
The Seminoles ended the round-robin stage of the Unconquered Invitational with a 3-0 record and earned the No. 1 seed, creating a matchup with No. 4-seed Furman in the semifinals of the bracket stage of the tournament.
Florida State got out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second as Cooper led off with an infield single to third base. The senior second baseman quickly stole second and advanced to third on a fly out to right. A walk to Cassidy Davis put runners on the corners and Morgan’s sacrifice bunt drove in Cooper, while a muffed throw at first allowed Davis and Morgan to move to third and second, respectively.
Klaevemann chopped a single to the pitcher, but the throw home was unable to beat Davis to the plate. The Furman catcher failed to hold on to it and as Morgan rounded third, she was interfered with and awarded home to make it 3-0 FSU.
Warren lifted a sacrifice fly to right later in the inning, scoring Klaevemann, for her seventh RBI of the season to close out the FSU scoring.
Seminole starting pitcher Jessica Burroughs allowed just one baserunner through the first three innings and Furman got its first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning as Hannah Reynolds hit a solo home run to left.
Florida State abruptly ended the game in the sixth inning, bringing five batters to the plate and all five scored to give the Noles the 9-1 run-rule win.
Gordon got the inning started with a single to center to the pitcher and Cooper followed with a base hit to center for her third single of the game. Sophomore Cali Harrod crushed a home run to left to make it 7-1 Seminoles.
A pair of freshmen closed out the game at the plate for FSU as Davis hit her second single of the game and came in to score as Morgan hit the first home run of her career. The left fielder ended the game with a team-high three RBI and sits third on the team this year with four total runs batted in.
“I wasn’t really looking to hit a home run, but just looking for a way to help my team and it went out,” said Morgan. “I was really nervous yesterday playing in my first games here, but now that I have a few games and at-bats under my belt, I’m feeling a lot more comfortable.”
Burroughs improved to 2-0 on the season with the three-hitter, giving up just one walk and one run over 6.0 innings with four strikeouts.
Furman’s Bert (0-2) took the loss, surrendering eight hits and seven runs with five earned. She also gave up a walk with two strikeouts.
Florida State will play in the championship game of the 2017 Unconquered Invitational on February 12 against the winner of tonight’s Marshall/Lipscomb game. First pitch will be at 12:30 p.m. and admission is free at JoAnne Graf Field. Fans can listen online to our FSU Softball Radio (@FSUsbRadio) broadcasts free of charge on Seminoles.com, along with links for live stats of each game of the tournament.
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