GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The only thing that seemed to be able to stop the Gators and the Seminoles on Wednesday night was the weather as No. 8 Florida State (31-4) and No. 1 Florida (38-3) battled through eight and a half scoreless innings before the game was halted due to rain. The game ended with one out in the bottom of the ninth and runners on second and third for Florida, and the game will be resumed prior to the FSU-UF game in Tallahassee on May 4.
“Tough way to end a quality game, but we can’t control the weather,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “I thought we made some adjustments as they brought in each of their three pitchers and had some opportunities, but couldn’t bring them in. Jessica had a great game in the circle and gave us exactly what we needed. Now we have the unique opportunity of waiting three weeks to finish this game.”
Morgan Klaevemann started the game with a bunt single and Ellie Cooper followed with a bunt single of her own as the first two Seminoles reached base. They would both be stranded after a pop out by Alex Powers and a hard hit ball to right field by Jessica Warren that started an inning-ending double play.
FSU got multiple runners on again in the third inning as Klaevemann walked and Cooper was hit by a pitch, but the Noles were unable to push them across.
The Noles had runners on in each of the first six innings as Zoe Casas knocked a single to left in the second inning, while Sydney Broderick and Cooper walked in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, and Warren was hit by a pitch in the sixth.
Jessica Burroughs got out to a dominant start against the nation’s top team, retiring 16 of the first 17 batters she faced, allowing just a single in the second to Amanda Lorenz through the first 5.1 innings.
Florida threatened in the bottom of the sixth after Burroughs allowed a walk to Justine McLean, followed by a two-out single by Kirsti Merritt. A walk to Kayli Kvistad loaded the bases for the Gators, but the Noles got out of the jam after Burroughs induced a groundout to second base by Lorenz.
After a scoreless seventh, the game went to extra innings. FSU failed to get a base runner in the top half of the eighth, and UF nearly ended it in the bottom half of the inning as Aleshia Ocasio launched a ball to right field that was tracked down and caught at the wall by Carsyn Gordon.
That ended Burroughs’ outing in the circle, bringing in redshirt freshman Meghan King. Burroughs ended with 7.1 innings pitched, surrendering two hits, two walks and recording six strikeouts in the no-decision.
King struck out the first batter she faced, and after allowing a two-out single to Kelsey Stewart, ended the eighth inning with another strikeout as rain began to fall at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
After the Seminoles went down in order in the ninth, Florida got its first two batters on with walks as the rain increased. After a passed ball to move the runners up to second and third, along with another strikeout from King, the umpires halted the game for the evening.
The game will resume with the same situation, just in a new location at JoAnne Graf Field on May 4, prior to the regularly scheduled game between the Noles and Gators.
The Seminoles hit the road this weekend, traveling to Boston for a three-game ACC series with Boston College on April 16-17. A free radio stream (@FSUsbRADIO) will be provided for all three games, along with live stats, on Seminoles.com.
USA Softball Player of the Year Top 25 Finalists
Prior to Wednesday’s game with Florida, redshirt juniors Jessica Burroughs and Alex Powers were selected as Top 25 finalists for the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. It is the third consecutive season that the Seminoles have had a student-athlete among the final 25 for the national award.
The finalist group will be pared down to 10 on May 11, while the top three finalists will be revealed on May 25. The 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be announced on May 31 prior to the start of the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
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