TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Extending its ACC series unbeaten streak to 33 series, No. 5 Florida State (45-8, 21-2 ACC) recorded a 4-3 win over Louisville (34-14, 15-8 ACC) on Sunday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field to close out the 2016 regular season. The victory gave the Noles the season series win over the Cardinals and FSU is 29-0-4 in its last 33 conference series. The Seminoles have not lost an ACC series since 2012.
“Today’s game had a postseason feel to it,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Louisville got out to a lead, we took it back, they got back out in front, we battled back and held on for the win. Louisville’s a solid team and this experience will be great for us moving forward, knowing we can fight until the final out.
“It was also great to celebrate our seniors and everything they’ve given to this program. I’m glad we still have more softball to play with them, but today was special to honor Alex, Macey and Victoria and their families.”
Louisville took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as the Cardinals’ leadoff hitter Jordan McNary hit a ball into right center and defensive communication problems between FSU CF Morgan Klaevemann and RF Victoria East allowed the ball to fall and roll to the wall for a triple. McNary came in to score on an RBI fielder’s choice by Megan Hensley as the Noles were unable to retire McNary at the plate.
The Seminoles took the lead in the third inning as Klaevemann led off the inning with an infield single to the pitcher. Klaevemann immediately stole second base, her 43rd SB of the season to move into a tie for eighth place on the FSU single-season list with Tiffani Brown (2012).
A bunt single from Ellie Cooper and a throwing error from Louisville allowed Klaevemann to score and tie the game at 1-1. A sacrifice fly later in the inning by Alex Powers gave the Noles a 2-1 lead after three complete innings.
Three consecutive two-out hits tied the game for Louisville in the fourth inning. Jenna Jordan and Brittany Sims posted singles and an RBI double by Morgan Meyer scored Jordan to make it 2-2 UofL. Sims tried to also score on the play, but a throw from Jessica Warren in shallow left field retired her at the plate to end the inning.
Jessica Burroughs entered the game to pitch for Meghan King to start the fifth inning. King tossed 4.0 innings and gave up two runs on six hits with zero walks or strikeouts in the no-decision.
Louisville took the lead in the fifth inning behind a leadoff triple by Sidney Melton. She came in to score later in the inning on a two-out bloop single into shallow left center by Haley Smith for a 3-2 lead.
The Noles battled back to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Warren and Powers each hit one-out singles and after a stolen base by Powers, both runners came in to score on a two-RBI single to center by Sydney Broderick.
Louisville threatened in the sixth inning, putting runners on the corners after singles by Sims and Meyer. Burroughs got out of the inning on a pop out to short to maintain the Seminole lead.
Burroughs pitched a scoreless seventh to secure the win, moving to 24-5 on the season. She pitched 3.0 innings of relief, scattering five hits and giving up just one run and one intentional walk. The redshirt junior added three strikeouts.
Louisville’s Becker took the loss, giving up four runs, three earned on seven hits in 4.1 innings. She also allowed two walks and posted four strikeouts. UofL’s Hensley pitched 1.2 innings of relief without surrendering a base hit or a run, walking two and striking out one.
The Noles will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming 2016 ACC Softball Championship hosted by NC State on May 12-14. Florida State will play in the first game of the day on Thursday, May 12 at 11:00 a.m. against the No. 8-seed at Dail Stadium in Raleigh, N.C. All games on Thursday and Friday of the tournament will be shown on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN), while Saturday’s championship game at 2:00 p.m. will be broadcast on ESPN.
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