TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 2 Florida State (47-3-1, 24-0 ACC) closed out a perfect regular season in conference play with a 6-2 victory on Sunday afternoon over North Carolina (36-18, 14-9 ACC).
It marked the first time since 2003 that any school finished ACC play with an undefeated record, when Florida State posted an 8-0 conference record against the other four ACC schools that participated in softball at that time.
The Seminoles have finished the conference season undefeated four other times – 2003 (8-0), 2002 (6-0), 1995 (6-0) and 1993 (4-0) – and are one of just three schools from a Power-5 conference to ever record a perfect season in conference play, joining Nebraska’s 16-0 as a member of the Big 12 in 1998 and Iowa who posted a 22-0 mark in the Big Ten in 1997.
Sunday also marked Senior Day for the Seminole softball team, as all five seniors – Sydney Broderick, Jessica Burroughs, Ellie Cooper, Lauren Harris and Alex Powers – were in the starting lineup and contributed in the win. The four batters combined to record four of the seven FSU hits and drove in three of the four RBI, while Burroughs allowed just two hits and recorded nine strikeouts over 6.2 innings to get the win.
“Going undefeated in conference is such a huge feat, and it isn’t just based on skill,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “It takes a lot of character and a lot of leadership, and that has been this senior class. They’ve just been so consistent with everything they do on and off the field. So it doesn’t matter if you are down or if you are up, you are going to get ‘Seminole Softball’ for seven innings. It is just so fun to see and they have worked for that.”
North Carolina struck first, scoring a run in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Leah Murray opened the game with a single to center, moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on an RBI single by Kendra Lynch.
The Seminoles got runners on in both the first and second innings, but wouldn’t get on the board until the third inning as Jessica Warren and Powers hit back-to-back doubles with one out. Cali Harrod put a bunt in front of the plate, but the throw was high, allowing both runners to score, giving the Noles a 2-1 lead.
Florida State brought in two more in the fourth inning as Korina Rosario and Harris produced at the bottom of the order with a pair of one-out walks. RBI singles by Cooper and Powers extended the Seminole lead to 4-1 after four innings.
FSU’s Burroughs settled in after allowing the first-inning run, retiring 12 straight batters until a two-out walk to Brittany Pickett in the top of the fifth inning. She would be left stranded after a groundout to second base.
North Carolina cut the Seminole lead to 4-2 in the top of the sixth on an unearned run. Murray walked and stole second, but a two-out grounder was mishandled by the Seminole defense, allowing her to score on the play.
Rosario and Harris started the Seminole offense in the sixth inning, as Rosario tripled to left center to lead off the inning. Harris drove her in with a sacrifice fly to make it a 5-2 game, while Warren hit her third home run of the series and 19th of the season for the final 6-2 result.
The Seminoles will play their final home game of the regular season on May 3, welcoming No. 1 Florida (46-4) to JoAnne Graf Field for the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown. First pitch will be at 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra. Admission is free, but fans are encouraged to arrive early as it is expected to be a capacity crowd. Links for live stats and the FSU softball radio stream will be available on Seminoles.com.
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