ORLANDO, Fla. — Sparked by home runs by Cali Harrod in the sixth and seventh innings, No. 1 Florida State (22-0) defeated UCF (12-7) by a score of 9-3 on Monday night. The Seminoles now lead the NCAA with 38 home runs, a .385 batting average and a .685 slugging percentage.
In addition to Harrod’s 3-for-3 day at the plate with two walks and five RBI, she also added a stolen base, which was the 19th of the season and 100th of her career. Harrod now ranks sixth in school history in the category.
The victory extended FSU’s overall winning streak to 28 games, and, along with the 22-game streak to start the season, both streaks are second in school history. The 1992 team started 25-0, and from March 4-26, the 1995 Seminoles won a program-record 32 games.
The 38 home runs by Florida State through 22 games already rank 10th in FSU single-season history. The Seminoles set the school record of 76 home runs in 2018, playing a total of 70 games during the national championship season.
“Thrilled with how we competed and grew during our time here in Orlando,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We faced a lot of adversity, needed to find different ways to win and put a bunch of players in situations and opportunities that will be huge for us later in the season. Now we head out west for some challenging games against Grand Canyon and Arizona.”
Dani Morgan put the Seminoles on the board with a two-run home run in the top of the second inning, scoring Cassidy Davis who reached on a two-out walk.
The Seminoles added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning as singles by Zoe Casas, Morgan and Makinzy Herzog loaded the bases with one out. Harrod lined a two-run single up the middle to make it a 4-0 game.
Elizabeth Mason opened the Seminole fifth inning with a double to right center and later scored on a groundout to extend the FSU lead to 5-0.
Florida State brought in two runs in the top of the sixth, both with two outs, on a solo home run by Harrod and, after a walk by Carsyn Gordon and a UCF error, Mason drove in a run with an RBI single to right center.
After issuing a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the sixth, Herzog was replaced in the circle by Davis. The freshman improved to 3-0 on the season after 5.0 scoreless innings with just two hits and two walks allowed, along with three strikeouts.
Morgan hit a one-out triple to left center in the seventh inning and Harrod crushed her second home run of the game to right center to make it a 9-0 game. It is the second time in her career that Harrod has hit two home runs in a game, matching her performance at Troy on April 18, 2017.
UCF got a run back in the bottom of the seventh on a leadoff home run by Brooke Barlow. After a strikeout and a groundout, UCF loaded the bases with two outs on three infield singles. Jazmine Esparza drove in two runs on a single to left, cutting the FSU lead to 9-3. Davis ended the game with a groundout to shortstop. Davis allowed three runs on six hits over 2.0 innings of relief with zero walks and three strikeouts.
The Seminoles will continue their 10-game road trip out in the state of Arizona this week, beginning with a doubleheader at Grand Canyon on March 6, followed by a three-game series at No. 12 Arizona on March 8-10. Links for the broadcast, live stats and tickets are available on the softball schedule page of Seminoles.com.
Fans can listen to the FSU softball coaching staff, head coach Lonni Alameda and assistant coaches Travis Wilson and Craig Snider, on their weekly podcast: Coaches and Coffee – The FSU Softball Podcast. Each week, the coaches talk about the current state of the Seminole softball team, chat about NCAA softball from around the country, and have a lot of fun along the way. The podcast can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or directly at our website – fsusoftballpodcast.wordpress.com.
Throughout 2018-19, the Seminoles will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Florida State and there are many events and reunions planned for all women’s sports. Head to www.seminoles.com/50th/ for more information that will be updated throughout the year.
Follow Florida State softball on Twitter (@FSU_Softball) and Instagram (fsusoftball), and like our Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUsoftball) to keep up to date with everything about Seminole softball.