TUCSON, Ariz. — It was just one of a handful of batted balls from FSU that left the infield on Sunday afternoon, but a three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning by Dani Morgan was the difference as No. 1 Florida State (25-2) won the series at No. 12 Arizona (18-7) with a 4-3 victory at Hillenbrand Stadium.
Morgan’s home run was FSU’s 44th of the season, which matches the 2004 team for seventh-most in Seminole history.
“Sundays are always going to be a battle in a three-game series,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “After two games and days against an opponent, you feel like both teams know everything about each other, and it is a mental challenge on top of the physical challenge to execute. Thrilled with how the team was focused and in it from the first pitch and didn’t allow the early adversity and frustrations to creep in, knowing that one swing can be the difference. Dani came through for us today, but it has been so many up and down the lineup and coming off the bench, that have made big plays for us all season long.”
Arizona scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Alyssa Palomino opened the game with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a Seminole error allowed her to score.
Morgan and Makinzy Herzog each hit infield singles in the FSU second inning, but both would be left in scoring position as the inning ended with a strikeout.
Leslie Farris opened the FSU third inning with a bunt single, and a throwing error by the Arizona pitcher Alyssa Denham went into the right field corner, allowing her to reach third base on the play. The Seminoles loaded the bases with two outs on a fielder’s choice by Carsyn Gordon and a walk by Elizabeth Mason, and another Arizona error off the bat of Morgan allowed Farris to score and tie the game at 1-1.
After King retired the first two batters of the Arizona third inning, the next five Wildcats reached safely on three hits and two walks to make it a 3-1 game.
Arizona threatened again in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a pair of two-out singles, but King got out of the jam with her third strikeout of the game.
Florida State took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth as walks to Sydney Sherrill and Mason allowed Morgan to put the Seminoles in front with a three-run home run to left, her sixth HR of the season.
King retired nine of the final 11 batters of the game to secure the victory. The redshirt senior improved to 12-1 on the year with her eighth complete game, allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Florida State will return home this week and opens ACC play on March 15-17 with a series against Notre Dame. All three games will be shown on ACC Network Extra and links for the broadcast, live stats and ticket information will be available 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.