PITTSBURGH – For the fourth consecutive season, the Seminoles are the regular season champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, as No. 7 Florida State (42-5, 19-1 ACC) completed the three-game sweep of Pitt (30-18, 7-12 ACC) with a 15-5 win on Sunday at Vartabedian Field. Seven different Seminoles scored a run, while Zoe Casas led the team with four RBI and Jessica Warren and Ellie Cooper added three RBIs apiece.
It is the 14th time that the Seminoles have earned the ACC regular season title, leading the conference. Florida State has now scored 375 runs on the season, sitting second in program history and trails only the 2014 team that scored 400 runs in 64 games on its way to the Women’s College World Series.
“Extremely proud of the fight we had coming out today,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Coming off finals week, sometimes that can be mentally and emotionally draining, but the girls got it together and did a great job. We had some really good at bats and Meghan (King) stayed in there through some tough spots.
“One of our many goals is to win the ACC regular season and we’re excited as a team to make that happen today.”
Pitt took an early lead with a solo home run by Kaitlin Manuel in the bottom of the second off FSU starter Meghan King. Manuel’s fly ball hit the top of the wall and bounced over to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
FSU batted around in the fourth, facing three different Pitt pitchers, and went in front 8-1. Alex Powers and Sydney Broderick started the inning with walks and Casas hit an RBI single up the middle to tie the game at 1-1 and chase Pitt starter Jenna Modic from the game.
Kayla Harris entered the circle for the Panthers and walked Carsyn Gordon to load the bases, but retired the next two Seminole hitters. A passed ball during the at-bat by Morgan Klaevemann allowed Broderick to score and give the Noles a 2-1 lead and Klaevemann would eventually walk to reload the bases.
Cooper drove a two-RBI single to left and Warren followed with an RBI single to right to make it 5-1 FSU, ending the day for Pitt’s Harris. Sarah Dawson entered to pitch for the Panthers and FSU added to its lead as a Pitt fielding error off the bat of Powers allowed Cooper to score and make it 6-1 FSU.
Powers stole second and came into score, along with Warren, on a two-RBI single by Broderick to left field to wrap up the scoring in the inning. It marked the fifth time this season that the Noles have scored at least eight runs in an inning.
The Panthers scratched back two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, opening the frame with three consecutive singles to cut the FSU lead to 8-2. After Manuel was hit by a pitch to load the bases, King got the first out of the inning for the Seminoles on a ground ball back to the circle.
Pitt made it 8-3 on a groundout to the shortstop when Warren elected to throw the batter out at first and concede the run. King capped off the inning with her fourth strikeout of the game.
A solo home run in the fifth inning by Pitt’s McKayla Taylor to left field cut the FSU lead to 8-4.
Zoe Casas made it 11-4 FSU in the sixth with her third home run of the season, a three-run shot to drive in Broderick and Powers, who reached on a single and walk, respectively.
A four-run seventh closed out the scoring for the Seminoles. Klaevemann drew her 39th walk of the season and came into score on an RBI double to left center by Cooper. Warren blasted a two-run home run to deep center to extend the Seminole lead to 14-4. Powers added a solo home run of her own to make it 15-4.
Pitt managed a run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Erin Hershman, but King struck out Ashlee Sills to end the game and secure the 15-5 victory.
King (19-2) earned a complete game victory for the second consecutive day, setting a career high with eight strikeouts in 7.0 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits with only one walk.
The Seminoles return home for the rest of the regular season and will play No. 1 Florida in Tallahassee on May 4 at 5:00 p.m. After the regularly scheduled seven-inning game, FSU and UF will resume the halted game from April 13 in Gainesville. The Seminoles and Gators are tied at 0-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning with one out and runners on second and third.
The game at 5:00 p.m. will be broadcast on ESPN3, with the resumed game showing on Seminoles.com. Live stats for both games will be available on Seminoles.com.
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