TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Sparked by a nine-run first inning, No. 1 Florida State (5-0) cruised to a 10-0 win in five innings over UNC Wilmington (2-3) on Sunday to close out the 2019 JoAnne Graf Classic. Equally impressive was the pitching performance of Kara Bilodeau and Makinzy Herzog, as the two Seminole newcomers combined to toss a no-hitter and faced the minimum of 15 batters on the day. Herzog hit a batter in the top of the fourth, but Anna Shelnutt threw her out on a steal attempt to end the inning.
It marked the 25th no-hitter by the Seminoles under head coach Lonni Alameda, which has been accomplished by 11 different players. Florida State has recorded four consecutive shutouts and has not allowed a run in its last 26.1 innings, dating back to the first game of the 2019 season.
“On opening weekend it is good to come out and just get the feeling of playing another team again, as well as playing games on consecutive days,” said Alameda. “I liked how we came together today and made adjustments day-to-day from offense to defense and pitching. We got a lot of people a lot of opportunities. I loved how the newcomers came in and gave us quality innings, quality pitches and quality at-bats, and that will go a long way to help develop Team 36 into what we will be down the line.”
Sunday’s game started like every Florida State game has this season with Cali Harrod leading off the Seminole first inning with a base hit, a feat she’s accomplished in all five games of the 2019 season. She stole second base, her sixth SB of the season, and following a single and stolen base by Carsyn Gordon, both FSU runners scored on a single to right by Sydney Sherrill. A walk to Elizabeth Mason set the stage for Anna Shelnutt to make it 3-0 Seminoles with a double to left center.
A one-out triple by Zoe Casas brought in two more runs and Cassidy Davis made it 6-0 FSU with a sacrifice fly to right field. Morgan Noah lined a first-pitch single to right and Harrod followed with a walk in her second plate appearance of the inning. Gordon crushed a three-run home run, her first of the season, to Spirit Way beyond the wall in left field for a 9-0 Seminole advantage after the first inning.
Bilodeau was perfect in her 3.0-inning appearance, retiring all nine batters she faced along with three strikeouts. Herzog finished with three strikeouts as well over the final two innings of the game.
The Seminoles added a final run in the bottom of the fourth inning as Mackenzie Puckett drew a one-out walk and ended up on third base after a bunt single by Deja Bush and a throwing error by UNCW. Davis drove in her second run of the game on a groundout to second base, easily scoring Puckett from third base for the 10-0 final score.
Florida State heads south this coming weekend for the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational in Clearwater, Fla., on February 15-17. The Seminoles will play six games over the weekend, with four against ranked teams – No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 8 Tennessee, No. 11 LSU and No. 21 Minnesota. All six games will be broadcast on the ESPN networks, with the Oklahoma and Tennessee games airing nationally on ESPNU and ESPN2, respectively.
Live stats for all games throughout the entire season will be available from the softball schedule page on Seminoles.com. Season tickets are still available, and single-game tickets for all February games are on sale now. Tickets for games in March and April will go on sale the first day of their respective month. For ticket information, go to www.seminoles.com/tickets.
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.
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