GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The matchup between two top-10 teams was the battle everyone expected until No. 5 Florida (42-7) brought in five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and went on to a 5-1 win on Wednesday night against No. 8 Florida State (39-9) in front of 2,392 people at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Jessie Warren had both hits for Florida State on the night, including a solo home run in the top of the seventh. It was her 13th home run of the season and 75th of her career, moving her up into a tie for 13th in NCAA history along with Louisiana’s Lexi Elkins (2013-16), Coastal Carolina’s Morgan Noad (2013-16) and Ball State’s Jennifer Gilbert (2011-14).
“What a game and what an opportunity for us tonight,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Meghan King had a great start for us and we had a couple of chances against Barnhill, too. Even in their big inning, we came up just short on diving catches, close calls at first, close plays down the line, but that’s the game sometimes. It’s a game of inches and you need to love it when the inches don’t go your way as much as when they do. Tip your cap to Florida on executing when they needed to. Loved how we fought to the final out tonight and looking forward to another challenge this weekend at Notre Dame.”
FSU starter Meghan King opened the bottom of the first in impressive fashion, setting down Hannah Adams, Amanda Lorenz and Nicole DeWitt in order, all on strikeouts.
Warren led off the Seminole second inning with a single through the left side. Zoe Casas put down a sacrifice bunt to the circle, but UF’s Kelly Barnhill threw it wide of first base, giving the Seminoles runners on second and third with nobody out in the inning. Both would be left on base as Barnhill recorded a pair of strikeouts and a pop out.
Florida threatened in the bottom of the second inning as Kayli Kvistad walked and Aleshia Ocasio singled to put Gators on first and second with zero outs. A fielder’s choice to third moved runners to the corners with one out, and a grounder to Warren was thrown home to retire Kvistad at the plate for out number two. King got the Seminoles out of the inning by inducing a ground out to short for the third out.
Carsyn Gordon drew a walk in the top of the sixth inning, extending her streak of reaching base safely to 27 consecutive games. She tried to steal second with two outs in the inning, but was narrowly thrown out to end the inning.
Florida started its five-run sixth inning with a single by Lorenz. DeWitt followed with a line drive to center and FSU’s Morgan Klaevemann nearly secured the diving catch, but it popped out of her glove for an RBI double as Florida took a 1-0 lead with nobody out.
Kvistad walked and Ocasio put a bunt down the first base line and was called safe on a close play at the bag to load the bases. Janell Wheaton lifted a soft line drive toward the 5-6 hole and the ball remained just out of reach of a diving Warren and Cali Harrod, bouncing into left field for an RBI single to make it a 2-0 game.
King retired the next batter on a fielder’s choice and was replaced in the circle by Cassidy Davis. UF’s Sophia Reynoso hit a ball just fair inside the left field line for a bases-clearing triple. Davis closed out the inning with a strikeout and a groundout as UF took a 5-0 lead to the seventh inning.
Warren launched the first pitch of the top of the seventh over the wall in center to avoid the shutout.
King (14-6) took the loss, giving up five runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Davis gave up one hit and recorded a strikeout in her 0.2 innings of relief.
The Seminoles will continue their road trip this weekend with a three-game ACC series at Notre Dame (30-18, 12-8 ACC) on April 27-29. All three games will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra and links for the stream, live stats and FSU Softball Radio will be available on the softball schedule page of Seminoles.com.
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.