TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — While Friday’s games each lasted eight innings, the Seminoles only needed five per game on Saturday as No. 8 Florida State (4-0) posted run-rule victories over Detroit Mercy (0-2) and No. 1 Alabama (1-2) in the second day of the JoAnne Graf Classic. The Noles defeated the Titans by a score of 22-0, before blanking the Crimson Tide, 8-0.
The 22 runs against Detroit Mercy set a school record in run scored, surpassing the 20 runs that Florida State plated against Bethune-Cookman on February 10, 2013.
“We knew that we had a special group this year, and that we were going to be young and talented, so it’s been more about opportunities to play and develop kids in certain situations,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Very proud of that, and it is day by day right now. It is so early in the season, and obviously you are happy about being 4-0, and being excited for the kids. But we have a long way to go and need to keep growing. But it is really cool to see how mature we are as a young team.”
Game 1: No. 8 Florida State 22, Detroit Mercy 0 (5 innings)
The Seminoles jumped out to an early 13-0 lead against Detroit Mercy in the first inning and 11 of the 13 runs were unearned as the Titans committed three errors in the frame. Senior Anna Shelnutt highlighted the offense with a three-run home run and was also hit by a pitch. Dani Morgan drove in an RBI in each of her at-bats in the inning, bringing home Sydney Sherrill on a single and also scoring Elizabeth Mason on a sacrifice fly. Cassidy Davis also recorded an RBI in each of her plate appearances, reaching on an error with the bases loaded and also drawing a bases-loaded walk. Freshman Chloe Culp lined a two-run single to right field and redshirt freshman Kiersten Landers followed with a two-RBI single of her own.
Sherrill opened the FSU third inning with a hit-by-pitch and quickly scored on an RBI triple by Devyn Flaherty. Morgan drove in another run with an RBI single up the middle and was pinch-run for by Kaley Mudge. Josie Muffley walked and Culp brought in Mudge with an RBI single to left. Landers closed out the scoring with a single up the middle as the Seminoles extended their lead to 17-0.
Extra-base hits were on the menu for Florida State in the bottom of the fourth as Sherrill and Flaherty hit consecutive solo home runs, while Mudge and Kaia LoPreste followed with back-to-back doubles. Culp gave the Seminoles a school record in runs scored with her third hit of the game, a two-run home run to center to make it 22-0 Florida State.
Sophomore Kathryn Sandercock (1-0) got the start in the circle for the Seminoles and was perfect in her 3.0-inning appearance with a pair of strikeouts. She finished with just 26 pitches in the win, including a four-pitch inning in the second.
Bianca Cruz pitched 1.1 innings of relief in her collegiate debut, striking out two while allowing one it. Kara Bilodeau closed out the game for the Noles, retiring each of the two batters she faced.
Game 2: No. 8 Florida State 8, No. 1 Alabama (5 innings)
Similar to the first game of the day, Florida State struck first and took a 2-0 lead in the opening frame against Alabama, as Davis lined a two-out, two-run home run to left, scoring Sherrill.
The Seminoles grew their lead to 8-0 in the third inning as Florida State added six more runs off Alabama’s Sarah Cornell, who was the 2019 SEC Pitcher of the Year. Josie Muffley started the inning with a solo home run to left for her first HR as a Seminole. After a single by Landers and a walk to Sherrill, Davis brought in a run with an RBI single to center. Morgan squeezed home another run with a bunt single, and Shelnutt hit her second three-run home run of the day to close out the scoring in the inning.
FSU starting pitcher Caylan Arnold (1-0) tossed a complete game in the victory, scattering two hits and two walks over 5.0 innings as no Alabama runner advanced beyond second base in the game.
The Seminoles will close out the 2020 JoAnne Graf Classic on Sunday, February 9 with a game against Detroit Mercy at 11:00 a.m. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra and links for the broadcast, tickets and live stats will be 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 Troy Cameron, 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.
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.