CLEARWATER, Fla. — Missed opportunities plagued the Seminoles on Friday as No. 5 Florida State (6-1) was defeated by No. 1 Washington (7-1) by a score of 7-0 in FSU’s first game at the 2020 St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational. The Noles had baserunners in all seven innings, including the leadoff batter in five of the seven innings, but couldn’t take advantage as FSU batted a combined 1-for-19 (.053) with runners on base.
“That’s why we come down to a tournament like this, is to play against quality opponents,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “There are winners and learners, and there were a lot of learning moments this afternoon. We’ll go back to the hotel, regroup and focus on Minnesota tonight.”
The Seminoles got a pair of runners in scoring position in the first inning, but couldn’t push across a run in the opening frame. Dani Morgan singled through the left side, stole second and Sydney Sherrill followed with a walk. Both runners moved up a base as Elizabeth Mason was retired on a fly out to left. Morgan broke for home as a pitch by Washington’s Kelley Lynch got by the catcher, but the backstop was close enough that the ball bounced back to the catcher and Lynch was able to tag Morgan out to end the inning.
FSU starting pitcher Caylan Arnold issued a walk to start the bottom of the first inning, but a line drive to third base was caught by Sherrill to start a double play. Arnold retired the next batter on a fly out to end the inning.
Washington took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a three-run home run by Kelley Lynch. The Huskies got a pair of runners on base with a two-out single and a hit-by-pitch, and Lynch hit her first HR of the season to left to put Washington in front.
Josie Muffley led off the top of the third with a double to center and Kiersten Landers followed with an infield single. After Landers stole second, Morgan drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out. The Noles couldn’t push a run across as the next three batters were retired on a pop out and a pair of strikeouts.
Washington added another run in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run by SilentRain Espinoza to make it 4-0 Huskies.
Kara Bilodeau entered to pitch for the Noles in the bottom of the fifth inning and Washington added another run after a one-out triple to right and an RBI sacrifice bunt, extending its lead to 5-0.
Cassidy Davis began the FSU sixth inning with a walk and was pinch-run for by Kaley Mudge at first. Mudge stole second and Devyn Flaherty followed with a one-out walk. Washington brought in Gabbie Plain to pitch and she ended the inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Washington added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth after Bianca Cruz allowed all three batters she faced to reach on a pair of walks and a single. Brianna Enter came in to pitch for FSU and allowed a run to score on a bases-loaded walk and another after an FSU fielding error to make it 7-0 Washington.
Landers led off the seventh with an infield single and Sherrill reached on a Washington error, but a strikeout by Plain, her third of the game, secured the win for the Huskies.
Arnold (1-1) gave up four runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in the loss, while Bilodeau allowed one run on two hits in her 1.0 inning of relief.
The Seminoles will continue the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational later today with a game against No. 13 Minnesota at 6:00 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN3 and links for the broadcast 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.
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