FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Back on the diamond for the first time in nearly two weeks, the Seminoles split their two games on day one of the 2020 Wooo Pig Classic. No. 8 Florida State (8-5) dropped a close game with No. 19 Baylor (16-2) by a score of 2-1, before posting an 11-1 victory over Kent State (7-4) to close out the day.
“It was nice to get back out on the field and play again,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We are still working on a few things, but pleased with how we came back in game two against Kent State. Caylan pitched really well against Baylor in the morning, but we weren’t take advantage of our opportunities offensively. Excited to come back out tomorrow and make some adjustments.
Game 1: No. 19 Baylor 2, No. 8 Florida State 1
Baylor opened the scoring in the top of the first as a walk and a double put runners on second and third with one out for the Bears. A sacrifice fly to right field by Josie Bower gave Baylor an early 1-0 lead.
The Bears added another run in the top of the third inning as a leadoff walk by Alyssa Avalos and a two-out double by Aliyah Pritchett made it 2-0.
Florida State had runners on base in each of the first four innings on singles by Kiersten Landers, Cassidy Davis, Sydney Sherrill and Elizabeth Mason, along with walks by Devyn Flaherty and Dani Morgan, but the Noles were unable to get beyond second base until the bottom of the fifth inning.
Landers reached on a Baylor fielding error with one out in the fifth and stole second base for her sixth SB of the season. Sherrill lined an RBI double to left center to cut the BU lead to 2-1. It marked her 50th career double, which moved her into a tie with Jessica van der Linden (2001-04) for third-most in FSU history.
Six of the final seven FSU batters were retired as the Seminole comeback came up short.
Caylan Arnold (2-2) pitched well, despite taking the loss on Friday. The senior allowed two runs on five hits with just two walks and a season-high 11 strikeouts. It marked the third-most strikeouts in her career, trailing a pair of 13-strikeout performances in 2018 while at Tennessee.
Game 2: No. 8 Florida State 11, Kent State 1
A pair of doubles from FSU freshmen put the Seminoles on the board in the top of the second inning against Kent State. Flaherty drew a walk and stole second, while Josie Muffley was hit by a pitch with two outs. Kaia LoPreste opened the scoring with a two-run double to the wall in left center, and Landers brought her in with an RBI double of her own, as FSU staked an early 3-0 lead.
The Noles added two more in the top of the third as Morgan led off with a single, stole second and eventually scored on an RBI groundout by Mason. Flaherty followed with a solo home run to right center, hitting the first pitch of her AB out of the park for her third round-tripper of the season to push the Seminole lead to 5-0.
Consecutive singles in the bottom of the third inning put Kent State runners on the corners with nobody out. FSU starting pitcher Kathryn Sandercock struck out the next two batters and got out of the inning with a groundout to second base.
The Golden Flashes got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run by Brenna Brownfield.
Sherrill reached on an error by the Kent State RF and got all the way to third base to begin the top of the fifth, before scoring on an RBI groundout by Davis to make it 6-1 Seminoles.
Flaherty drew her second walk in the top of the sixth and also stole her second base of the game to move into scoring position. It didn’t matter which base she was on, as she scored on Morgan Noah’s first home run of the season, a towering shot to right field to extend the Seminole lead to 8-1.
Sherrill walked to begin the top of the seventh and was pinch-run for by Maegan Tomlinson. Tomlinson stole second and Kaley Mudge followed with a walk. Davis lined a two-run double to left center and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Flaherty for the 11-1 final score.
Brianna Enter pitched the final inning for the Noles and allowed just one baserunner on a walk to close out the game. Sandercock improved to 4-1 on the year, scattering three hits and one run over 6.0 innings, along with zero walks and a career-high six strikeouts. She retired 12 of the last 13 batters she faced on the afternoon.
The Seminoles will play two more games in the Wooo Pig Classic on Saturday, February 29, taking on Baylor at 11:00 a.m., and finishing with No. 21 Arkansas at 5:45 p.m. Links for live stats and the broadcast for the game against Arkansas are available on the softball schedule page on 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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