March 25, 2018
Softball Sweeps Syracuse To Remain Perfect In ACC Play


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Holding off a late rally by the Orange, No. 14 Florida State (26-6, 6-0 ACC) continued its undefeated start to conference play with a 5-4 win over Syracuse (15-11, 4-5 ACC) on Sunday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field.

Florida State’s 7-8-9 hitters provided the bulk of the offense in the series finale, as Zoe Casas, Korina Rosario and Leslie Farris batted a combined 5-for-9 with a Casas double, a Farris home run, three RBIs and two runs scored.

The victory marks the 32nd ACC win in a row for Florida State, moving the Seminoles into a tie with Fresno State for the eighth-longest conference winning streak in NCAA history, matching the streak the Bulldogs put together in the Mountain West in 2015-16.

It also completed the 33rd sweep in the last 43 ACC series for FSU, as the Seminoles improved to 113-10 (.919%) in their last 123 regular season conference games, dating back to 2012.

“When you talk about three games in a row, Sunday’s are always going to be mental and emotional games,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “You’ve seen them, they’ve seen you and so it becomes a little more strategic and more mentally exhausting at times. That was a huge sweep for us and Romero is a great pitcher.

“Leslie Farris has been thrown into a lot of positions for us this year and has kept fighting through the mental side of it all with the highs and the lows. With the injuries we’ve had, for her to step in has been awesome. We recruit to versatility and right now we are finding ways to win and everyone is contributing off the bench. That’s been outstanding to build and when we do get our injured players back, we are going to be a strong unit.”

Florida State made Syracuse starter Alexa Romero work in the first inning as the sophomore tossed 23 total pitches, but it was the first one of Carsyn Gordon’s at bat that made the biggest impact as the junior first baseman launched her sixth home run into the trees beyond left field for a 1-0 FSU lead.

Syracuse battled back in the top of the second behind a pair of walks by Bryce Holmgren and Lailoni Mayfield to open the inning. FSU’s Kylee Hanson recorded a strikeout and a flyout before Michala Maciolek hit a double to center that seemed destined to give the Orange the lead, but after Holmgren scored, the relay from Rosario to Sydney Sherrill to Elizabeth Mason gunned down Mayfield at the plate to end the inning tied at 1-1.

The first pitch to Cali Harrod to open the Seminole third inning resulted in FSU’s second run of the game as the junior lined a triple into the gap in right center. The relay from the Syracuse 2B was wide of third base and went out of play to award Harrod home plate and put FSU up 2-1.

The Seminoles broke the game open in the fourth inning, plating three runs. Mason got the inning started with a leadoff walk and ended up on third after a stolen base and a Syracuse throwing error. Rosario drove a two-out RBI single up the middle and Farris followed with her first career home run to extend the lead to 5-1.

Syracuse scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning to cut the FSU lead to 5-2. After allowing a leadoff single to Neli Casares-Maher, Hanson was replaced in the circle by Cassidy Davis. The sophomore pitcher struck out the first batter she faced, and a fielder’s choice to third was not caught at second base, allowing the Orange to have runners on the corners with one out. A two-out RBI single to right by Alicia Hansen brought in a run, but Davis got out of the inning with a groundout to short.

Sherrill added to her ACC-leading double total with an extra-base hit to lead off the Seminole fifth inning. It marked her 12th double of the season, which tied for fifth in the NCAA entering the weekend. She would be stranded after SU reliever Miranda Hearn retired the next three batters.

Meghan King came in to pitch for the Noles in the sixth inning and the Orange put runners on the corners with a pair of one-out hits, but King kept Syracuse off the board with a strikeout and a ground out.

The Orange battled until the final out as Jessica Heese drew a walk and Gabby Teran knocked a two-out single to center. The runners moved up to second and third on a failed pickoff attempt at second, and Holmgren brought them both in on a single down the left field line to put the tying run on first base. King ended the game with her third strikeout to secure the 5-4 win.

King earned her first save of the season and sixth of her career, moving into a tie for seventh all-time in FSU history. She finished with 2.0 innings pitched, giving up four hits, two runs, one earned with a walk and three strikeouts.

Hanson won her eighth game in a row to improve to 14-3 on the season, striking out six in 4.0 innings with two hits, two walks, two runs and one earned. Davis faced five batters in her 1.0 innings of shutout relief, allowing one hit and striking out one.

Florida State will travel up to Atlanta, Ga., for its first ACC road trip as Georgia Tech (19-10, 6-1 ACC) will host the Noles on March 30-April 1. All three games will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, and all video, radio and live stats links will be available on the softball schedule page of Admission is free for all three games at Shirley Clements Mewborn Field.

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