CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Starting the series on Sunday due to a rain out on Saturday, No. 3 Florida State (38-5, 10-3 ACC) earned a game one victory over North Carolina (24-14, 11-5 ACC) with an 8-6 win at Anderson Stadium. An attempted game two on Sunday was rained out between lineups being submitted and first pitch being thrown.
The series will wrap up on Monday, April 15 with a doubleheader beginning at 4:00 p.m. Both games will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
“Good battle out of our kids today against a quality ACC team,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We had some big swings that kept the pressure on them, but UNC never gives up and was there at the end. Nice job by Meghan to come back in and get some big strikeouts to secure the win. While we wish we could have played another game this afternoon, it will be great to have the Noles and the ACC on national television for two games tomorrow night.”
The Seminoles had runners on second and third with one out in the first inning as Cali Harrod led off with a walk and stole second, while Sydney Sherrill reached on a UNC fielding error and stole second base was well. Elizabeth Mason flew out to the second baseman in shallow right field for out number two, and Harrod attempted to tag and score on the play, but was retired at the plate to end the inning.
Florida State got on the board in the top of the third inning as Harrod drew a two out walk, followed by a single by Carsyn Gordon and an RBI single by Sherrill to put the Noles up 1-0.
The Noles plated three runs in the top of the fourth, highlighted by a two-run triple by Zoe Casas, scoring Dani Morgan and Makinzy Herzog who each hit singles in the inning. Casas later scored on a passed ball to push the FSU lead to 4-0.
FSU starting pitcher Meghan King retired 10 of the first 11 batters she faced in the game, but the Tar Heels got a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the fourth on a walk and a single before Brittany Pickett hit a three-run home run to left center to make it a 4-3 game.
North Carolina scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 4-4. The Tar Heels got a pair of runners on base with an FSU error and an infield single, and the runners moved to second and third with two outs on a groundout. A passed ball allowed the runner to score and tie the game.
It took just one pitch for the Noles to retake the lead in the top of the sixth inning as Morgan hit her 10th home run of the season to center. A pair of four-pitch walks to Herzog and Casas allowed Harrod to extend the lead to 7-4 with a two-RBI triple down the left field line.
Cassidy Davis entered to pitch for the Noles in the bottom of the sixth and UNC’s Pickett hit her second home run of the game to make it 7-5 Seminoles.
Sherrill hit her 10th home run of the season on the first pitch of the top of the seventh to push it back to a three-run lead for the Noles.
UNC put the winning run on first base with one out in the bottom of the seventh as Davis issued a pair of walks and Kathryn Sandercock entered the circle for the Noles and walked both batters she faced as UNC cut the lead to 8-6. King came back in to pitch for FSU and ended the game with a pair of strikeouts.
King improved to 20-3 on the season, allowing four runs, three earned on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts over 5.2 innings. Davis pitched 1.1 innings of relief and gave up two runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Fans can listen to the FSU softball coaching staff, head coach Lonni Alameda and assistant coaches Travis Wilson and Craig Snider, 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.
Throughout 2018-19, the Seminoles will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Florida State and there are many events and reunions planned for all women’s sports. Head to www.seminoles.com/50th/ for more information that will be updated throughout the year.
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.