TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It was 15 innings of close-fought softball on Friday night between No. 13 Florida State (32-7, 10-1 ACC) and Pitt (20-14-1, 9-4 ACC) at JoAnne Graf Field. The Seminoles earned a 2-1 walk-off victory in game one and dropped a heartbreaker to the Panthers in game two by the score of 1-0 in eight innings.
Sydney Sherrill hit four doubles on the night, two in each game, to increase her season total to 22. She extended her NCAA lead in the category this season and surpassed Alex Powers (2017) and Yuruby Alicart (2006), who had previously tied for the FSU single-season record with 19 doubles.
Florida State led the nation in doubles entering the weekend and now have 75 doubles as a team in 2018. That ranks in a tie for eighth in a single season in FSU history and the Seminoles set the school record of 94 doubles in 2017.
The loss in game two snapped FSU’s ACC winning streak at 36 games. It ends as the fifth-longest conference winning streak in NCAA history. Prior to Friday, the Seminoles hadn’t lost a conference game since a 4-0 defeat to Louisville on May 7, 2016.
“It was definitely a battle,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Pitt pitched well and got after it for all 14, 15 innings there. Good fought battle. Sometimes it falls your way, sometimes it doesn’t. Syd had a great day for us, she made an error in game one but made up for it at the end. And then gave us a chance there in the eighth, so that was fun to see. So now it is about winning the series. Really proud of our team for the streak we had in the ACC and hats off to Pitt, they definitely earned the win.”
Game 1: No. 13 Florida State 2, Pitt 1
Florida State loaded the bases in the second inning on a pair of two-out singles by Anna Shelnutt and Leslie Farris, as well as a walk by Morgan Klaevemann, but they would all be left stranded as the inning ended with a groundout.
Pitt threatened in the top of the third inning on a one-out double by Hunter Levesque and she moved up to third on a wild pitch. Kylee Hanson battled back with her sixth strikeout of the game and Cali Harrod kept the game scoreless by jumping to catch a ball heading to left field to end the inning.
The Seminoles got additional runners on base with a double by Jessie Warren in the third, a hit-by-pitch to Shelnutt and a single by Farris in the fourth, as well as walks to Carsyn Gordon and Warren in the fifth, but the game remained tied at 0-0 after five complete innings.
Pitt scored the first run of the game in the sixth inning as Levesque led off the inning with an infield single. Erin Hershman put down a sacrifice bunt, but a Seminole throwing error went into right field, scoring Levesque and putting Hershman on second base. A sacrifice bunt moved her to third with one out, but Florida State got out of the inning with a 1-0 deficit after a groundout to short and a leaping catch by Farris at second base to end the inning.
The Seminoles walked off the Panthers in the bottom of the seventh for the 2-1 victory. Klaevemann drew her second walk of the game and Gordon hit a one-out single to left and the FSU runners ended up on second and third on the play. Sherrill ended it with her second double of the game and 20th of the season to secure the Seminole walk-off victory.
Hanson improved to 18-3 with the win and has won 12 consecutive appearances in the circle. She allowed just one unearned run on two hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in her seventh complete game of the season.
Game 2: Pitt 1, No. 13 Florida State 0
Offense was at a premium in game two as neither team managed to get a runner to third base until the seventh inning.
Gordon erased a Pitt single in the top of the third inning, catching a one-out pop out at first to tag the runner for an inning ending double play. Gordon hit a two-out double in the bottom of the third, but would be left stranded.
Elizabeth Mason hit a one-out single in the FSU fourth and Zoe Casas followed with a base hit of her own, but Mason got caught between second and third on the play for out number two and a fly out ended the inning.
Florida State seemed well positioned to end the game in the bottom of the seventh as Casas led off with a single to center. A passed ball and a bunt single from Shelnutt put runners on the corners, marking the first time in the game that either team had a runner each third base. FSU loaded the bases with nobody out as Farris was intentionally walked, but Pitt forced extra innings as the next three Seminole hitters were retired on a pair of strikeouts and a pop out.
The Panthers scored the game’s only run in the top of the eighth as Marissa DeMatteo singled to center to lead off the inning. FSU starter Meghan King retired the next two batters on a pop out and a strikeout, but Giorgiana Zeremenko extended the inning with a single to left center. Olivia Gray drove a 1-2 pitch into right field for an RBI single to bring in a run and put Pitt in front 1-0.
Sherrill hit her second double of the game to lead off the FSU eighth inning, but a lined shot by Warren that seemed destined for extra-bases in left center was snagged out of the air on a leaping catch by Pitt SS Gray, and she dove back to tag Sherrill for the double play. A groundout to the circle ended the game for the Pitt victory.
King (13-4) scattered seven hits over 8.0 innings, allowing just one run and one walk while tying a season high with seven strikeouts.
The Seminoles and Panthers will wrap up their series on Sunday, April 8 at 12:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra and links for video, FSU Softball Radio and live stats will be available on the softball schedule page on Seminoles.com.
Admission is free for all regular season home games at JoAnne Graf Field, with reserved premium seating behind home plate available through the Seminole Boosters. For more information on the premium seating, contact Alex Douglas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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