Freshmen Carry No. 4 FSU Over Virginia
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Playing in the ACC Softball Championship for the first time didn't faze the crop of FSU freshmen as the first-year Seminole players combined for three home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored as No. 4 Florida State (49-6-1) earned a 16-0 win in five innings over Virginia (22-32) in the quarterfinal round of the tournament on Thursday.
The Seminoles matched or set seven ACC Tournament records in the game, highlighted by Anna Shelnutt as her two home runs matched a tournament single-game record and her seven RBI broke the previous record of five. The team also set new single-game records of runs scored in a game (16) and runs scored in an inning (12), among others.
“I'm really pleased with the way we came out,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Hats off to Virginia for a great season. I think after our trip to Oregon and having some team meetings, swinging the bat and looking for certain pitches was a big thing for us today. We saw that one through nine and people came off the bench (and contributed). So a good start for us and we're excited about the next game.
“Our freshmen have been outstanding. I think that we've relied on them quite a bit this season. We're a very veteran team, an experienced team and our upperclassmen have been so good about talking to the freshmen and their roles and what to expect. I would imagine right now there's been some nerves but you settle quickly when you have your upperclassmen in your hip pocket talking to you. That's the leadership this season that's been really good for us.”
Virginia put the game's first baserunner on with a two-out double in the second inning by Iyana Hughes. The hit snapped a streak of 8.0 innings without allowing a hit for FSU pitcher Jessica Burroughs, including a no-hitter against the Cavaliers on March 26.
The Seminoles opened the scoring in the bottom of the second as Carsyn Gordon led off the inning with a single up the middle. Cali Harrod reached on a fielder's choice and ACC All-Freshman Team member Dani Morgan sent a pitch over the wall in right for her third home run of the season to make it 3-0 Florida State.
The inning continued with a walk to Zoe Casas and an intentional walk to Jessica Warren and Ellie Cooper drove a two-out single to center to give FSU a 4-0 lead. It marked the 30th time this season that the Noles have scored four or more runs in an inning.
Florida State scored 12 runs on 10 hits in the bottom of the third inning to break the game open. Gordon led off with a walk and Morgan hit a one-out infield single to the shortstop. Shelutt hit her first home run of the game to make it 7-0 Noles.
An RBI single by Gordon, a single by Sydney Broderick and a walk to Morgan loaded the bases for Shelnutt and she hit her second home run of the inning, and third of the season, with a grand slam off the scoreboard in left field. Korina Rosario followed with a solo home run of her own for the 16-0 final score.
Burroughs improved to 24-4 on the season, allowing just two hits over 3.0 innings with five strikeouts and zero walks. Meghan King retired all four batters she faced and Cassidy Davis closed out the final 0.2 innings of the game, allowing just one hit.
The Noles will play an ACC semifinal game against the winner of Boston College (31-21, 14-9 ACC) and Notre Dame (32-20, 13-11 ACC) on May 12 at 1:00 p.m. The semifinal game of the ACC Softball Championship will be broadcast on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN), as well as on ACC Network Extra. Links for live stats and the FSU Softball radio stream for all Florida State games in the tournament will be available on Seminoles.com.
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