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Florida State defeats Duke to win ACC softball tournament championship

Seminoles 2, Blue Devils 1
Florida State
Posted at 6:56 PM, May 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-15 11:36:54-04

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WTXL) — The Florida State University softball team defeated Duke University 2-1 Saturday afternoon in the Atlantic Coast Conference softball tournament championship game at Melissa Cook Stadium.

The Seminoles (50-8), the No. 1 seed in the tournament, needed late inning magic to claim the championship.

With the game tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, FSU began a two-out threat with a single by Devyn Flaherty.

Bethaney Keen followed at the plate and hit a ball to shallow left field that landed in front of the Duke outfielder for a hit.

Flaherty did not stop her momentum at second base as she tagged third base and sprinted home to beat the throw from left field to score the game-winning run.

With the win, Florida State claimed its 19th ACC championship in program history and the conference's automatic bid to compete in the 2023 NCAA Division I softball national tournament.

FSU ended a scoreless game in the bottom of the third inning on a Jahni Kerr RBI double to give the Seminoles a 1-0 lead.

Kerr led FSU in the game with two hits, with a double and an RBI.

In the top of the fifth inning, No. 2 seed Duke (45-10) took advantage of a passed ball by FSU, which led a runner from third base to score to tie the game 1-1.

In the circle, FSU's Makenna Reid got the start and pitched two innings, gave up two hits, zero earned runs and posted a strikeout for the no decision.

Kathryn Sandercock, who was named the tournament's most valuable player, pitched five innings in relief for FSU and gave up two hits, a run, zero earned runs, a walk and registered five strikeouts for the win.

The FSU pitchers limited Duke to four hits.

Cassidy Curd got the start for the Blue Devils and pitched 2 2/3 innings, while Lillie Walker pitched four innings in relief.

Along with the tournament MVP, Sandercock and teammates Kalei Harding, Mack Leonard and Josie Muffley were selected to the ACC Softball All-Tournament team.

The NCAA Division I softball tournament bracket will be released Sunday.

Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect FSU won its 19th ACC tournament championship in program history Saturday. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of ACC championships FSU has won.