PITTSBURGH, PA. (Seminoles.com) — The sixth-ranked Florida State softball team (38-9-1) picked up two wins against Pittsburgh (17-29) on Saturday at Vartabedian Field. The Seminoles pulled through 5-4 in Game 1 before taking Game 2, 14-0.
The four-game series will conclude on Sunday at 10 a.m.
“I’m really excited about our fight today,” FSU head coach Lonni Alameda said. “From pitch one to last pitch of a doubleheader, I thought we put it together as a team today and it was really good to see us come back after a tough game last night, knowing that Pitt is fighting to get into the ACC Tournament. It was a team day.”
After going ahead 5-4 in the seventh inning in Game 1, the Seminoles got the bats going in Game 2, stringing together 14 runs on 12 hits, including two home runs from freshman Kalei Harding.
Harding smacked her fourth and fifth of the season, recording her second multi-home run game of the year.
“It was nice to get Kalei swinging it,” Alameda added. “As a freshman, it’s a long season, and trying to figure it out and usually you’re a sophomore by this time, so to be able to separate that and get after it and free-swinging."
Redshirt freshman Devyn Flaherty paced the Noles, combining for five hits and five RBI’s in eight at-bats.
Redshirt junior Syndey Sherrill is now tied for sixth place with Courtney Senas on FSU’s all-time RBI’s list at 158 after she drove in redshirt freshman Kaley Mudge in the second inning of game two.
Redshirt junior Danielle Watson (8-1) picked up her first shutout win of the season in Game 2, working 3.2 innings, striking out seven of the 14 batters she faced.
Game 1 - Florida State 5, Pitt 4
Redshirt senior Caylan Arnold faced 21 batters over five innings, striking out eight. Arnold gave up three hits and three runs, all earned and also walked three batters.
Redshirt senior Dani Morgan led off the third inning with a single up the middle and was sacrificed over to second. Morgan moved to third after Sherrill grounded out to first. Harding and redshirt senior Cassidy Davis drew two-out walks for senior Elizabeth Mason.
With the count 3-1, Mason delivered a hard-hit single off the pitcher’s glove, driving in two in order to go ahead 2-0.
Davis scored from second after Flaherty sent an RBI-single into left field in order to make it 3-0.
After four-straight swinging strikeouts, the Panthers cut the lead to one after a two-run home run with two outs.
With two runners on in the fifth inning, Flaherty stole third and redshirt senior Anna Shelnutt stole second with redshirt sophomore Josie Muffley at the plate. She drove in a run to extend the lead to 4-2.
Redshirt sophomore Kathryn Sandercock entered the game in the sixth inning after Arnold issued a lead-off walk.
An error put another runner on for the Panthers before a 2 RBI-double to right field tied the game up.
Flaherty stepped to the plate with one out and smacked a double to center. Shelnutt came through with an RBI-single to left, as Flaherty scored from second to break the tie, 5-4.
Sandercock (21-1) stepped in the circle and struck out the final three batters, picking up her 21st win of the season.
Game 2 - Florida State 14, Pitt 0
With the bases loaded in the opening frame, Flaherty hit a 2RBI- double to center, putting the Noles in front 2-0.
The Seminoles added three runs in the second inning, all with two outs. Mudge went two-for-two at the plate, smacking a double before Sherrill delivered an RBI-single to right field.
Mudge finished the game with four at-bats, three hits and one RBI.
“I just think there were some really good team at-bats today,” Alameda added. “Kaley Mudge getting to come in and do some great things. It’s nice to see them get free and have some fun.”
Harding crushed her fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot, extending the lead to 5-0.
FSU added two more in the third. Davis led off with a single and freshman D’Aun Riggs entered as a pinch-runner. Riggs stole second, her eighth of the season.
Shelnutt hit a single to right, moving Riggs to third. Riggs beat the play at the plate as Muffley reached on a fielder’s choice, making it 6-0.
Shelnutt crossed home plate on an RBI-sac fly to right by Morgan in order to make it 7-0.
FSU kept the bats hot in the fourth, scoring six runs.
With the bases loaded, Flaherty delivered a 2 RBI-double, and Riggs added one more, thanks to a throwing error (9-0). Following a pitching change by Pitt, redshirt freshman Kaia LoPreste hit an RBI double.
LoPresete scored on a sac-fly from freshman Carson Saabye and Mudge added an RBI-double to make it 13-0.
Harding added a solo shot in the top of the fifth, extending the lead to 14-0.
Emma Wilson entered the game for Watson in the fourth inning, working 1.1 innings and striking out one after facing six batters.
Links for the broadcast and live stats are available on the softball schedule page on Seminoles.com.
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