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Pitching, walk-off homer lifts Florida State softball past rival Florida

With win, FSU sweeps 2-game regular season series
Kathryn Sandercock
Posted at 10:37 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 18:26:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Jahni Kerr helped the Florida State softball team end a rivalry game against Florida in style.

Ahead in the count in the bottom of the seventh inning and no out, Kerr swung the bat and launched a solo home run over right centerfield wall to give the Seminoles a 2-1 victory against the Florida Gators Wednesday night on JoAnne Graf Field at the Seminole Softball Complex.

Once Kerr rounded third base and reached home plate, she was mobbed by her teammates in celebration, while an announced attendance of 1,764 fans were mostly cheering.

With the win, the Seminoles (46-5) secured a regular season sweep of the Gators (38-14) in the two-game series during the 2022 regular season.

FSU beat UF 4-2 in 10 innings in Gainesville on April 6.

Florida had a chance to score multiple runs early in Wednesday's non-conference game.

No. 10 ranked Florida loaded the bases in the top of the second inning. With one out, Florida’s Avery Goelz grounded out, but the Gators scored a run on the play to take a 1-0 lead.

Florida State starting pitcher Kathryn Sandercock was able to limit the damage as she forced another Gator groundout to end the top of the frame.

Fifth-ranked Florida State responded in the bottom of the third inning.

FSU’s Kaley Mudge secured a two-out single.

Sydney Sherrill followed with a double to left centerfield to score Mudge to tie the game 1-all.

The game was highlighted by standout starting pitching.

Florida starting pitcher Elizabeth Hightower (12-7) pitched six innings, gave up six hits, two earned runs, two walks and struck out five batters in the contest.

Sandercock (25-1) pitched a complete game for FSU by going seven innings, gave up two hits, one earned run, two walks and struck out four batters in the circle for the win.

FSU’s Mack Leonard went 2-for-2 with a walk.

UF’s Sam Roe and Katie Kistler each had a hit.

Up next, Florida State travels to Raleigh, North Carolina to play North Carolina State in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series beginning Friday.

The series will be the regular season finale for the Seminoles. The ACC softball championship tournament begins May 11 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.