CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Losing a pair of close games on Monday, No. 3 Florida State (38-7, 10-5 ACC) was defeated by North Carolina (26-14, 13-5 ACC) by a score of 6-5 in nine innings in game one and 1-0 in game two.
Off the field, Florida State’s Meghan King was selected No. 11 overall in the 2019 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft by the Cleveland Comets on Monday night.
“Tonight was a tough one,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We didn’t do a great job of staying present and focused, and that resulted in several errors in the field and some difficult at bats. North Carolina battled hard all day and we didn’t consistently match that intensity. Credit to the Tar Heels on the wins tonight and now we head home to prepare for Florida on Wednesday.”
Game One: North Carolina 6, No. 3 Florida State 5 (9 Innings)
Sydney Sherrill put the Seminoles on the board in the top of the first in game one with a solo home run to left, her 11th HR of the season.
UNC tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first on a two-out RBI single by Megan Dray. The Tar Heels had put runners on with a single and a hit by pitch, and Dray’s line drive was nearly caught on a leaping attempt by Cali Harrod, but the ball bounced out of her glove for a single.
Back-to-back UNC errors off the bats of Carsyn Gordon and Sherrill allowed Florida State to score an unearned run in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead.
North Carolina scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to move in front, 3-2. After a leadoff walk, Kiani Ramsey hit an RBI double to left and she later scored on an FSU error.
Makinzy Herzog opened the FSU fourth inning with a single up the middle, moved up to third base on a pair of groundouts and scored on a UNC error to tie the game at 3-3.
UNC regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth following a leadoff single and an RBI double by Zoe Goodman.
Down to their last out, the Noles tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Dani Morgan, scoring Sherrill who singled earlier in the inning.
After allowing UNC to score a run in three of the first four innings, Herzog settled in and retired 10 in a row from the fourth to seventh inning before Ramsey singled to left and advanced to second on an FSU error with two outs in the seventh. Sherrill caught a line drive to second base to send the game to extra innings.
UNC started the bottom of the eighth with an infield single and a groundout moved the runner to second, ending Herzog’s day in the circle. Meghan King entered to pitch and ended the inning on a strikeout and a groundout.
Sherrill gave the Seminoles a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth with a solo home run to center, her 12th home run of the season. It marked the first time in her career that she hit multiple home runs in a game.
UNC got its first baserunner of the ninth inning on a one-out single, and following a walk, Brittany Pickett tied the game with a single to right. An intentional walk loaded the bases and Berlynne Delamora drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single to left.
King allowed two runs on three hits in the loss, along with two walks and one strikeout over 1.0 innings of relief. Herzog pitched a career-high 7.1 innings in the circle, giving up four runs, three earned on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Game Two: North Carolina 1, No. 3 Florida State 0
Offense was at a premium in the final game of the series as neither team got a runner to third base until the bottom of the fifth. North Carolina scored an unearned run to take a 1-0 lead after a single and a pair of Florida State fielding errors.
The Seminoles struggled to figure out UNC starting pitcher Hannah George, managing just three hits in the entire game, as the Tar Heel pitcher retired 12 batters in a row from the third to the seventh inning.
Zoe Casas lined a one-out single to center in the top of the seventh, and was pinch-run for by Deja Bush. After a fly out, Bush interfered with the second baseman to end the game.
King (20-5) allowed six hits and one earned run, along with three walks and four strikeouts in the loss.
The Seminoles return to Tallahassee for their final seven home games of the regular season, beginning on April 17 against No. 6 Florida (36-9) at 7:00 p.m., in the second game of the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown. Tickets have already been sold out to Wednesday’s game and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. Links for the broadcast and live stats will be available on the softball schedule page of Seminoles.com.
Fans can listen to the FSU softball coaching staff, head coach Lonni Alameda and assistant coaches Travis Wilson and Craig Snider, on their weekly podcast: Coaches and Coffee – The FSU Softball Podcast. Each week, the coaches talk about the current state of the Seminole softball team, chat about NCAA softball from around the country, and have a lot of fun along the way. The podcast can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or directly at our website – fsusoftballpodcast.wordpress.com.
Throughout 2018-19, the Seminoles will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Florida State and there are many events and reunions planned for all women’s sports. Head to www.seminoles.com/50th/ for more information that will be updated throughout the year.
Follow Florida State softball on Twitter (@FSU_Softball) and Instagram (fsusoftball), and like our Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUsoftball) to keep up to date with everything about Seminole softball.