ATLANTA — Falling behind 3-0 in the first two innings, the Seminoles earned a come-from-behind win on Thursday morning as No. 10 Florida State (45-10) defeated Louisville (33-20) by a score of 7-4 to advance to the semifinals of the 2018 ACC Softball Championship at Shirley Clements Mewborn Stadium.
Florida State has won 13 consecutive games in the ACC Softball Championship and will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the 13th consecutive season.
“Love the fight and trust of this team,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “After giving up some early runs and struggling the first time through the order, no one doubted, lost focus or stopped competing. Meghan came in and pitched extremely well for us in relief and we took advantage of our at-bats throughout the game. We expect another challenge tomorrow and I am looking forward to it.”
Louisville took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Sidney Melton hit the second pitch of the game over the wall for a solo home run, her third of the season.
The Cardinals added two more runners in the second inning, ending the day in the circle for FSU starting pitcher Kylee Hanson. Louisville loaded the bases with one out on singles by Nicole Pufahl, Blaire Bass and Kyra Snyder. Meghan King entered to pitch for the Seminoles and an FSU error allowed the second run of the game to score. A walk to Melton pushed the UofL lead to 3-0 before King ended the inning with a groundout and a strikeout.
Sydney Sherrill cut the Louisville lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning, hitting a two-run home run to center to score Carsyn Gordon, who walked earlier in the inning.
The Seminoles scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to move in front, 6-3. Elizabeth Mason led off with a single up the middle and Cali Harrod followed with a walk on four pitches. A wild pitch by Louisville relief pitcher Danielle Watson moved the runners to second and third, allowing Anna Shelnutt to tie the game with a sacrifice fly to right field.
FSU took the lead on a UofL error off the bat of Jessie Warren and she came in to score on a two-out RBI single by Gordon to right field. Sherrill continued the inning with a single off the third base bag, and a Zoe Casas ground ball to second base was misplayed to allow Gordon to score. Korina Rosario entered to pinch run at first and stole second, but a groundout ended the inning.
Shelnutt hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, her third HR of the season, to push the FSU advantage to 7-3.
Louisville scored an unearned run in the sixth inning to make it a 7-4 game. A walk, an FSU fielding error and a single loaded the bases for the Cardinals with nobody out. King retired the next batter with a strikeout, and a ground ball to Warren at third was almost an inning-ending double play, but Alison Szydlowski beat the throw at first, allowing a run to score.
King retired the first batter of the Louisville seventh inning and was replaced in the circle by Cassidy Davis. The sophomore allowed a pair of singles before a ground ball to Warren at third ended the game with a double play. King improved to 18-6 with the win, allowing one unearned run and three hits over 5.0 innings with three walks and three strikeouts. Hanson allowed three runs, two earned, with four hits and a strikeout in her 1.1-inning start.
The No. 1-seed Seminoles advance to play the winner of No. 4-seed Boston College (29-22) and No. 5-seed Notre Dame (31-20) on Friday, May 11 at 1:00 p.m. Friday’s semifinal will be broadcast on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN), as well as on ACC Network Extra and the Fox Sports Go app. Broadcast links and live stats will be available on the softball schedule page on Seminoles.com.
Prior to Thursday’s game, FSU freshman Sydney Sherrill was selected as one of the 10 finalists for the 2018 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award.
Sherrill was joined by Jocelyn Alo (Oklahoma), Meghan Beaubien (Michigan), Mia Davidson (Mississippi State), Mary Haff (Arkansas), Janae Jefferson (Texas), Aaliyah Jordan (UCLA), Rachel Lewis (Northwestern), Gabbie Plain (Washington) and Katie Prebble (Gardner-Webb).
The top three finalists will be released on May 23. The Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony at the Women’s College World Series banquet on May 29.
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