Sports

Actions

No. 1 Seminoles Complete Perfect Weekend In Clearwater

Posted: 12:30 AM, Feb 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-18 05:30:00Z
No. 1 Seminoles Complete Perfect Weekend In Clearwater
No. 1 Seminoles Complete Perfect Weekend In Clearwater

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Whether hitting home runs or robbing them, No. 1 Florida State (11-0) remained undefeated on the season after defeating Florida Atlantic (3-7) by a score of 10-5 and capping the night with a 5-2 victory against No. 6 Tennessee (8-2) at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational on Sunday night.

The Seminoles were firing on all cylinders in their six wins at the tournament, batting .375 as a team with a .720 slugging percentage, outscoring their opponents 51-19 and crushing 15 home runs, spread among nine different players.

One ball that also seemed destined for a home run was robbed by Dani Morgan in the fourth inning on Sunday night against Tennessee, bringing back a potential game-tying HR.

The Noles are now on a 17-game winning streak, which is tied for the 13th-longest streak in program history. Florida State has nine wins over ranked teams over that span, all in the Top 10 of the polls.

“I don’t think we really knew what to expect with this weekend, but we knew it was going to be competitive,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “What we’ve seen is that we gained a lot of experience in being confident from the World Series and that has shown up here. Meghan King has been in big moments and she’s still laughing and relaxed and playing the game. I’m most impressed with how the team is playing the game within the game, and having so much fun in being in the right spot for the right pitch, or getting a swing off for the team. The mental things that we’ve been working on are showing up for us early in the season, more than it ever has before.”

Game One: No. 1 Florida State 10, Florida Atlantic 5

FSU had runners on in each of the first two innings, but did not bring a run across until the third when Carsyn Gordon lined a two-out single to right and came into score on an RBI double by Sydney Sherrill, her fourth double of the season. The Noles loaded the bases on an infield single by Elizabeth Mason and a walk to Anna Shelnutt, but a groundout ended the inning.

Kathryn Sandercock retired the first seven batters she faced in the circle, including two strikeouts and a diving catch in right center by Mason. After allowing a bunt single, FAU loaded the bases with two outs after a fielder’s choice and a single up the middle, but the Seminoles got out of the jam as Sandercock induced a ground out to second base to end the inning.

The Seminoles threatened in the top of the fourth inning as they loaded the bases on singles by Zoe Casas and Cali Harrod, as well as a walk by Gordon, but a fly out to center left the bases full.

Florida Atlantic started the bottom of the fourth inning with a trio of singles to square the game at 1-1. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out and an infield single, along with a baserunning miscue resulted in the second out of the inning. The Noles got out of the inning with a groundout.

Casas put the Seminoles back in front with a two–run home run in the top of the fifth. Shelnutt was hit by a pitch and replaced at first on a fielder’s choice by Dani Morgan. Casas lifted her second HR of the weekend to right field to make it a 3-1 game.

After a 1-2-3 inning for FAU in the fifth, the Seminoles added three runs in the top of the sixth. FSU loaded the bases with nobody out on a single by Harrod and walks by Gordon and Sherrill. Mason drove in a pair of runs on a two-RBI single to center and Casas continued her hot weekend at the plate with another RBI single to right.

FAU took advantage of an FSU error to bring in three unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it a 6-4 game. A fielding error on a batted ball from the leadoff hitter was followed by an RBI triple to right center. The next batter was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, but Sandercock came back with a pair of strikeouts. She couldn’t get out of the inning as another hit by pitch and two singles brought in two more runs, ending her day in the circle as Cassidy Davis entered to pitch. Davis induced a ground ball to third base to leave the bases full of Owls.

The Seminoles brought nine batters to the plate in the top of the seventh, scoring four runs to make it a 10-4 game. Leslie Farris started the frame with a single and was retired on a fielder’s choice by Gordon. Sherrill followed with an infield single, but an FAU throwing error allowed Gordon to score on the play from first. Mason walked and Morgan hit an infield RBI single to third. Casas brought in two more runs on a two-out error by the Owls.

Florida Atlantic hit a solo home run to open the bottom of the seventh, but Davis pitched around an additional single in the inning to earn her first save of the season. She finished with 1.1 innings pitched and allowed one run on two hits with one strikeout.

Sandercock improved to 5-0 on the season with a 5.2 inning start, giving up four runs, two earned, on nine hits with zero walks and four strikeouts.

Game Two: No. 1 Florida State 5, No. 6 Tennessee 2

After Meghan King sent the Volunteers down in order in the top of the first, Harrod drove the second pitch of her at bat over the wall in center to put the Noles up 1-0. The Seminoles added another run in the bottom of the second inning on three consecutive singles by Shelnutt, Morgan and Casas.

Back-to-back home runs by Florida State in the bottom of the third inning extended the Seminole lead to 5-0. Gordon singled through the right side and scored on Sherrill’s HR to right center, her fourth HR of the season. Mason followed with her third home run of the season, marking the fourth time this season that Florida State had hit back-to-back home runs.

FSU starter Meghan King took a perfect game into the fourth inning, retiring the first 10 batters she faced with five strikeouts before allowing a single to Amanda Ayala. A walk and a single loaded the bases before King got the next batter to pop out for the second out of the inning. Ally Shipman lined a single up the middle, scoring two runs to cut the lead to 5-2.

Tennessee pinch-hitter Haley Bearden followed with a long fly ball to left center, but FSU centerfielder Dani Morgan jumped above the wall to rob a game-tying home run and end the inning.

The Noles put a pair of runners on in the fourth inning on singles by Davis and Harrod, but couldn’t push a run across.

The Volunteers threatened in the top of the fifth, putting runners on second and third with two outs after a pair of singles and a ground out, but the Noles got out of the inning on a line out to left field.

King retired eight of the last nine batters she faced to secure the win, improving to 5-0 on the season. King pitched a complete game, giving up five hits and two runs, with two walks and five strikeouts.

The Seminoles return home for a six-game homestand, beginning with a game against South Alabama on Wednesday, February 20 at 6:00 p.m.

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.