TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In a rematch of the 2014 NCAA Tallahassee Super Regional, No. 5 Florida State (6-3) and No. 7 Michigan (7-1) played a doubleheader that showed why they are two of the top teams in the country. Michigan won two tight games 6-5 in Game 1 and 2-1 in Game 2.
“We are playing the month of February trying to get better every pitch and I couldn’t be more proud of how this team fought today,” said head coach Lonni Alameda. “Losing six seniors, we are still trying to find our identity and learn what we’ve got out there.
“Michigan is a great program with many returners that have experience in games and situations like this. We’re building that for ourselves and the fight that this team showed being one pitch away at the end in both games will only help us moving forward.”
In game one, Michigan scored twice in the second inning as an RBI triple to right center by Kelsey Susalla scored Lauren Sweet to give Michigan a 1-0 lead. A pop fly behind third base a batter later was dropped by Jessica Warren, allowing Susalla to score from third.
The Wolverines extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning on a solo home run to left center by Sierra Romero.
FSU got one back in the bottom of the third after Macey Cheatham led off the inning with a single up the middle. She came in to score two batters later on an RBI double to left center by Maddie O’Brien.
Bailey Schinella followed with her second base hit of the game to put runners on the corners with one away. However, both would be stranded after a pop out and a ground out. Schinella finished game one with a career-high three hits.
FSU starter Jessica Burroughs allowed a leadoff walk to Sweet to open the fourth inning. The Wolverine moved over to third on two wild pitches and scored later in the inning on a single to center by Abby Ramirez to give U-M a 4-1 lead.
Morgan Klaevemann started the FSU fourth with a slap single to the second baseman and ended up on second base after a throwing error by U-M’s Ramirez. An infield single by Alex Kossoff and an RBI bunt single by Ellie Cooper brought Klaevemann in to score and cut the lead to 4-2.
Later in the inning, a Cheatham sacrifice bunt setup an RBI groundout from Warren to make it a 4-3 ballgame. O’Brien stepped to the plate with a runner on third and gave the Noles a 5-4 lead with a two-run blast to center, her first home run of the season.
Lacey Waldrop came in to relieve Burroughs to start the fifth inning. Burroughs ended the first game with 4.0 innings pitched, five hits, four runs, three earned, with one walk and zero strikeouts.
Michigan started off the sixth inning with a walk by Kelly Christner and a single by Romero. One wild pitch moved both runners up a base and a second wild pitch by Waldrop brought Christner in to score and tie the game at 5-5. A two-out single by Sweet later in the inning brought in Romero to put Michigan back on top, 6-5.
Sara Driesenga relieved starter Haylie Wagner to start the FSU fifth inning as Wagner earned the 4.0 inning victory and improved to 2-1 on the season. She allowed 10 hits and five runs without allowing a walk and recorded four strikeouts.
The Noles had several chances to tie the game down the stretch, getting multiple runners on base in each of the final three innings. Kossoff and Cooper each had singles in the fifth, Warren singles and Powers walked in the sixth, and Klaevemann singled and Cooper reached on a fielder’s choice in the seventh.
Klaevemann and Cooper were on second and third with one out in the seventh when Michigan brought in pitcher Megan Betsa. She struck out Amy Szymanowski and got Warren to pop out to right to end the game for her first save of the season.
Waldrop (4-1) took the loss in game one after allowing two runs in 3.0 innings with two hits, one walk and two strikeouts.
Betsa started game two in the circle for U-M and picked up right where she left off as the sophomore pitcher did not allow an FSU base hit until the fifth inning. The Seminoles had managed just three baserunners over the first four innings on three walks.
Michigan used a two-run inning in the third to take the lead. A pair of singles and an intentional walk to Romero loaded the bases with one out in the inning. The Noles nearly ended the threat after a force out at home, but a two-out, two-run single to right by Sweet gave the Wolverines the lead. Seven of the eight Michigan runs scored over both games came with two outs in the inning.
Kossoff led off the Seminole fifth with a triple to center for FSU’s first hit of the game. She came in to score, and cut the lead to 2-1, on the next pitch as a beautiful bunt by Cooper through the drawn in defense went for a base hit.
FSU threatened in the seventh of game two as well, placing the winning run on base after two-out walks by Cooper and Rylan Harvey, but a groundout to third by Warren would end the game and give Michigan the 2-1 victory.
Betsa improved to 3-0 on the season with the win, allowing two hits, one run and six walks in 7.0 innings along with five strikeouts.
Waldrop (4-2) scattered seven hits over seven innings, and allowed just two runs in the loss. She walked one and recorded four strikeouts.
FSU will wrap up the Unconquered Invitational on Sunday with a game against Nebraska at 12:15 p.m.