PHOENIX — Falling for the first time 2019, No. 1 Florida State (23-1) earned a doubleheader split on the road at Grand Canyon (11-8) on Wednesday night. The Lopes took game one by a score of 5-3, and the Seminoles won game two, 11-1, in six innings.
The loss in game one of the doubleheader snapped FSU’s season-opening and overall winning streaks at 22 and 28 games, respectively. They both stand as the second-longest streak in both categories.
The Noles scored a total of six runs in the first inning on Wednesday night, marking the 16th time in 24 games that the Noles have scored a run in the first inning. FSU has scored 61 of its 196 runs this season in the first inning. The Seminoles scored 56 first inning runs in all of the 2018 NCAA National Championship season.
“Pleased with how we bounced back in game two after the loss,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Credit to Grand Canyon. They are a tough, competitive team that can swing it. They played good defense and took advantage of their opportunities, and we have a lot of learning moments from tonight.”
Game One: Grand Canyon 5, No. 1 Florida State 3
The Seminoles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game one on back-to-back solo home runs by Carsyn Gordon and Sydney Sherrill. It marked the fifth time this season that Florida State had hit consecutive home runs this season.
Cali Harrod led off the FSU third inning with a walk, stole second and came in to score on an RBI single by Gordon.
The Seminoles threatened in the top of the fifth inning on two-out singles by Gordon and Sherrill put runners on the corners, but an attempted first-and-third play ended with Gordon retired at the plate to end the inning.
After retiring the first six batters of the game, including three strikeouts, the first hit allowed by FSU starting pitcher Meghan King was a solo home run to left by Kaileigh Holland in the third inning. It would be the only batter to reach base until the bottom of the fifth as the Lopes opened the inning with back-to-back doubles by Sierra Smith and Savannah Tourville cut the FSU lead to 3-2.
Following an infield single, GCU tied the game at 3-3 on an RBI single to right by Jordon Keeton with one out. King left a pair of runners stranded after a pop out and a line out.
GCU took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as doubles by Taylor Olsen and Tourville put the Lopes in front 4-3, ending King’s day in the circle. Cassidy Davis entered with two outs in the inning and, after hitting a batter, allowed another run to score on an RBI single to left.
Makinzy Herzog hit an infield single with one out in the top of the seventh, bringing the tying run to the plate for Florida State, but a pop out and a line out ended the game.
King (10-1) lost her first game in her last 28 appearances, allowing five runs on seven hits with zero walks and seven strikeouts over 5.2 innings. Davis posted a strikeout and allowed a hit in her 0.1 innings of relief.
Game Two: No. 1 Florida State 11, Grand Canyon 1 (six innings)
Florida State came back strong in game two as the Seminoles batted around in the first inning, bringing in four runs on an RBI double by Gordon, a two-run single by Elizabeth Mason and an RBI double by Herzog.
The Noles made it a 7-0 game after the top of the second inning on an RBI double by Sherrill and RBI singles from Zoe Casas and Davis.
Singles by Mason and Casas put runners on first and second with one out in the FSU fourth inning, and as Herzog was retired on a close play at first for out number two, Mason aggressively scored from second on the play to extend the lead to 8-0.
FSU starting pitcher Kathryn Sandercock shined in the circle on Wednesday night, allowing only one baserunner on a hit-by-pitch through the first 3.1 innings of the game, before Shea Smith hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.
Florida State scored three runs in the top of the sixth as the Noles loaded the bases with nobody out on singles by Mason and Casas, along with a walk by Deja Bush. Herzog hit an RBI groundout to score Mason and Savannah Parker made it an 11-1 game with a two-run double to right center.
Herzog entered to pitch for Sandercock to start the GCU fifth inning and she retired all six batters she faced and posted four strikeouts. Herzog has not allowed an earned run through her first 19.0 innings of work in her career, striking out 20 and giving up just eight hits.
Sandercock improved to 8-0 on the season giving up just one run on two hits over 4.0 innings without a walk with two strikeouts.
The Seminoles will wrap up their 10-game road trip this weekend with a three-game series at Arizona (17-5) on March 8-10. All three games will be streamed online for free through the Pac-12 Networks. Links for the broadcast, live stats and ticket information will be available 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.