Posting a shutout for the second consecutive game in the 2017 ACC Softball Championship, No. 4 Florida State (50-6-1) secured a spot in the conference title game for the 21st time in program history after a 6-0 victory over Notre Dame (33-21) on Friday at Anderson Stadium.
It marks the eighth time in the nine years under head coach Lonni Alameda that the Seminoles will play for an ACC Championship, with the Noles earning ACC titles in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Florida State did not allow a run in four games against Notre Dame this season, outscoring the Irish by a combined score of 34-0. The Noles haven’t allowed a run to the Irish in the last 29.2 innings of the matchup, dating back to the 2016 ACC Championship Game.
“I think this time of year, it’s important to really stick to your plan at the plate,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “The coaching staff, we do scouting, we talk about it, and it sparks the dugout when you get your swing off and you’re looking for a pitch and you get that success. It sparks the dugout to keep going.
“I thought Meghan threw well. She kept us in the ballgame until we started swinging the bats. Then we made some adjustment on Nasland’s rise ball and Dani got one with the change up. It’s good to get some production there and then we finished off some good pitching with some good defense.”
Just like in Thursday’s quarterfinal game, a second-inning home run by Dani Morgan gave the Noles an early lead as the freshman hit a solo shot, her fourth of the season, to left center to put FSU up 1-0.
Two more home runs in the Seminole third inning highlighted a four-run frame as Florida State took a 5-0 lead. Ellie Cooper led off the inning with a single up the middle and came in to score on the ninth home run of the season by Alex Powers. Carsyn Gordon made it back-to-back HRs with a solo home run to left.
The inning continued with a double by Sydney Broderick and an infield single by Morgan to put runners on the corners with one out. Cali Harrod put down a sacrifice bunt, but a Notre Dame error allowed her to reach base and brought in pinch-runner Korina Rosario to give FSU a 5-0 lead.
The Noles added to their lead in the fifth inning as Morgan led off with an infield single and quickly stole second. A fly out to right moved her up to third base and a two-out RBI single by Morgan Klaevemann extended FSU’s advantage to 6-0.
Notre Dame got its first hit of the game on a two-out infield single by Ali Wester. It snapped a streak of retiring 11 in a row by FSU starting pitcher Meghan King. The Irish managed just five baserunners for the entire game on two hits, two walks and a Seminole error, but King finished her fifth shutout of the season and improved to 25-2, striking out four in the victory.
Notre Dame’s Rachel Nasland allowed five runs on six hits over 3.0 innings with two walks and a strikeout. Katie Beriont pitched the final 3.0 innings for the Irish and gave up three hits, one run and two walks with two strikeouts.