Jacksonville, FL -- The 19th-ranked Florida State University softball team defeated North Florida on the road in a doubleheader at UNF Softball Park, winning 8-1 in game one and 5-0 in game two, on Tuesday evening.
The victories for FSU improve its overall record to 44-11, while moving up to 29-8 this season against non-conference competition. The Seminoles are now 7-0 this season versus Atlantic Sun opponents, and are also 9-2 this year against Florida-based opponents.
In game one, FSU amassed its ninth double-digit hit performance of the season with 12 base hits in 35 at-bats. Courtney Senas finished 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, Senas’ eighth multiple-hit game of the year and her fourth three-hit performance. Tiffani Brown also recorded her fourth multiple-RBI game of the year, and stole her 39th base of the season to place her on the school’s Top 10 single-season list.
Starter Monica Perry (20-5) reached the 20-win mark in game one, throwing a complete game while allowing four hits and one run with none being earned. It was Perry’s team-leading 12th complete game of the season as she also struck out six Ospreys.
After stranding a runner on second base in the top of the second, FSU left two runners in scoring position in the third inning. Celeste Gomez led off the frame with a walk, advanced to second base on a groundout by Brown with one out and then reached third base on Shayla Jackson’s two-out single. Maddie O’Brien then stepped to the plate with two outs and hit a sharp grounder that was fielded cleanly by shortstop Kelly Dill for the final out of the inning.
Kirstin Austin’s RBI single through the right side in the fourth inning sparked a four-run outburst. Austin’s single scored Briana Hamilton from third base, and an errant relay throw home by right fielder Brittany Hendrix also allowed Senas to cross the plate to give FSU a 2-0 lead. Erika Leonard then laced a run-scoring double to the right center gap, and Brown ended the frame with an RBI triple to left center, her fourth of the season. The Seminoles’ four runs were aided by three errors committed by the Ospreys.
FSU added a run in the sixth inning when Brown’s fielder’s choice to centerfield brought home Mallory Borden to make it 5-0. Brown recorded a genuine base hit to centerfield, but base runner Kelly Hensley was thrown out at second base on a close play to wipe away the single.
Senas recorded her second home run of the season in the seventh inning of game one, a solo shot to left field. Austin scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and pinch hitter Morgan Bullock laced an RBI single to cap the scoring.
Pitcher Lacey Waldrop (19-3) had one of her most dominant performances of the season in game two, throwing six innings while surrendering just two hits with five strikeouts.
An RBI single to centerfield on a 2-2 pitch to Leonard put FSU ahead 1-0 in the first inning. Leonard’s run-scoring hit brought home Senas, who led off the second inning with a walk.
UNF’s seventh error of the day gave a run to FSU in the third inning. With one out, O’Brien’s fielder’s choice grounder to the pitcher resulted in a fielding error by UNF third baseman Alyson Bailey to bring home Brown and make it 2-0.
O’Brien’s RBI double to left field drove home Jackson, followed by a hard RBI single to left field from Hamilton to give the Seminoles a 4-0 advantage. Senas added a run-scoring single to centerfield to pad FSU’s lead to 5-0. Senas finished with another multiple-hit game in the second contest, going 2-for-3 with a triple.
The Seminoles finish their regular season with a three-game conference series at Maryland this weekend, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. FSU will look for a three-game sweep in order to clinch a No. 1 seed in next week’s ACC Championship that begins on May 10 in Chapel Hill, N.C.