Palm Springs, CA - The 23rd-ranked Florida State softball team was an offensive juggernaut in a game one win over LIU-Brooklyn before falling to No. 22 Washington in a pitcher’s duel on Friday evening at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams Park.
The Seminoles (9-3) defeated LIU-Brooklyn 15-1 in five innings, Florida State’s fifth mercy-rule victory of the season. The Seminoles had one of their best performances at the plate while getting a great effort from redshirt senior Monica Perry in the circle.
In game two, Florida State fell to No. 22 Washington by a 2-0 score. Sophomore starter Lacey Waldrop (4-1) took the loss allowing two runs on six hits in six innings pitched while striking out three.
“We did some things well today and we also showed things we need to improve on,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “When you come to a tournament like this you are prepared to face some of the best teams in the sport. On Saturday we have to improve at some of the little things in order to play with a top-ranked team like Oklahoma.”
Against LIU-Brooklyn, the Seminoles batted an incredible .500 (14-for-28) with a pair of seven-run innings. Junior Kelly Hensley finished with career highs of three hits and five RBIs, falling just a triple shy of the cycle. Courtney Senas added her fourth home run of the season and went 2-for-5, while Tiffani Brown and Morgan Bullock each added a couple of base hits.
Perry (5-2) was dominant with four innings allowing one unearned run, two hits and eight strikeouts. Perry began the game retiring her first nine batters and overpowered the Blackbirds (2-8) throughout, getting them to chase several pitches up in the zone.
Florida State got on the scoreboard against LIU-Brooklyn in the top of the third on an RBI triple by Senas. With Brown on first base, Senas executed a hit-and-run play and hit a ball through the left center gap to score Brown.
In the same inning, Hensley stepped to the plate and on a 1-1 offering delivered a grand slam to right center to make it 5-0. It was Hensley’s second consecutive game with a round-tripper and her third of the season. Brown then came up for her second-at bat of the third inning and lined a two-run triple down the left field line to give Florida State a 7-0 lead.
Kirstin Austin came up to bat with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning and recorded an RBI single through the right side to make the score 8-0.
After a run-scoring groundout by LIU-Brooklyn trimmed its deficit to 8-1 in the fourth inning, Senas responded with a two-run home run down the left field line in the top of the fifth to make it 10-1. A pair of back-to-back bases-loaded walks by Hensley and Maddie O’Brien were followed by a three-run double from Morgan Bullock to extend the lead to 15-1.
Sophomore Bailey Schinella entered the game in the bottom of the fifth and closed out the victory for the Seminoles.
Against Washington, the Huskies notched two runs in the second inning on a run-scoring fielder’s choice to shortstop and a bloop RBI single to left field to take the early advantage.
In the top of the fifth inning, Victoria East and Hensley led off with consecutive singles to put runners on first and second base with no outs. However, Washington pitcher Bryana Walker (6-2) fought back by inducing a strikeout and consecutive pop-ups to get out of the frame unscathed. Walker finished the game with eight strikeouts and three hits allowed in a complete-game performance.
Waldrop showed her true mettle in the bottom of the fifth when she allowed a triple to start the inning. Waldrop then forced a groundout to second base by Jennie McNeill and a groundout to third base by Kaitlin Inglesby. Waldrop then made a fantastic play when she snagged a comeback liner off the bat of Hooch Fagaly to end the threat.
The Seminoles have one game on Saturday as they face No. 1 Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT.