TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State softball’s 10-game win streak was put to an end on Friday night as it fell to Minnesota, 3-2, in a competitive ballgame at the Sunshine Classic at JoAnne Graf Field.
The Seminoles (20-9) were done in on a sixth-inning two-run home run to right center off the bat of third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson. The round-tripper wound up being the game-winning hit as Gopher starting pitcher Sara Moulton re-entered the game and earned the save following two shutout innings in the sixth and seventh.
“She took advantage of the pitch at that moment, and we probably could have made a better pitch in that moment,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “There is probably a little more that could have gone our way, but these are learning experiences and we’ll get better from it. She’s a great pitcher and we knew that and we’ll look to take advantage the next time we see her.”
Richardson finished the night going 3-for-3 with three RBIs, taking responsibility for all three runs scored by the Gophers (14-9). Minnesota reliever Nikki Anderson (1-1) earned the win after throwing 2.1 shutout innings.
Florida State starting pitcher Lacey Waldrop earned a no decision in the loss. The sophomore from Chester, Va. allowed two earned runs on four hits in five innings pitched with three strikeouts. Redshirt senior Monica Perry (11-6) relieved Waldrop in the sixth and allowed the two-run home run to suffer the loss, but battled back to contain Minnesota’s offense in her final two innings pitched.
The Seminoles batted hard off Minnesota ace Sara Moulton, going 9-for-30 in the game. However, Florida State stranded at least one base runner in each inning and left a season-high 12 runners on base. With runners on base, Florida State batted 4-for-20 and could not capitalize enough when presented run-scoring opportunities.
Florida State outhit Minnesota 9-6 but came away with the loss, just the second time the Seminoles have lost this season in the given situation.
Senior centerfielder Morgan Bullock finished 2-for-3 with an RBI bases-loaded walk, her fifth multiple-hit performance this season. Redshirt sophomore Maddie O’Brien added an RBI.
Minnesota scored a run in the top of the first inning when Richardson hit an RBI single to centerfield to score pinch runner Hannah Skallman from second base. With one out in the inning, Kari Dorle recorded a double that fell just out of reach of Bullock in centerfield to help create the first score of the game.
Florida State doubled Minnesota’s run total in the bottom of the third. With two outs, O’Brien recorded a big run-scoring single up the middle to tie the game at 1-1. Celeste Gomez and Kirstin Austin followed with consecutive singles to load the bases for Bullock, who drew a bases-loaded walk off reliever Nikki Anderson to give the Seminoles a 2-1 edge. Austin’s base hit extended her hit streak to 12 games this season.
Richardson’s two-run home run on the first pitch she saw in the top of the sixth forced the Seminoles to rally in the next two innings. In the sixth, Courtney Senas reached scoring position at second base with two outs until a groundout ended the threat. In the seventh, Bullock recorded her second hit on an infield single with two outs but the game ended on another groundout.
The Seminoles return to the second day of the Sunshine Classic on Saturday. Minnesota and Georgia Southern first play at 2 p.m., followed by Florida State’s game against Georgia Southern at 4 p.m.