TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 25th-ranked Florida State softball team defeated Appalachian State twice on Saturday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field to advance to the championship game of the Renegade Classic.
The Seminoles (12-8) won against the Mountaineers (3-6) by an 8-7 score in game one before winning 3-0 in game two. Florida State faces the winner of the Troy-Southern Miss semifinal on Sunday morning at approximately 11:15 a.m.
“Today was a good bounce-back day for our ballclub,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We played with a lot of energy and effort and executed better at the plate. I thought our pitcher Monica Perry pitched a good game in the second game, which was the semifinals. We’ll wait and see who we play on Sunday and will prepare for a tough game against either Troy or Southern Miss.”
Playing in chilly weather with the wind blowing in, Florida State managed to use its power game to its advantage with six extra base hits on the day. The Seminoles scores eight runs on seven hits in game one, using two-hit games from Victoria East and Courtney Senas to spark them at the top of the order.
In the first game, redshirt junior reliever Jessica Nori (1-0) got her first win of the season pitching three middle relief frames and allowing just one unearned run while surrendering three hits. Starter Lacey Waldrop earned her first save of the season when she entered the seventh with the bases loaded and induced two immediate outs before working hard for the third out, which was a groundout to shortstop by Appalachian State’s Sarah Warnock.
In the second game, junior Kelly Hensley finished 3-for-3 with a two-run home run to lead Florida State past the Mountaineers. Hensley had her second 3-hit game of the season and her two RBIs mark her sixth multiple-RBI game of the season. Starter Monica Perry (7-5) recorded her second shutout of the season, throwing seven innings and allowing four hits with four strikeouts.
Victoria East started the day well by leading off the bottom of the first with a double to the right center gap. After a successful first-and-third situation executed by East and Senas, Maddie O’Brien grounded out to shortstop to bring in Senas from third base and give Florida State a 2-0 lead. Celeste Gomez then grounded out sharply to shortstop to bring home Hensley, giving the Seminoles a 3-0 lead in game one.
The Seminoles scored three more runs in the second inning, including two off a long double to the left center wall from Senas. The first run of the inning was scored off the bat of Morgan Bullock, who hit a slow grounder to the shortstop to drive home Kirstin Austin.
After Appalachian State scored three runs in the top of the third, Florida State bounced back with two of its own in the bottom half. After drawing a walk with one out, Bailey Schinella scored on a single to left field by Bullock that went under the glove of Mountaineer left fielder Ashley Seering. Bullock was then brought home on a sacrifice fly to right field from East, making it 8-3.
Appalachian State scored four runs in the top of the seventh before Waldrop closed out the game for the Seminoles.
In the tournament play game, Florida State broke a scoreless game in the top of the fifth when Senas whacked a run-scoring single up the middle to score East, who reached base on a double off the wall. Hensley then delivered a long two-run home run to left center that managed to get through a howling wind to put the Seminoles up 3-0.
Perry finished off the Mountaineers in the bottom of the seventh, forcing three consecutive groundouts to put the Seminoles in the championship game. In both games, the Seminoles scored first. Florida State is 12-1 this season when scoring first.
Every game at this weekend’s tournament is slated to be on CBS GameTracker. Follow updates for all Florida State games on the team’s official Twitter handle - @FSU_Softball.