RALEIGH, N.C. (seminoles.com) – Sophomore pitcher Lacey Waldrop pitched seven superb innings on Sunday afternoon as the Florida State softball team won a pitchers’ duel, 2-0, to earn a three-game sweep of NC State this weekend at Dail Stadium in Raleigh, N.C.
The victory for the Seminoles (17-8, 3-0) marks the second straight season Florida State has started 3-0 in conference play. Last season, Florida State also swept NC State in its conference-opening series at home and has defeated the Wolfpack eight consecutive times.
Waldrop was dominant on Sunday, striking out 10 of her 25 batters faced and allowing just three hits. The Chester, Va. native got stronger as the game wore on, retiring 13 of her last 14 batters faced. In her two games started against the Wolfpack this weekend, Waldrop combined to go 2-0 with a 0.55 ERA and had 22 strikeouts in 12.2 innings pitched.
“Lacey was fantastic this whole weekend in the circle. Our performance in these three games gives us a real boost of confidence,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “Lacey showed a lot of poise out there and kept sticking to her pitches. This is the second straight year we’ve started 3-0 in conference play and we need to continue playing at this level going forward.”
Florida State managed just three hits in 23 at-bats against NC State’s Emily Weiman (10-7), but one big swing from Maddie O’Brien was all they need as she connected on her second home run of the season in the first inning. In all three games, Florida State scored at least one run in the first inning and stole momentum from the Wolfpack early.
The Wolfpack threatened to score in the first inning after mustering two base hits off Waldrop, twice its total from Saturday’s one-hit performance. Kirsty Grant recorded a single through the left side with one out, and Hanna Sommer followed with a bloop single to centerfield. NC State’s Chelsea Tate advanced both runners on a groundout to shortstop, but Waldrop forced Caitlin Dent to line out to Maddie O’Brien at shortstop to end the inning.
O’Brien led off the top of the second inning with her second home run of the season, an opposite-field solo shot to left field. NC State starter Emily Weiman kept going away at the cleanup hitter and O’Brien recognized the pitch she wanted and made the most of it, giving Florida State its sixth home run hit over the three-game series.
The Seminoles manufactured their second run of the game when Courtney Senas reached base on a walk with one out in the third. On an attempted hit-and-run, Senas stole second base. Kelly Hensley then drove in Senas on a hard single to centerfield, as NC State centerfielder Caitlin Dent’s throw was just off to the side of catcher Kirsty Grant. Senas snuck her foot on the corner of the plate right before the tag was made, giving Florida State a 2-0 lead.
Florida State begins a seven-game homestand starting with a doubleheader on Tuesday against FIU at 5 p.m. and approximately 7 p.m. The Seminoles host Tennessee State on Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m., then host the Sunshine Classic on Friday through Sunday with Minnesota and Georgia Southern.