Tallahassee - The No. 8/9 Florida State Seminoles (44-6, 21-3 ACC) used three big innings to sweep their sixth ACC opponent of the season with a 9-1 win over Syracuse (20-22, 10-11 ACC) in six innings. FSU has now won 18 of its last 19 ACC games and 39 of its last 44.
“We changed the lineup a bit today and really talked to them about putting together a game plan for the team,” said head coach Lonni Alameda. “It’s all about team wins right now. From defense to pitching to hitting, we put that together today. It is outstanding to see what we are doing at the end of the season as a team.”
The Seminoles took an early 2-0 lead in the first without recording an out as Maddie O’Brien led off the game with a walk and Tiffani Brown followed with a perfect bunt single a batter later. Kelly Hensley then worked a full count and drilled a double to right center to score both base runners.
Jessica Burroughs got the start in the circle for FSU and pitched great in a limited outing. She only faced seven batters over 2.0 innings of shutout work, striking out three and allowing only one hit.
Lacey Waldrop came in to relieve Burroughs and pitched the final 4.0 innings to get the win. She allowed two hits and a walk to the first four batters she faced, which cut the FSU lead to 2-1, but settled in and only allowed one base runner in the final 3.2 innings.
Waldrop finished with seven strikeouts, allowing only two hits, one unearned run and one walk in the victory to improve to 29-4 on the season. Her 29 wins matches Jessica van der Linden’s mark from 2004 for eighth on the FSU single-season record list.
The ‘Noles broke it open in the third after Courtney Senas drew her second walk of the game and came in to score on a double by Victoria East. A single by Alex Powers put runners on the corners for Celeste Gomez. The senior catcher took the first pitch she saw and crushed it over the left field wall to give FSU a 6-1 lead after three innings.
FSU closed out the game with a three-run sixth inning. After Maddie O’Brien popped out in the third to end her reached base streak at 18 consecutive plate appearances, Syracuse felt comfortable pitching to her again and the shortstop led off the inning with a double off the wall in right center.
Walks to Hensley and Bailey Schinella loaded the bases for Victoria East. A wild pitch during her at bat brought in a run and made it 7-1 FSU. East would eventually walk to reload the bases.
Powers came to the plate and knocked a single back up the middle, scoring two runs, to give Florida State the 9-1 mercy-rule victory.
Next weekend, the Seminoles will wrap the regular season with a three-game series against Georgia Tech on April 26-27. Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday’s game will start at 12:00 p.m. We will be celebrating Senior Day on April 27 to honor our six seniors who have given so much to this program.
Follow Florida State softball on Twitter (@FSU_Softball) and Instagram (fsusoftball), and like our Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUsoftball) to keep with everything about Seminole softball throughout the 2014 season.