South Bend, IN - The No. 7/8 Florida State Seminoles (39-6, 16-3 ACC) played great back and forth games with No. 23/25 Notre Dame (25-9, 6-4 ACC) on April 13 at Melissa Cook Stadium and ended up with a split of the doubleheader. Notre Dame scored three runs in the sixth of game one to take a 8-5 win, while FSU plated four in the seventh in game two to force extra innings and brought in two more in the ninth to win, 9-7.
“We knew it would be a battle coming up here,” said head coach Lonni Alameda. “They are a very aggressive swinging team. This is the first time we have played at this park and so we’re getting used to the park a little bit. The team fought all the way through. We’ve been in positions like that before but this was the first time we actually tied it up and came through, so that was pretty exciting.
“We had some big at bats today, Celeste had some good times today and I don’t think Lacey threw as well in the beginning but came back and finished off the game really well for us. It was also good to see JB challenged in some situations. It was a good all-around team win today and I think we’re starting to play some smart softball.”
The Seminoles struck first in game one as three of the first four batters of the game reached base, including an RBI single by Bailey Schinella to score Tiffani Brown who reached on a walk. It was the 22nd time that FSU had scored a run in the first inning in 2014.
Notre Dame added three runs in the second on only one hit as the Seminoles committed two fielding errors on the inning after Micaela Arizmendi was hit by a pitch to open the inning.
Florida State didn’t waste any time tying up the game as Maddie O’Brien crushed the first pitch she saw in the top of the third deep over the right field wall to make it 3-2. Kelly Hensley added a solo shot of her own two batters later with a blast to left.
The Irish took the lead right back in the bottom of the frame with singles by Jenna Simon and Arizmendi and a double by Emilee Koerner to push out to a 5-3 lead after three innings.
O’Brien showed her power again in the top of the fifth as she hit her second solo home run of the game to make it 5-4 Notre Dame. It was the second game this season that O’Brien had hit two home runs, matching her performance against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 8.
Schinella added her second single of the game a batter later and was pinch ran for by Alex Kossoff. She would come in to score later in the inning as Victoria East ripped a double to the wall in center to tie the game at 5-5.
Notre Dame put together a great two-out rally in the sixth and pushed across three runs behind two singles, and intentional walk and an RBI double to take game one, 8-5.
Lacey Waldrop (25-4) finished with 6.0 innings pitched and matched a career high allowing 10 hits and set a career high with eight runs allowed though only two were earned. She gave up two walks and struck out two in the losing effort.
Game two was much like the first with back and forth scoring and teams throwing punches and landing counter-punches. FSU scored a run in the second on four straight singles, all with two outs, with Brown’s RBI single making it 1-0 after two innings.
The Irish tied it up the fourth with a solo home run by Arizmendi off FSU starter Jessica Burroughs. The ‘Noles punched right back and took the lead in the fifth as Courtney Senas ripped a solo home run of her own to center, making it 2-1 FSU.
Notre Dame countered in their half of the fifth by loading the bases with nobody out but were only able to score one run on a sac fly as Burroughs induced a line out and foul out to get out of the jam.
FSU took a 3-2 lead in the sixth with singles from Hensley, East and Kossoff, but a double play cut the offense short and gave Notre Dame life in their half of the sixth.
Singles by three of the first four hitters for the Irish allowed them to tie the game at 3-3. After an intentional walk to Koerner to load the bases, Katey Haus crushed a grand slam to left center to give Notre Dame a 7-3 lead after six innings.
Florida State started its seventh inning rally with a walk from Brown and a single from Senas. O’Brien’s sac fly to left cut the lead to 7-4 and after Schinella’s pop out, the ‘Noles were down to their last batter.
Notre Dame made a pitching change from starter Allie Rhodes to Rachel Nasland and she tossed a four-pitch walk to Hensley to bring up East. East battled at the plate in every sense of the word, taking a 3-2 foul ball off her face yet stayed in the game. The sophomore overcame the pain and crushed a double off the wall in left center to cut the lead to 7-5.
ND went back to Rhodes in the circle and Celeste Gomez worked a full count before knocking a two-run single down the left field line to tie the game at 7-7 and force Notre Dame to hit in their half of the seventh.
Lacey Waldrop came out to pitch the seventh for FSU to end Burroughs’ day in the circle. The redshirt freshman starter ended with 6.0 innings, allowing seven runs on 11 hits with three walks and one strikeout. Waldrop shutdown the Irish with a grounder to the circle and two strikeouts to force extra innings.
There was little doing in the eighth, but the ‘Noles were able to get the leadoff batter on in the ninth on Hensley’s second walk of the game. East hit yet another clutch double and a walk to Gomez loaded the bases for pinch-hitter Alex Powers. Powers put the first pitch she saw off the wall in left center to score two runs which ended up being the difference in the game as FSU went on to win 9-7.
Waldrop pitched 3.0 nearly-perfect innings of relief to get the win and improve to 26-4 on the season. She allowed only one hit and struck out five of the ten batters she faced to help give Florida State a split in the doubleheader.
Florida State is scheduled to close out the series on Mon., April 14 at 7:00 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast on ESPNU. Due to weather coming to the area tonight and throughout the day tomorrow, the game time and television status is subject to change. Any updates will be sent out as soon as they are received.
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