College Park, MD - Powered by a big seven-run inning in the third, the Florida State softball team earned a 14-9 win over conference foe Maryland to take the three-game series at Robert E. Taylor Stadium on Sunday afternoon in College Park, Md.
The Seminoles (28-12, 7-2) were ignited by two big home runs in the third inning, include a grand slam from junior Courtney Senas, to race past the Terrapins (17-18, 4-2) in what was an excellent power-hitting display. Senas led Florida State with a career-high tying five RBIs, which included a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth.
Florida State now has 44 home runs this season, just six shy of breaking the single-season school record of 49 held in 2007.
“Our bats were tremendous all weekend. It was a good offensive display for us,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “This weekend showed we still have things to fix, but a series win in the ACC isn’t too bad. We’ve got a big week coming up and hope to keep swinging the bats well.”
Florida State has now won their first three ACC series for the second consecutive year.
Florida State pounded out seven extra base hits and used a season-high 11 walks to help advance base runners. On a cold and rainy day, the Seminoles worked the count repeatedly as Terrapin pitchers Maddie Martin and Kaitlyn Schmeiser struggled with their control all afternoon.
The Seminoles also had a season-high five doubles in the contest, including two apiece by Kirstin Austin and Victoria East. Austin’s three base hits tie her career high set earlier this season against Presbyterian.
Florida State produced 11 base hits in 25 at-bats, batting nearly .500 for the day. Sophomore Bailey Schinella finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI. Redshirt sophomore Maddie O’Brien recorded her fifth home run of the season in the top of the third to help spark the Seminoles.
Despite holding a 13-3 lead through the first 4 ½ innings, Florida State allowed five runs to Maryland in the fifth and another run in the sixth to cut the lead to 14-9. Starting pitcher Lacey Waldrop (14-5) exited the game through three innings but re-entered in the seventh inning to get the win. Cumulatively, she pitched four innings and allowed three unearned runs off four hits with three strikeouts.
Jessica Nori and Schinella each pitched in relief. Schinella threw 1.2 innings and allowed one run on one hit.
Austin’s two-run double up the middle in the first inning got things started for the Seminoles. She jumped on the first pitch and lined an extra base hit that brought home Senas and Kelly Hensley. O’Brien would later record sacrifice fly to left field to plate Morgan Bullock, giving Florida State an early 3-0 advantage.
Three unearned runs crossed the plate for the Terrapins in the bottom of the first inning. Amanda McCann started the inning by striking out on a pitch in the dirt but advanced to first base on an overthrow. She would wind up scoring on a bases-loaded groundout, and Maryland’s Nikki Maier followed with a two-run single up the middle to tie the game at 3-3.
Florida State got a break in the top of the second inning. Senas came up to bat with runners in scoring position and two outs and hit a shot to third base that was fielded cleanly but underthrown to first base for an error. Celeste Gomez would score on the play to put the Noles ahead at 4-3.
A seven-run scoring outburst in the top of the third inning helped the Seminoles tremendously. Florida State provided four base hits that contributed to the scoring, including a grand slam by Senas on a first-pitch swing to left field. Florida State was patient at the plate, drawing six walks in the frame. O’Brien’s two-run home run to left center began the big inning and Hensley crossed the plate after scoring on a wild pitch to cap the runs.
Waldrop quelled the Maryland comeback attempt by inducing three consecutive outs in the seventh inning.
Florida State begins a five-game homestand in the upcoming week, starting with No. 12 LSU on Wednesday in a doubleheader that begins at 5 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field. The Seminoles then host Boston College on April 6-7, with both games on Saturday scheduled to stream on ESPN3.com.