MOBILE, Ala. (seminoles.com) – No. 23 South Alabama received strong pitching performances from Farish Beard and Hannah Campbell to shut out the 25th-ranked Florida State softball team, 4-0, on Wednesday evening at Jaguar Field.
The Seminoles (31-14), whom entered the game with an impressive .312 team batting average, were shut out for the first time since Feb. 24 against Nebraska. It was just the fourth time Florida State was shut out this season.
The Jaguars’ (35-7) duo of Beard (16-0) and Campbell combined to pitch effectively in all frames. Beard pitched the minimum of four innings and allowed three hits while issuing two walks with six strikeouts. Campbell then entered the fifth inning and picked up the save after pitching the final three scoreless innings.
Beard continues to be perfect this season, sporting a 16-0 undefeated record.
The loss lowers Florida State’s record to 21-12 in non-conference play this season. The Seminoles are now 3-2 all-time against South Alabama but have lost their last two games against the Jaguars.
Florida State finished 4-for-23 at the plate while South Alabama went 7-for-26 in what had the makings of a pitcher’s duel early on. A three-run inning by the Jaguars in the third helped break the game open, and an insurance run in the fifth nearly put the game out of reach.
Sophomore Lacey Waldrop (16-7) allowed three runs on six hits with four strikeouts in four innings pitched. Monica Perry allowed one run in two innings pitched and struck out four in relief.
Three of Florida State’s four hits went extra bases, as Maddie O’Brien, Morgan Bullock and Kirstin Austin each recorded doubles. Freshman Victoria East had the lone single.
The first runner in scoring position occurred in the bottom of the second inning as the Jaguars threatened to score. With one out, Kaitlyn Griffith was hit by a pitch and then stole second base. Meghan Collins pushed Griffith to third base on a groundout to second base, but South Alabama’s Alex Breeden ended the inning on a soft groundout to FSU’s Courtney Senas at third base.
Florida State threatened to score in the top of the third inning. With two outs, East recorded the first base hit of the game on a sharp single to third base. The base hit marked a 10-game hit streak for the freshman. With Senas up to bat, East stole second base but was not driven home as Senas lined out to left field to finish the frame.
South Alabama recorded three runs in the third inning. The big hit was provided by Blair Johnson as she produced a bloop double to left center that drove in two runs, making it 2-0. Two batters later Haley Fagan singled up to centerfield with two outs to plate another Jaguar runner and create a 3-0 advantage.
An opportunity was missed in the top of the fifth inning when Austin led off with a double to the left center gap. Three pitches into the next batter in Bailey Schinella, Beard left the game with what appeared to be a back issue and was replaced by Campbell. The reliever walked Schinella but wound up inducing three consecutive outs to end the threat by the Noles.
Perry relieved Waldrop to begin the top of the fifth. South Alabama’s Julie Moss delivered a solo home run to lead off the inning, but Perry responded by recording consecutive strikeouts and a flyout to keep Florida State within reach at 4-0.
Perry would end up recording four strikeouts to her seven batters faced, with the home run being her lone blemish in relief.
Florida State looks to win its fifth consecutive ACC series as it hosts Virginia for a rare Sunday-Monday series. The doubleheader takes place at JoAnne Graf Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Monday evening’s game will be televised on ESPNU at 7 p.m.