Tallahassee - The No. 6 Florida State Seminoles (47-6, 24-3 ACC) closed out the regular season with a 3-0 victory over Georgia Tech (23-23, 11-17 ACC) at JoAnne Graf Field on April 27. FSU finishes as the 2014 ACC regular season champions and will be the No. 1 seed at the upcoming ACC Championships on May 8-10 in College Park, Md.
“It was a great day to celebrate our seniors,” said head coach Lonni Alameda. “Jessica Nori had an excellent start in the circle, Senas and Tiff got some big hits and Celeste and Kelly drew walks to create opportunities for others in the lineup. This group of girls are special to this team, but they are just a part of the whole family that are focused and driven for our goals. We know this is the end of the regular season, but with ACCs and the NCAA tournament coming up, we are far from the finish line.”
The Seminoles wasted no time getting to Georgia Tech starter Karly Fullem as the first three batters reached base in the bottom of the first on a single by Tiffani Brown and walks from Courtney Senas and Maddie O’Brien. Kelly Hensley made it 1-0 Florida State a batter later with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
After Bailey Schinella was hit by a pitch to reload the bases, a walk to Celeste Gomez drove in another run and gave the Noles a 2-0 after the first inning.
Senior Jessica Nori got the start in the circle for Florida State and sent the Jackets down in order in the first. After allowing a one-out single to Ashley Thomas in the third, Nori got out of the inning after Senas grabbed a liner to center and gunned the ball to Victoria East at first to double off Thomas and end the inning.
Nori was replaced by Lacey Waldrop in the fourth inning and finished with 3.1 innings pitched, allowing just two hits, zero runs and zero walks while recording one strikeout.
East extended the FSU lead to 3-0 with a leadoff home run on the first pitch of the Seminole fifth inning. The solo shot gave Florida State 317 RBIs for the season to set a new school record. The Noles added nine walks to extend their single-season record to 269, after breaking the 2004 record of 252 walks on April 20 against Syracuse.
Waldrop pitched 2.2 innings of excellent softball, surrendering just one hit, two walks and recording five strikeouts. The Chester, Va., native was the pitcher of record and improved to 31-4 on the season.
Jessica Burroughs came out to pitch the Georgia Tech seventh and earned her first career save, allowing just one walk and one hit-by-pitch over 1.0 inning of work. As a staff, Florida State hasn’t allowed an opposing base runner to reach third base in its last 17.0 innings.
As a group the Florida State seniors – Brown, Senas, Hensley and Gomez – had two of the Seminoles’ three hits, two of the three RBIs, six of the nine walks and scored two of FSU’s three runs.
The next game for Florida State will be on May 8 at the ACC Championships in College Park, Md. The No. 1-seed Seminoles will take on the No. 8-seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 11:00 a.m. at the Maryland Softball Stadium.
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