Pitching ruled the day on a damp Friday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field, which transitioned into the evening as Florida State and Florida A&M endured a weather delay of over two and a half hours. When it was all said and done, both teams combined for just one run and one hit, each in the column for FSU as the No. 8-seed Seminoles (49-8) defeated Florida A&M (27-29) by a score of 1-0 on Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
Redshirt junior Jessica Burroughs recorded the third no-hitter of her career, and second of the season, allowing just two walks and registering 14 strikeouts in the complete-game victory.
“Always nice to get a win under your belt in game one,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “I think postseason always brings a little different mentality to some players sometimes, and we’re definitely young. And it doesn’t help that we got a little rain delayed. Hats off to FAMU, she (Kenya Pereira) threw a good game and now we’re on to the next day.”
The Noles plated the only run of the game in the first inning as Morgan Klaevemann reached on a FAMU throwing error and stole second to move into scoring position. A sacrifice bunt from Ellie Cooper allowed Jessica Warren to drive in her 71st RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to right, giving FSU a 1-0 lead.
Jessica Burroughs dominated from the circle, retiring the first 16 batters she faced, recording 10 strikeouts through the first 5.1 innings. The Rattlers got their first baserunner of the game on a one-out walk in the sixth to Taylor Rosier. Another walk to Whitney Farris put runners on first and second, prompting a defensive change for Florida State, as Lauren Harris was brought in to play right field.
Harris immediately made an impact, making an impressive sliding catch in foul territory down the right field line for the second out of the inning as the FAMU runner tagged and ran to third.
The game would be delayed for two hours and 34 minutes as rain and lightning entered the area. When action resumed, FAMU’s Farris stole second to move into scoring position, but Burroughs got out of the inning with a strikeout to end the threat.
Florida A&M’s starting pitcher Kenya Pereira shut down the Seminole offense, allowing only five total base runners for the entire game. Pereira (14-16) allowed walks to Zoe Casas in the second inning, Sydney Broderick in the fourth and Carsyn Gordon in the fifth inning, and did not surrender a base hit until a one-out double by Warren in the sixth inning.
Burroughs closed out the game for the Seminoles, striking out all three batters she faced in the seventh inning to secure the win and the third no-hitter of her career. The redshirt junior improved to 25-5 on the season and matched her career high with 14 strikeouts, equaling her performance against Kentucky on February 8, 2015 and Florida A&M on April 1, 2015.
The Seminoles continue on to the next round of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional and will face South Carolina (37-21) on Saturday, May 21 at 12:00 p.m. The Gamecocks defeated USF, 2-0, in their opening round game on Friday.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with Melissa Lee and Leigh Ross on the call. Robin Ahrberg will also bring you all the action on Seminole Softball Radio on Seminoles.com.
Tickets are on sale for Saturday’s games and are priced at $7 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors. Tickets can be ordered either on Seminoles.com, by calling 1-888-FSU-NOLE or by walking up to the ticket office at the Seminole Softball Complex on Spirit Way.