Back at home for the first time in 20 days, the Seminoles improved to 7-0 at JoAnne Graf Field this season as No. 11 Florida State (11-6) posted an 8-0 win over Holy Cross (0-6) on Tuesday night. The contest was an FSU softball reunion, as Holy Cross head coach Jen Lapicki played for the Seminoles in 2010-11.
The FSU freshmen shined against the Crusaders as seven of the 11 hits, including two doubles and a triple came from newcomers, as Devyn Flaherty, Chloe Culp and Kaia LoPreste each had two hits and Kaley Mudge drove in the final run of the game with a single.
“It was really special to have Jen back here this week,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Because we are here every day, sometimes you don’t realize what it means for players to come back. It’s nostalgic for them, but also great to see someone that you’ve coached develop and move on with something they love.
“We’ve talked from the beginning about growth and getting better as a team every day and every at bat. I think the fans look at the wins and losses, but a coach or someone within the program looks at who is having moments. So, whether they succeed or fail, they are having moments to impact a game. When you start to become comfortable in those moments, regardless of the outcome, you are able to be present for your team. It was nice to see our growth tonight, especially from the freshmen.”
The Seminoles quickly staked a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Sydney Sherrill drew a walk and quickly scored on an RBI triple to right center by Flaherty, her team-leading third triple of the season. An infield single by Elizabeth Mason with two outs scored Flaherty to make it 2-0 FSU. It is the seventh time this season that Florida State has scored in the first inning with the Noles plating 27 runs in the opening frame, more than any other inning so far in 2020.
Culp and LoPreste opened the FSU second inning with a pair of singles, but the next three Noles were all retired to leave them stranded.
Cassidy Davis showed off her speed in the bottom of the third inning with an infield single, followed by stealing second base for the first stolen base of her career. Davis scored on a rare sacrifice fly from second base, as Mason’s fly ball to right center was caught as the right fielder ran into the wall and momentarily lost her balance. It gave Davis enough time to round third and score all the way from second on the play to make it 3-0 Seminoles.
The inning continued with a walk by Morgan Noah and Culp lined the first pitch of her AB off the wall in center for an RBI double, extending the lead to 4-0.
Kathryn Sandercock entered to replace FSU starting pitcher Caylan Arnold in the top of the fourth inning. Arnold was perfect in her 3.0 innings of work, striking out six of the nine batters she faced. The senior pitcher extended her streak to 12.1 innings without allowing an earned run, dating back to February 28 against No. 19 Baylor.
Sherrill made it 5-0 Seminoles with a solo home run to left center in the bottom of the fourth, her fourth HR of the season.
Sandercock (6-1) allowed just one baserunner on an infield single in her 2.0 innings of relief, while recording a pair of strikeouts. Brianna Enter pitched the top of the sixth inning and allowed one hit and had a strikeout.
Florida State closed out the game in the sixth inning as LoPreste singled up the middle and Maegan Tomlinson came in to pinch run at first. A single by Sherrill and an RBI double by Flaherty made it 6-0 FSU. A sacrifice fly by Dani Morgan brought in a run and a game-ending RBI single by Mudge secured the 8-0 win for Florida State.
The Seminoles will head down to Orlando tomorrow to play No. 22 UCF (16-2) in the rescheduled contest from Feb. 26.
FSU men’s golf
Playing among the most competitive fields in collegiate golf, senior Jamie Li of Florida State Men’s Golf rose to the occasion by shooting 5-under and tying for fourth at the Cabo Collegiate. It marks his fifth career Top 5 finish.
The Florida State Men’s Golf team dropped three spots over the final round to tie for seventh place. The Seminoles posted a 3-over 852 for the tournament, shooting 12-over in a final round where 13 of the field’s 15 teams shot over par.
Florida State established their place early on competing against some of the nation’s elite programs. The year’s loaded field included 14 out of 15 teams ranked in the Top 50. First place Arizona State (-20) dominated the course and controlled the team leaderboard throughout the final day. The rest of the top five included Texas A&M (-12), Vanderbilt (-10), Arizona (-5) and Baylor (-3).
Li added a safe even-par 71 third-round score. The third round was highlighted by an eagle on hole 6 and a birdie on 11. He led the field with three eagles over the three-day tournament. His ball-striking was consistent over the tournament, besting all other golfers with a 4.08 scoring average on the course’s Par 5 holes.
Junior John Pak tied for 29th (+2), ending his streak of nine consecutive rounds under par. He posted an impressive first two rounds but faced an uphill battle on Tuesday alongside many other golfers. However, the All-American displayed some of his polished game with an impressive approach that led to a birdie on 16, along with two other birdies on holes 3 and 9.
Redshirt freshman Cole Anderson followed an impressive home tournament with another nice showing in Cabo. He tied for 42nd with a 5-over for the three-round event.