FSU softball uses home runs to roll past USF

Florida State hit six home runs, including four in the top of the fifth inning, to cruise to a 12-1 win over South Florida on Saturday in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.

Makinzy Herzog hit a grand slam in the third inning, Leslie Farris added a two-run HR in the fourth and Zoe Casas, Cali Harrod, Carsyn Gordon and Sydney Sherrill all hit solo home runs in the fifth inning as the Seminoles now have 103 home runs on the season to lead the NCAA.

A fourth-inning run by USF ended Florida State’s scoreless streak at 29.0 innings, which dated back to May 5 at Syracuse. It was the second-longest streak for the ‘Noles in 2019, trailing the 31.0 scoreless-inning streak over six games from February 8-15.

“It was an exciting ball game, and this time of the season is so much fun and you never know what to expect,” said FSU coach Lonni Alameda. “It was fun to have good energy and USF has a great pitcher in (Georgina) Corrick and being able to get her out of there early and get after it was really awesome for us. Now it is just a matter of who we see tomorrow, and we know that it will be a complete dogfight.”

Just like on Friday against Bethune-Cookman, Sherrill put the Seminoles on the board with an RBI in the first inning. After Harrod and Gordon opened the top of the inning with a pair of walks, Sherrill lined a double into the right field corner to put Florida State up 1-0. It was her 18th double of the season and the 47th career two-bagger for the sophomore infielder.

Sherrill opened the third inning with a walk and after a double by Elizabeth Mason, came into score on a bunt single by Dani Morgan. Cassidy Davis drew a walk to load the bases and Herzog broke the game open with a grand slam to right center, her third home run of the season.

FSU starting pitcher Meghan King pitched two perfect innings with four strikeouts before Kathryn Sandercock replaced her in the circle for the bottom of the third.

After a single to left by Morgan in the top of the fourth, Leslie Farris made it 8-0 Seminoles with her third home run of the season, a two-run shot to left field.

USF scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth as consecutive singles with one out put runners on the corners. The Bulls executed a double steal to make it 8-1.

Four straight home runs for the Seminoles to start the top of the fifth inning put the game out of reach. Sandercock retired USF in order in the bottom of the fifth to secure the run-rule victory. The freshman improved to 12-0 on the season, striking out two in three innings of work.

The Seminoles will play on Sunday at noon (TV: ESPN) against whoever comes out of the elimination game that will be played later Saturday at 5 p.m.

FSU sports information contributed to this report

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