Softball shuts out Longwood; Track stars honored

Opening its weekend at THE Spring Games with a victory, No. 11 Florida State (13-6) posted a 6-0 shutout of Longwood (5-10) on Friday night at Boombah-Soldiers Creek Park in Longwood, Fla. 

Kathryn Sandercock allowed just one hit over 6.0 innings as the sophomore improved to 7-1 with the win. She allowed a total of three runners in the game on a walk and a hit-by-pitch and also recorded a strikeout.

“Nice way to start the weekend,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “Kat was commanding in the circle tonight and our lineup continually put pressure on them throughout the game. Quick turnaround with a pair of games tomorrow morning, and excited for the opportunity.”

Sydney Sherrill opened the top of the first inning by lining the first pitch off the wall in left for a double. It was her fourth double of the season and 51st of her career, moving her into a tie with Jessie Warren (2015-18) and Alex Powers (2014-17) for the FSU career record.

Kiersten Landers opened the FSU third inning with a walk and Sherrill followed with an infield single. Josie Muffley put the Seminoles on the board with a single through the left side to make it 1-0 FSU. A walk by Cassidy Davis and a double steal put Seminole runners on second and third with two outs, by a fly out ended the inning.

Sandercock retired each of the first seven batters she faced, before issuing a one-out walk in the bottom of the third inning. That baserunner was quickly sent back to the dugout as a groundball up the middle was fielded by Morgan Noah and the sophomore stepped on second and fired to first for the inning-ending double play.

The Seminoles broke the game open in the top of the fourth, scoring four runs to extend their lead to 5-0. Kaia LoPreste opened the scoring in the inning by hitting a solo home run to left field, her first career HR, to make it 2-0 Noles. Noah reached on a Longwood error, stole second and moved up to third base on a passed ball. After another walk by Landers and a stolen base by the freshman, Sherrill drove in both runners with a single up the middle. Dani Morgan continued the inning with a single to left field, and Muffley closed out the scoring in the frame with a sacrifice fly to center.

Florida State added another run in the top of the sixth inning, as Noah led off with a walk and Landers followed with a bunt single. Kaley Mudge drove in a run with an RBI single up the middle. 

Sandercock did not allow a hit through the first 5.1 innings of the game before a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth by Leah Powell. The Noles turned their second double play of the game as Mudge caught a line out in center and threw to Sherrill to retire the runner trying to tag and head to third to end the inning.

Brianna Enter pitched the final inning for the Noles and retired all three batters she faced to close out the game.

The Seminoles will continue with THE Spring Games on Saturday with contests against Creighton and Charleston Southern at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.

FSU indoor track

Florida State juniors Trey Cunningham and Ka’Tia Seymour were selected U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Region Indoor Track Athletes of the Year Friday, and joined by South Region Men’s Coach of the Year, Bob Braman.

Cunningham and Seymour are the first Noles to win Indoor Track Athlete of the Year honors since the program’s 2006 inception. Braman, in his 17th season of guiding the program, was selected as the Men’s Coach of the Year for the seventh time; the most in South Region history.

The honors come a week after the honored Noles turned in historic ACC Championship performances at Notre Dame.

“I’m really happy for Ka’Tia and Trey,” Braman said. “Trey not only dominated the region this season, he’s dominated the entire country and is truly deserving of this honor.

“Ka’Tia has been the best sprinter in the South this season and put herself in contention for national titles as well. Her ACC domination didn’t go unnoticed in earning this award.”

Cunningham, top-ranked nationally and unbeaten against collegiate competition in the 60-meter hurdles this season, became the first man to win three consecutive ACC hurdle titles. He broke his own conference championship record when he ran 7.60 in Saturday’s final, helping the Noles to their third consecutive and 13th all-time team title. The Winfield, Ala. native’s lifetime-best time of 7.51 this season ties him for the seventh-fastest in collegiate history and is both an ACC and FSU record.

Seymour continued her career reign over the ACC in short sprints, successfully defending both her 60- and 200-meter titles and anchoring the Noles’ third-place 4×400 relay. She set personal-bests and facility records in both short sprints, running 7.17 and 22.82 on Saturday, and was rewarded with her third consecutive ACC Championship Track MVP trophy. The Palatka, Fla. native is the first woman to stake her claim to that feat.

Both athletes will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 13-14 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Cunningham, who has been as season-long fixture on The Bowerman Watch List, is the No. 1 seed in the 60-meter hurdles. Seymour is seeded third in the 60-meter dash and sixth in the 200 entering the meet.

FSU women’s tennis

The No. 4 ranked Florida State women’s tennis team (13-3, 2-1) earned a 5-2 road win over Clemson (11-6, 1-4) on Friday in South Carolina to improve to 2-1 in ACC Play.

The Seminoles earned an early 1-0 lead after fighting from being down to take the doubles point.  Clemson struck first, taking court two 6-0.  Florida State quickly bounced back as junior Emmanuelle Salas and freshman Sasha Hill took court three 6-1. The No. 11 ranked duo of junior Petra Hule and freshman Victoria Allen got the Noles on the board by securing the doubles point on court one, 6-3.

With a 1-0 lead in doubles, the Noles continued their momentum in singles by taking the first set on five of the six courts.  Senior Andrea Garcia was first to finish as she took court six 6-1, 7-5 to extend the lead over the Tigers to 2-0.  Allen was next as she took court five. After being down the entire second set, she came back to earn the victory 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

Hule clinched the match with a win on court two.  The junior battled it out with Clemson’s Middlebrooks as she earned the victory for the Noles, 6-4, 7-5.

With the match already secured, the Tigers would come back to earn two wins on courts three and four.  Salas put her final touches on the match with a 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 win on court one to cap off the match and give the Noles a 5-2 win.

Florida State continues their ACC road weekend as they now head to take on No. 10 Virginia Sunday at 1 p.m.

Singles Competition

1. Emmanuelle Salas (FS) def. Tate Schroeder (CU) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5

2. Petra Hule (FS) def. M. Middlebrooks (CU) 6-4, 7-5

3. Eleni Louka (CU) def. #104 Nandini Das (FS) 4-6, 6-2, 3-2, retired

4. Sydney Riley (CU) def. #115 Sasha Hill (FS) 4-6, 6-2, 4-3, retired

5. #80 Victoria Allen (FS) def. Ali DeSpain (CU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)

6. Andrea Garcia (FS) def. Lana Sipek (CU) 6-1, 7-5

Doubles Competition

1. #11 Petra Hule/Victoria Allen (FS) def. Sydney Riley/Tate Schroeder (CU) 6-3

2. M. Middlebrooks/Eleni Louka (CU) def. Nandini Das/Andrea Garcia (FS) 6-0

3. Emmanuelle Salas/Sasha Hill (FS) def. Zaina Nait Omar/Lana Sipek (CU) 6-1

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