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Seminole Softball Drops Heartbreaker in ACC Finals

Florida State was denied their 12th ACC Tournament title as they fell to NC State.

Coming off two shutout victories to open the ACC Tournament, Florida State softball ran into equally good pitching against NC State’s Emily Weiman (31-16). The Seminoles (41-16) were on the opposite end of a shutout as they fell to the Wolfpack (33-18-1) 1-0 in the ACC Final.

Lacey Waldrop (22-8), starting her third consecutive game in just as many days, barely made a mistake. Going on 95 pitches, Waldrop struck out nine, but allowed six hits and the decisive run. The big inning for the Pack came in the third as they scored the only run of the game. The NC State run was the only one surrendered by FSU in the ACC Tournament.

“They earned [the win],” Waldrop said. “They got back-to-back hits, which I usually don’t give up. They scraped away for it. Momentum in the game is crucial and it happened for them. They did a good job.”

Momentum seemed to be in NC State’s favor since the first pitch as FSU was unable to catch a break throughout the game. In what could have been a big first inning for the Noles, Wolfpack first basemen Leah Jones took away a sure hit from Maddie O’Brien as she made the diving catch and had enough time to double off Courtney Senas.

“Our kids will probably wear [this loss] for the next couple of days,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We’ve been taking steps forward every year for this program. I couldn’t be more proud of the people who have stepped up and got us to this point. To be in the championship game right now with the adversity we’ve had all season is outstanding for this program.”

Even after the defeat, Florida State still had a reason to be proud as a trio of Seminoles were honored as a part of the All-ACC Tournament Team. Junior third basemen Courtney Senas, redshirt sophomore shortstop Maddie O’Brien, and sophomore pitcher Lacey Waldrop each made the all-tournament team.

Senas scored three runs for the Noles during the tournament to add to her fantastic defense at third. O’Brien had three hits, including a two-run homer against North Carolina. O’Brien also had three RBIs and scored twice for the Seminoles in the tournament. Waldrop finished the tournament 2-1 with 22 strikeouts through 18 innings. Waldrop pitched a complete game shutout over North Carolina in FSU’s second game of the tournament Friday evening.

The Seminoles will now wait it out to see who and where they play next as the NCAA Softball Selection show airs Sunday night on ESPNU at 10 p.m. ET. Florida State is currently one of 11 schools to make the post season each year since 2000.