The #4 Florida State Seminoles (48-6-1, 24-0 ACC) defeated the Virginia Cavaliers (22-31, 9-15) 16-0 in the first round of the ACC Tournament on the strength of a record setting third inning where the Noles scored 12 runs.
Those 12 third inning runs set a record for the most runs scored in a single inning in an ACC Tournament. The 16 total runs set a record for the most runs in an ACC Tournament game. The win gave the Noles 27 straight ACC victories (dating back to last year) which is another ACC conference record.
Florida State has dominated the ACC Tournament. There have been 26 total tournaments and FSU has won it 14 times. The Seminoles have won 4 of the last 6 and are obviously the favorite to make it 5 out of 7.
Both teams went three up and three down in the first inning. FSU starter Jessica Burroughs (24-4) was particularly impressive with two strikeouts in the inning.
In the second, Iyana Hughes doubled to centerfield for the Cavs but Burroughs was able to strand her at second with the help of two more strikeouts.
In the bottom of the second FSU got their bats going. Carsyn Gordon started it off with a single to centerfield. Cali Harrod reached on a fielder’s choice. Dani Morgan came up next and blasted a three run homer to right center which was her third of the year. A couple of batters later Ellie Cooper singled to score Zoe Casas who had reached on a walk.
The Noles took their 4-0 lead into the third. The Wahoos got runners on first and second on an error and a single. Burroughs got out of the small jam with a line out and a fielder’s choice.
The Noles blew the game open with their record setting bottom of the third. Gordon started it off with a walk. After a Cali Harrod flyout Dani Morgan singled. Anna Shelnutt brought them both home with a three run homer to right field. But FSU was far from done.
Zoe Casas singled up the middle. Morgan Klaevemann got a bunt single. After a Jessica Warren popout Ellie Cooper singled up the middle to score Korina Rosario who was pinch running for Casas. Alex Powers then doubled to right center to score Cooper and Klaevemann. Gordon then singled to score Powers. Sydney Broderick was next and she singled up the middle. After a Dani Morgan walk to load the bases, Shelnutt hit her second bomb of the inning and third of the season to left center. The grand slam brought home Morgan, Gordon and Leslie Farris who pinch ran for Broderick. The Noles still weren’t done. Rosario came up and blasted her first home run of the year to give FSU the 16-0 lead.
FSU cruised from there and beat the Cavaliers 16-0 in four and a half innings as the NCAA mercy rule came into effect.
Burroughs pitched three scoreless and got the win. King pitched an inning and a third scoreless innings and Cassidy Davis pitched the last two thirds.
At the plate FSU scored 16 runs on 13 hits. Morgan hit her third homer of the year, Shelnutt hit two in the third and also has three on the year and Rosario hit her first of the year. Shelnutt also had seven RBI in the game.
Some were concerned about the state of the team after taking the collar in Oregon. Head coach Lonni Alameda said that she would know a lot about the state of her team based on how they performed in the first three innings against UVA. It’s safe to say that the Noles answered the bell in fine fashion.
However, Virginia is a rebuilding team and they are not the quality of opponent that FSU will see in the NCAA Tournament. While a game like this was great to see for Nole fans the team will have to show that it can play great against better competition because FSU’s true goal is to make it deep in the NCAA Tournament. Anything they do in Chapel Hill is just preparation for the true objective.
One of the more positive outcomes from this game is that most of the damage today was done by young players who aren’t starters. If the Noles can get this kind of production without the stars having big games they will be a handful for any team.
In the second game of the Tournament, fifth seed Notre Dame defeated fourth seed Boston College 9-5 in eight innings. FSU will play ND tomorrow at 1pm. The Seminoles swept ND in a series in Tallahassee (March 17-19) by scores of 6-0, 6-0, and 16-0 in five innings. The game tomorrow will be carried on Regional Sports Networks as well as ACC Network Extra.