The (#4) Florida State Seminoles (55-6-1) take a 1-0 series lead over the (#13) LSU Tigers (45-20) with a 3-1 victory today at JoAnne Graf field in Tallahassee.
Senior Jessica Burroughs (27-4, 1.09 ERA) entered the circle for Florida State. Dangerous hitter Emily Griggs (.327) led off for LSU but Burroughs got her to ground out to Cali Harrod at short to start the game. Tiger catcher Sahvanna Jaquish was next and after fouling off several pitches she worked a rare walk from Burroughs. However, Burroughs wasn’t rattled as she got the next two hitters to foul out and pop up to end the inning.
LSU sent 6’2 flame thrower Carley Hoover (14-7, 1.18 ERA) to the circle. Hoover is a classic power pitcher. Morgan Klaevemann started off the Nole half of the inning with a strikeout. Jessie Warren was next and she was hit in the head with a pitch. After getting checked out briefly by the Seminole staff Warren returned to the game. Hoover settled down after that and got Alex Powers to ground out and Carsyn Gordon to strikeout swinging to end the inning.
In the second, Burroughs walked another batter but pitched around it with a fly out and two strikeouts. Dani Morgan started FSU’s inning with a lineout to short. Sydney Broderick then came up and doubled when the right fielder couldn’t handle her liner. Ellie Cooper then grounded out to second and Anna Shelnutt also grounded to second to end the inning.
Burroughs cruised through the third getting the Tigers 1-2-3 with two fly outs and another strikeout. Cali Harrod started FSU off in fine fashion with a double down the right field line. Klaevemann beat out a bunt to advance Harrod to third and give FSU runners at the corners with no outs. Warren singled to left to plate Harrod. After a Powers strikeout Gordon reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Klaevemann at third. Dani Morgan then ended the inning on a fielder’s choice when Constance Quinn beat Gordon to second base. FSU scored one run in the inning on three hits to go up 1-0.
Burroughs started the fourth with her third walk of the game, this time to right fielder Bailey Landry. After an Amanda Doyle fly out to center Landry stole second. However, Burroughs was able to end the threat with a fly out and a strikeout. Sydney Broderick started the inning for FSU with a ground out to second. Captain Ellie Cooper then promptly doubled to right center on an 0-2 pitch. Shelnutt then flied out to center but Cooper went to third when a pickoff throw from Tiger catcher Sahvanna Jaquish went into the outfield. However, Hoover got Harrod to ground out to short to end the threat.
Sydney Springfield started off the inning for LSU with a strikeout. Amber Serrett then singled to center. Aliyah Andrews then moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Griggs drove in Serrett with a single to left center. She moved to second when the throw got away. Jaquish grounded out to short to end the inning but LSU tied the game at 1-1. Hoover had a 1-2-3 inning setting the Noles down in order with two strikeouts and a ground out.
Landry started off the sixth inning with a single to right. Doyle moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. However, Burroughs ended the threat with two straight strikeouts. Gordon started the Noles off with a single. She moved to second on a wild pitch. Dani Morgan tried to bunt her to third but she popped up. Broderick came up and doubled to center. Gordon scored to give FSU the lead. Deja Bush was inserted as a pinch runner for Broderick. Cooper promptly brought her home with a single to right. After a Shelnutt ground out that moved Cooper to second, Harrod walked. Cassidy Davis pinch hit for Klaevemann to give the Noles more power but she struck out to end the inning. FSU entered the final inning with a 3-1 lead.
Burroughs ended the game by setting down the Tigers in order with a strike out, a pop up and a ground out.
Burroughs got the win to move to 27-4. She pitched seven full innings giving up an earned run on three hits. She had three walks and eight strikeouts. She made 116 pitches (76 strikes). Hoover (14-7) took the loss. She pitched six full innings giving up three earned runs on eight hits. She had one walk and six strikeouts. She made 93 pitches (62 strikes).
FSU ran its home winning streak to 36 with the victory. The Noles are also undefeated (7-0) this postseason.
Broderick was 2-3 with two doubles and an RBI. Cooper was also 2-3 with a double and an RBI. Warren was 1-2 and had the other RBI.
This wasn’t Burroughs’ best performance (three walks) but it was more than good enough for the win and frankly if she continues to pitch like this FSU will go far in this tournament because giving up only one run the way the Noles are hitting is a recipe for success.
FSU also was not assessed an error on the day. That’s only the second time this postseason that FSU has avoided committing an error. With the way Florida State is pitching and hitting the Seminoles will be a very tough out if they can continue to play error less softball.
Unfortunately the slump continues for first baseman Alex Powers. She is now 4-21 (.190) this postseason after going 0-3 today. She just doesn’t seem to be seeing the ball well right now. Powers, the 2016 ACC player of the year, is generally an excellent hitter so she could bust out at any time. When she does FSU will be really tough to handle with the way the rest of the lineup is rolling.
Head coach Lonni Alameda decided to move regular catcher Sydney Broderick back behind the plate. Anna Shelnutt moved to the designated player position. This was essentially a swap because Broderick had been the DP since she injured her hand in the Oregon series. Both players have been hitting well so as long as they both are in the lineup it probably doesn’t matter as much who is doing the catching.
The same two teams will meet tomorrow in the second game of the series at 3pm eastern (ESPN). The expected (but not confirmed) starters will be LSU’s Allie Walljasper (16-5, 1.33 ERA) vs Meghan King (27-2, 1.50 ERA) for FSU. With a win FSU will move on to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.