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FSU softball defeats North Carolina to win the ACC Championship

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The Noles run rule the Heels to win their sixth straight ACC crown.

FloSports: FloSoftball Women’s College World Series Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

(5) Florida State (51-8) defeated North Carolina (35-18) 8-0 in six innings to win the ACC Tournament.

Game Recap

Makinzy Herzog started for Florida State in the circle. Leah Murray ledoff for UNC. She grounded out but was officially called out for hitting the ball while her foot was partially out of the batter’s box. Kristina Burkhardt grounded out to Carsyn Gordon at first base for the second out. Kiani Ramsey came up and sent a 2-2 pitch deep. It bounced off the wall in left center and Ramsey reached third with her impressive speed for a two out triple. After that Herzog beared down and struck out Brittany Pickett to end the inning. Pickett started in the circle for the Tar Heels. Cali Harrod greeted her by beating out an infield single. Gordon came up and reached on a fielder’s choice as Harrod was forced out at second. Gordon then stole second as a pitch partially got away from UNC catcher Megan Dray. Sydney Sherrill moved Gordon over to third with a ground out. Elizabeth Mason walked and stole second. FSU had runners on second and third with two outs. Dani Morgan came up and singled through the right side scoring Gordon. Morgan then stole second. However, Pickett was able to end the threat by striking out Anna Shelnutt.

Megan Dray led off the inning for the Tar Heels with a walk. Tainasha Vines pinch ran for her. Berlynne Delamora fouled out to Mason in right field. Shelnutt then threw out Vines trying to steal second. Zoe Goodman ended the inning by flying out to Zoe Casas in left. Casas started the second for FSU with a single through the right side. Herzog hit the first pitch she saw to right field for a single which moved Casas to second. Leslie Farris came up and laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position. Harrod followed with a single up the middle to score Casas. Ramsey made a great diving catch in shallow centerfield to rob Gordon of a hit. Sherrill was intentionally walked to load the bases. Mason came up and worked a walk that scored Herzog. UNC coach Donna Papa made a pitching change inserting Hannah George for Pickett. Dani Morgan came up and sent a ball to centerfield but Ramsey came up with a nice over the shoulder catch to end the inning but FSU had a 3-0 lead.

Campbell Hutcherson started the inning for Carolina with a walk. Lonni Alameda responded by inserting Meghan King into the circle. Abby Settlemyre beat out an infield single and the Heels were in business with runners on first and second with nobody out. Leah Murray came up and was again called out for hitting the ball while outside the batter’s box. Burkhardt flied out to Morgan in centerfield. Ramsey grounded to Harrod at short and she forced out Hutcherson at third to end the inning. FSU was set down in order in the bottom of the inning with the help of a nice diving catch by pitcher Hannah George.

King started the inning by striking out Hannah George on three pitches. Dray followed with a single to left center. She tried to steal second but Shelnutt wasn’t having it as she gunned down her second runner of the game for the second out of the inning. Delamora followed with a single but the inning was ended when Goodman fouled out to Gordon at first base. Farris struck out for the first out of the inning. Harrod came up and smoked a no-doubter over the left centerfield wall to put FSU up 4-0. Gordon followed with a double to center. Sherrill singled to center and Gordon scored on a throwing error as Sherrill opportunistically took third on the play. Mason drove Sherrill in with a ground out. Morgan ended the inning with a flyout to right but FSU was up 6-0.

King set the Heels down in order in the fifth. Shelnutt blasted her 10th homer of the year over the left field wall to put the Noles up 7-0. Casas was hit by a pitch. Deja Bush pinch ran for her. Herzog reached on a fielder’s choice. Cassidy Davis pinch hit for Farris but she struck out. Herzog ended the inning by getting caught stealing second.

King got the Heels 1-2-3 for the second straight inning. Harrod started the sixth with a single through the left side. After a Gordon walk, Sherrill doubled to center scoring Harrod for the eighth run which ended the game due to the run rule.

Post Game

Meghan King (29-5) earned the win for FSU going four innings scattering three hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Makinzy Herzog pitched two innings allowing one hit and two walks while striking out one batter. Brittany Pickett (21-12) took the loss.

Cali Harrod was 4-4 with her 14th HR of the season along with two RBI and two runs scored. Anna Shelnutt was 1-3 with her 10th HR of the season. Sydney Sherrill was 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

FSU is the first team since 2005 to win the ACC Championship without conceding a single run in the tournament.

Meghan King was named the Tournament MVP while Dani Morgan and Sydney Sherrill joined her on the All-Tournament team.

With the win FSU now has a 13 game winning streak. The Noles seem to have regained their mojo following a tough patch in early April when they went 2-5. This team appears primed for another deep tourney run.

Next Game

The Seminoles will learn their NCAA Tournament fate Sunday night at 9pm when the tournament selection show is aired on ESPN2. FSU will likely get a seed in the 4-6 range with the fifth seed looking the most likely. Stay tuned to Tomahawk Nation for more coverage of the tournament as the seedings and matchups are announced.