The Seminoles looked to secure their 7th ACC title in the last 8 years on Saturday against the Clemson Tigers. The pitching matchup was Mack Leonard for the ‘Noles and Valerie Cagle for the Tigers.
In the top of the 1st, Clemson capitalized off of a slew of defensive errors. The ‘Noles defense buckled down to get out of the first half, down one run. In the bottom half, Clemson committed their own errors, that allowed Kaley Mudge to reach as the lead off. A single from Sydney Sherrill put two runners on with no outs. As the third batter, Kalei Harding drove in Mudge to tie the game. A wild pitch moved runners up and a ground out brought up Devyn Flaherty. She got herself a single as two runners scored and the ‘Noles went up 3-1.
In the 2nd, Clemson bounced back. The Tigers started it off with a walk followed by a single. With one out, Danielle Watson entered for Leonard in the circle. Watson walked her first batter to load the bases and a foul out brought in a run. The second walk of the inning loaded the bases again and a double put Clemson in the lead as two runs scored. Watson worked an out to send her team back into the dugout.
In the latter half of the 2nd, Cagle produced a fly out and a ground out. With two outs on the board, Harding put a solo shot over center field to tie the game.
No more runs from either side in the 3rd sent the game to the 4th inning. Leading off, Sam Russ sent her own solo shot to break the tie. After the first out, Kathryn Sandercock entered as the 3rd pitcher for the ‘Noles. She went on to get the next two outs.
After Sandercock held the Tigers off in the top of the 6th, Hallie Wacaser led off the ‘Noles rally with a walk. Amaya Ross entered for Wacaser and stole second and reached third on an error. The pop out kept Ross at third and Mudge flew out to center field to allow Ross to head for home. The relay from outfield went in favor of the ‘Noles as the Clemson catcher was called for obstruction, and Ross was safe at the plate and tied the game at 5.
The walk to Sherrill and intentional walk to Harding brought Mack Leonard to the plate. Leonard took her fourth pitch from Cagle to right field for a 3 run home run that put the ‘Noles back up.
Millie Thompson came in for Cagle and got the ground out to end the scoring.
Back on for the 7th, Sandercock allowed two singles as the defense worked for a ground out and pop out. Two outs on the board brought up Alia Logoleo, who brought in a run off of a single, cutting the lead to 8-6. The lineout handled by Josie Muffley ended the game and secured the tournament title.
ACC Tournament Accolades
- All Tournament: Mack Leonard, Devyn Flaherty, Kathryn Sandercock
- MVP: Kalei Harding
FSU will wait to find out their NCAA Tournament seeding, and regional opponents, Sunday, May 15th at 7 pm on ESPN.