Even though it ended early, it was still a special season for Florida State Seminoles softball.
An incredible run through the season was punctuated by an ACC Tournament championship title — Team 39 put up a 49-5 record for the highest winning percentage in a regular season in school history (.907). The season showed the fight that personifies head coach Lonni Alameda’s teams and provided many moments for fans to remember.
Now that the dust has settled, we at Tomahawk Nation decided to take a look at the top 5 moments that made the season spectacular.
5. Chloe Culp’s home run vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State
After the ‘Noles took game one from the Cowgirls, they sought the sweep over the team from Stillwater.
Late in the game, the ‘Noles and Cowgirls saw themselves tied yet again at one. Looking to make a change and put her team in the lead, Coach Alameda took to her dugout.
Pinch hitting for Amaya Ross, Chloe Culp stepped in the box against Morgan Day. On the 2-1 count, Culp took the rise ball over the plate deep over the centerfield wall. Culp’s first home run of the season proved to be the deciding run as she lifted her team to the 2-1 victory.
4. Sydney Sherrill’s diving play vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State
The ‘Noles welcomed the Cowgirls of Oklahoma State to Tallahassee for the two-game series in late April.
In the first game, with a tie ball game at one run and the Cowgirls threatening the go-ahead run at third base, the defense stayed tight.
With one out in the top of the ninth inning, the ball was put into play to the right side of the infield. Veteran third baseman, Sydney Sherrill laid out to catch the runner from third off base and eliminate the scoring threat. The ‘Noles went on to win the game 2-1 over Oklahoma State.
3. Jahni Kerr’s walk-off vs. No. 10 Florida
In April, Sydney Sherrill provided the home run power to take the first game from the Florida Gators in Gainesville. In May, another Seminole stepped up to the plate to defeat the in-state rival, this time at home in Tallahassee.
Going into the bottom of the 7th inning, the capacity crowd at JoAnne Graf Field looked for a walk-off versus the Gators. Elizabeth Hightower had gone 6 innings against Kathryn Sandercock in the circle. She set to face the bottom of the Seminole order in the bottom of the crucial inning. Jahni Kerr made sure the game ended with her after she saw two straight balls from Hightower. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Kerr sent a shot over centerfield as the ‘Noles swept Florida for the 2022 season.
2. Kalei Harding walk-off vs. No. 3 UCLA
FSU looked to close out a trip to the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational with a 5-0 record. The last team to face was the Bruins of UCLA in a primetime matchup on Sunday night.
After two Seminoles combined for three runs, and Danielle Watson and Kathryn Sandercock kept the game tied, the game went into extra innings. Jahni Kerr stood on second base in the bottom of the 8th inning, as the designated automatic runner in the extra-inning game. One out on the board from UCLA’s Holly Azevedo brought Kalei Harding to the plate for FSU.
Harding wasted no time in bringing home Kerr from second. Her double that split the outfielders sent the winning run home as they knocked off the number three team in the country.
1. Mack Leonard’s home run vs. No. 15 Clemson
For the ACC Tournament, Florida State had taken games from Virginia and Duke with their sights now set on the Clemson Tigers. In the tournament title game, the ‘Noles were facing the Tigers for the fourth time in program history.
Through six innings, both teams went back and forth heading into the late innings. Tied at five runs, with two runners on and two outs, Mack Leonard went up against Valerie Cagle. Now down in the count to the Tigers ace, Leonard brought everyone home on a shot over right field.
Leonard’s three-run homerun gave the final score to the Tigers as FSU claimed the ACC Tournament trophy.