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No. 7 FSU softball opens Clearwater Invitational with big win over No. 15 Arizona

FSU escaped a late Wildcat comeback to end the day with a win

Charles Mays Media

For the first game of many in Clearwater, Allison Royalty got the start against her old PAC12 foe, the Arizona Wildcats. For the team from Tucson, it was Devyn Netz toeing the rubber.

Starting it off, Mack Leonard knocked a one out single. Kalei Harding joined her on base after a walk, and they were both left after a double play was rolled to the infield. For the Wildcats offense, it was a carbon copy of the Seminoles first inning, one out single, walk and a double play to end it.

Turning it over to the 2nd inning, Katie Dack reached on an one out error. Following Dack was two singles by Hallie Wacaser and Josie Muffley to load up the bases. The fielder’s choice to allow Krystina Hartley to reach ended Dack’s time on the bases for the second out. Now with Mudge back up, she singled and brought everyone home on an error by the Arizona outfield. A ground out ended the inning with a 3-0 FSU advantage.

In the bottom half, after giving up a one out walk to fellow pitcher Devyn Netz, Royalty’s day was done. Going by the “pitching by committee” mindset, Lonni Alameda put the ball in the hands of Kat Sandercock. She was welcomed to the game with a one out single that beat the defensive shift. The wild pitch moved both up sixty feet but left them stranded as Sandercock recorded two back to back strikeouts.

Looking to tack on to their 3-0 advantage, Harding led off the 3rd with a single poked through the infield. Inches from flying out of the park, Edenfield flew out to the right fielder for out number one. Flaherty continued her day with a RBI double that scored Harding all the way from first base, and Dack added on with a single of her own that brought Devyn home after she stole third base.

Sandercock continued to shut down the Wildcats with a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd. Back around in the 4th, a one out walk to Mudge pushed Netz out of the game, replaced by Brianna Hardy in the circle. Leonard’s single put Mudge on the run and the 3rd error by Arizona, and the 2nd by Paige Dimler, allowed her to score and put Leonard on second base. A line out and a walk to Edenfield ended Hardy’s day early. Now pitching for Arizona, Aissa Silva struck out Flaherty to stifle the ‘Noles chance at scoring again.

Back out for the bottom of the 4th, Sandercock gave up the first run of the game. A one out solo shot off the bat of Carlie Scupin put the first run on the board for Arizona. Two more hits, a triple and single put one more run on the board, cutting into the FSU lead 6-2. Applying more pressure, a single and wild pitch had two runners in scoring position. Soon a two out error cut the FSU lead to 6-4. Answering back, Sandercock ended it on her third strike out of the inning.

Silva made quick work of the Seminole offense, only allowing a walk, in the top half of the 5th. Sandercock returned to the circle to face the most dangerous part of the Arizona offense again. A lead off single to Allie Skaggs did no harm to the Seminoles defense with Sandercock working for a foul out, strike out and ground out.

Rolling through the 5th and 6th, Sandercock and Silva held it down for their teams in the circle. In the top of the 7th, the Seminoles went down in order, bringing the bats back one final time for Arizona, who was the designated home team. To close it out, Makenna Reid entered to face ranked competition for the first time ever. Reid kept the Wildcats quiet with a 1-2-3 inning, and FSU claimed their first ranked win of the season by a 6-4 score.

Gwyn’s Players of the Game

Kalei Harding is only getting better as the days pass. Against Arizona she was 2-3 with 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB.

Kaley Mudge proved why she’s one of the best lead off hitters in the country. The Senior had a 1-3 day that included 1 R, 2 RBI, and 1 BB.

Up Next

FSU plays #4 Arkansas at 1 PM on ESPNU