Kicking off the Unconquered Invitational was the FGCU Eagles against the Florida State Seminoles. The pitching match up saw Mack Leonard for FSU and Ally Hulme for FGCU.
A shaky first inning defensively for FSU ended cleanly, allowing no runs for the opposition. In the home half, two outs and a walk put Kalei Harding on base for Katie Dack. The FSU homerun leader did exactly that, putting the ball from Hulme to outside the park for the two run homerun.
OMG KATIE DACK CAN'T BE STOPPED pic.twitter.com/LaKZ8ncn2v— Florida State Softball (@FSU_Softball) February 23, 2023
With a 2-0 FSU lead, Leonard gave up a lead off walk in the top of the 2nd inning. A double had runners in scoring position, and wild pitch with one out allowed a run to score. Leonard was able to come back with a strikeout and clutch play by her defense to stop the Eagles from scoring again.
BK laying OUT— Florida State Softball (@FSU_Softball) February 23, 2023
M2 | FSU 2 FGCU 1 pic.twitter.com/zj8G7QPqIk
In the bottom of the 2nd, Hallie Wacaser led off with a double, and Hulme accumulated two quick outs. With the lineup turned over, Kaley Mudge reached on an error that scored Wacaser from third base. A stolen base from Mudge and a walk from Leonard put two on for Kalei Harding, who hit the second double to the inning to score two more runs. FSU ended the 2nd now up 5-1.
All runs are good runs pic.twitter.com/P0yzt8WHs7— Florida State Softball (@FSU_Softball) February 23, 2023
In the 3rd, the back and forth game continued with a lead off walk. The baserunner was the final batter of Leonard’s day in the circle, as Allison Royalty came on in relief. Two wild pitches from Royalty got FGCU over to third easily. A walk and a fly out brought up Kaleigh Roper with one out. On the 1-1 count, Roper put her team right back in it with a three run homerun off of Royalty. Another single was stranded after a fly out and strike out, FGCU cut into the FSU lead 5-4.
After two innings, Claire Maulding replaced Hulme for FGCU. A one out walk issued to Jahni Kerr and a single by Wacaser had two on with one out for the Seminoles. Looking to increase their lead, Bethaney Keen reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Wacaser. With runners on the corners, Josie Muffley walked. Now with Mudge batting, she reached on the second fielder’s choice, and an error by the defense allowed Keen and Kerr to score. Another fielder’s choice ended the inning, the ‘Noles pushing their lead up to 7-4.
Hey, whatever gets the job done ♂️ pic.twitter.com/lqLHmxdJT4— Florida State Softball (@FSU_Softball) February 24, 2023
Back out for the 4th, Royalty gave up another lead off walk, and yet another steal and wild pitch but the runner on third base with no outs. A close play in center field was dropped allowing the runner to score for a 7-5 FSU lead.
Heading into the bottom of the 4th, Harding notched her second double of the game, and was replaced for Krystina Hartley. The lead off hit was followed by a single that bounced off the pitchers glove by Dack. Two runners on meant Maulding’s day was done, and she was replaced by Baylee Haggard, who got the ground out, but FSU got the RBI off the bat of Devyn Flaherty. Haggard got a fly out and ground out to end the inning, the ‘Noles pushing across another run for a 8-5 lead.
The Seminoles kept the 5th inning clean, despite loading the bases full of Eagles. Kathryn Sandercock entered with two outs and bases loaded, and her defense executed a close play to keep ant run from scoring going into the bottom of the 5th. Starting off, Michaela Edenfield led off with a four pitch walk for her first plate appearance of the game. A one out hit by pitch on Mudge put two runners on and a sac fly by Leonard allowed Edenfield to advance to third. A wild pitch pushed a run across, ending the inning with a pop out and a 9-5 lead.
Dack led off with a double in the bottom of the 6th, a hit that took Haggard out for Carded Estes. Facing Flaherty, she gave up the walk on four pitches to bring up Kerr. Pulling a pitch to right field, Kerr doubled to bring home the runner. Estes day did not last long after the double.
Jahni staying— Florida State Softball (@FSU_Softball) February 24, 2023
She gets an RBI for the third-straight game to extend the lead to 5 pic.twitter.com/7Nvs9rVGCG
Now facing Angelina Bonilla, the flood gates started to really open up. Wacaser put another double on the scoresheet that cleared the bases. Still with no outs, Edenfield doubled for herself on a hit that bounced off the infielders glove, bringing home Wacaser and ending the game by run rule. FSU won by 13-5 against the Eagles of FGCU.
Gwyn’s Player of the Game
Kalei Harding stayed hot yet again at the plate. Harding had a 2-3 day with 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB.
Katie Dack also continues her great season as she started off the scoring yet again. Dack went 3-4 with 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 2B, 1 HR.
Friday, Feb. 24
2:30 p.m. – Florida State vs. Lamar (ACCNX)
4:45 p.m. – Florida State vs. Florida Gulf Coast (ACCNX)
Saturday, Feb. 25
2:30 p.m. – Florida State vs. Lamar (ACCNX)
4:45 p.m. – Florida State vs. Troy (ACCNX)