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No. 7 FSU Softball travels to No. 15 Duke Blue Devils: preview, how to watch, game thread

‘Noles did not play Duke during the regular season in 2022

FSU Athletics

Last week, Florida State softball swept Syracuse to open up ACC play. This week, they will travel for an ACC series for the first time this season. Meeting for just the 8th time against the Duke Blue Devils. Even though Duke started their program in 2018, the two teams already have a history, with both vying for the top of the conference ever since.

FSU has won seven of the eight matchups. The swept Duke when they arrived in Tallahassee in 2019 and 2021. They have seen each other in the post season as well, with Duke claiming the win in the ACC Tournament, on their way to their first tournament title. Last season, FSU repaid with a win of their own against the Blue Devils in the tournament semifinals.

Even though FSU is one of the top 10 teams in the country, and Duke is sitting in the middle of the top 25, the teams are more evenly matched than the number next to their names indicates.

Duke Offense

An evenly split Duke roster of upper and underclassmen is led by a freshman. D’Auna Jennings leads with a .457 batting average in 29 games. With 81 at-bats, Jennings has 19 R, 37 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 7 RBI and is 7-8 in swiped bags.

Ana Gold is the teams leader in homeruns, accounting for 10 of the teams 34 long balls. In addition, she is batting .329 on the season with 35 R, 28 H, 6 2B, 31 RBI, 10 BB and is 5-6 on the bases.

Deja Davis, the graduate student, is disciplined at the plate. Batting .403, she is the team leader in walks, with 15. Davis also has 24 R, 31 H, 11 2B, 2 HR and 15 RBI in 77 plate appearances.

Blue Devil Pitching Staff

Despite losing Peyton St. George to graduation, the Duke pitching staff is probably more well rounded than in years past. They return veteran Jala Wright, who was the number 2 behind St. George last season. In 2023, she is the Friday night starter, with 67.0 innings pitched on the season. Wright also has a 2.30 ERA with 54 H, 34 R, 26 BB, 5 HR and 77 SO. Batters are hitting .207 against Wright.

In addition to Wright, is freshman Cassidy Curd, who has elevated the staff. Curd leads her team in ERA, with 1.44 and has a 6-0 record along with it. In 43.2 innings, Curd has given up 22 H, 15 R, 20 BB, 61 SO and only 2 HR. Against Curd, batters are at a low .143 batting average.

Seminole Headlines

  • FSU has outscored Duke 42-16 all time.
  • FSU leads the country in walks, with 136, and are 3rd in doubles with 58.
  • Once on base, the ‘Noles are 67-73 in stolen bases, with Devyn Flaherty currently leading with a perfect 18-18.

Stats Comparison

Batting average: Duke (.328), FSU (.314)

ERA: Duke (1.95), FSU (1.99)

On base percentage: Duke (.424), FSU (.396)

Scoring: Duke (6.30), FSU (6.40)

Slugging Percentage: Duke (.532), FSU (.550)

Doubles: Duke (53), FSU (58)

Homeruns: Duke (34), FSU (29)

How to Watch

Friday March 24th - 6 PM EST ACCN

Saturday March 25th - 1 PM EST ACCNX

Sunday March 26th - 12 PM EST ACCNX