College Softball: Pair of HRs powers No. 2 FSU over No. 1 Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State's Alex Powers sent an 11th-inning pitch from Florida's Kelly Barnhill over the right field wall, giving No. 2 Florida State (48-3-1) a 3-1 walk-off victory over No. 1 Florida (46-5) on Wednesday night in front of a record crowd of 2,509 at JoAnne Graf Field in the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown.
Junior Korina Rosario started the inning with a triple into the right field corner to spark the victory.
It marked the third time that FSU has defeated the No. 1 team in the country and the first since a 3-2 win over Arizona State on March 20, 2008. It was the first time that the Noles had defeated Florida when they were the No. 1 team, losing the previous four matchups when the Gators were the top team in the country.
UF's Barnhill entered the game with a 0.16 ERA and had given up just three total earned runs and zero home runs, but left Tallahassee after allowing two home runs and three earned runs in her first loss of the season.
“Obviously the ‘W' is huge for us, but I was so proud of the kids' process pitch-by-pitch,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We talked about it yesterday in practice, just being present, and Barnhill and (Delanie) Gourley are amazing pitchers. They strike out a ton of people and we are going to strike out, but if we stay present someone is going to get a pitch to do some damage. And for Korina and AP, that was huge for us. And for Warren to get her swing off for us, to keep us in the ballgame, was awesome.”
After FSU starter Jessica Burroughs retired the first two batters of the game, Florida took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Janell Wheaton, scoring Kayli Kvistad who also singled in the inning.
The Seminoles tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first, as Jessica Warren hit a solo home run into the bushes beyond the wall in left. It was Warren's 20th home run of the season and the fourth in her last three games, extending her hitting streak to 19 games.
The two teams combined for eight total baserunners over the next six innings on six hits and two walks as the game went to extra innings tied at 1-1. Florida hit a double in the sixth off the bat of Nicole DeWitt and Florida State had a double from Carsyn Gordon with two outs in the seventh, but neither team was able to get a runner to third base as the game entered the eighth inning.
UF threatened in the top of the ninth as Alesia Ocasio hit a one-out double down the left field line. She moved up to third on a groundout to second base, but was left stranded.
The Seminoles got a runner to second in the bottom of the tenth as Gordon drove a one-out single up the middle and moved up a base on a passed ball, but was kept off the board.
Meghan King (24-1) earned the win in relief, scattering two hits over the final 6.2 innings of the game, striking out three and allowing two walks. Jessica Burroughs gave up one run on four hits, pitching 4.1 innings to start the game without allowing a walk and recording four strikeouts.
Florida State ended the regular season with an undefeated 25-0 record at home, extending its home winning streak to 32 games.