No. 10 Florida State sweeps Virginia Tech on pair of seventh-inning rallies
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Trailing in each game of the doubleheader entering the seventh inning at Virginia Tech, Florida State scored just enough each time to force an extra frame, plating one run in Game 1 and four runs in Game 2. The No. 10 Seminoles (25-7, 7-1 ACC) would go on to win Game 1 7-5 in eight innings, and would defeat the Hokies (22-5, 3-4 ACC) by a score of 7-6 in eight innings in Game 2.
“Great fight and finish out of our team today,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “It didn’t matter the situation, whether at the plate or in the field, we played for each other and fought until the final out. Getting a pair of ranked wins on the road against quality team like Virginia Tech can be a turning point for us this season. We never gave up and trusted in what we could do with the next pitch, not worrying about what had happened before.”
Virginia Tech got on the board in Game 1 with a pair of runs in the third inning after leading off the inning with two walks by Lauren Gaskill and Kylie McGoldrick. A sacrifice bunt moved them both into scoring position and each came into score on back-to-back base hits by Kelsey Mericka and Michelle Prong.
The Seminoles were able to crack the run column in the top of the sixth inning with a two-out, two-run home run by Maddie O’Brien. Jessica Warren was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning and O’Brien tied the game by blasting a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left center field.
Virginia Tech fought right back in the bottom of the sixth as Breanna Davenport hit a single to right and Gaskill was able to reach on a throwing error by Waldrop. Florida State elected to load the bases with an intentional walk to McGoldrick. Katey Smith gave Virginia Tech a 3-2 lead with an RBI groundout to the second baseman.
The Seminoles rallied to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh as Bailey Schinella drew a leadoff walk and Bella D’Errico came on the pinch run for the senior utility player.
A sacrifice bunt from Ellie Cooper moved D’Errico up to second base and she came in to score a batter later on a pinch-hit double to the wall in center field by Victoria Daddis.
The Hokies threatened in the bottom of the seventh as Prong led off the inning with a walk. Prong moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and later to third on a passed ball. That’s as far as she would go as Waldrop ended the inning with a pair of strikeouts for force extra innings.
The Seminoles got their offense going right away in the top of the eighth as a wild pitch on a strikeout to Warren allowed her to reach base. Morgan Klaevemann followed with a bunt single and a walk to O’Brien loaded the bases with nobody out in the inning.
Alex Powers hit a grounder to short that was misplayed for an error, allowing Warren to score and make it 4-3 Florida State. Consecutive hit-by-pitches with the bases loaded to Schinella and Cooper extended the Seminole lead to 6-3 in the top of the eighth.
Alex Kossoff brought in the final Seminoles run of the inning with an RBI sacrifice fly to left field to score Katie Baker who had pinch run for Powers earlier in the frame.
Waldrop came back out to the circle for the bottom of the eighth with FSU holding a 7-3 lead. Virginia Tech managed two runs in the frame on an RBI triple by McGoldrick and an RBI ground out by Smith. A lineout to O’Brien at short ended the game and secured the 7-5 victory for the Seminoles.
Waldrop improved to 15-3 on the season as she pitched 8.0 innings and allowed nine hits, five runs, four earned, with four walks and seven strikeouts. She also snapped a streak of 47.2 innings without giving up an earned run, dating back to UCLA on February 21.
Tyler (10-4) took the loss for the Hokies despite holding the Seminoles scoreless through the first 5.2 innings of the game. She finished with 7.0 innings pitched, five hits, seven runs, six earned with two walks and seven strikeouts. Kelly Heinz came on in relief in the eighth and registered all three outs in the inning.
In Game 2, Florida State took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning as Powers led off the inning with a walk and Cooper followed later with a double to right center. Daddis knocked an RBI single to left to drive in the game’s first run.
VT’s Prong quickly tied it in the bottom of the second with a home run to left field. It was her sixth home run of the season.
The Seminoles made it 2-1 in the fifth inning after loading the bases on singles from Kossoff and Warren, as well as an intentional walk to O’Brien. Powers ended up striking out, but the pitch was in the dirt and got away from the catcher, allowing Kossoff to score on the wild pitch.
Virginia Tech tied it up with a one-out solo home run by Gaskill in the fifth and followed with a walk and a double to end the day for FSU starting pitcher Jessica Burroughs.
Waldrop came on in relief and her first pitch hit VT’s Mericka to load the bases and her next pitch was hit for a grand slam by Vanessa Gonzalez to give Virginia Tech a 6-2 lead after five innings.
Burroughs did not factor in the decision as she finished the game with 4.2 innings pitched, five hits, four runs with two walks and three strikeouts.
Again trailing while entering the seventh inning, the Seminoles started a rally by getting the leadoff runner on base via a bunt single by Kossoff. Back-to-back singles by Klaevemann and O’Brien again loaded the bases for Powers. The redshirt sophomore hit a RBI single into right field to cut the lead to 6-3.
Virginia Tech replaced Game 2 starter Heinz with Game 1 starter Tyler. The pitching change didn’t stop the momentum as Schinella came up next and hit an RBI groundout to second to score Klavemann and make it 6-4 Hokies with two outs in the seventh. Cooper stepped in next with runners on second and third and ripped a double to the wall to tie the game a 6-6 and force VT to bat in the bottom of the inning.
Waldrop retired the Hokies in order in the bottom of the inning on two groundouts and a strikeout to force extras for the second consecutive game.
The first two FSU batters were retired in the top of the eighth, but Warren put the Noles on top for good after blasting an 0-2 pitch to deep center for a solo home run to give the Seminoles a 7-6 lead.
Waldrop pitched around a walk in the eighth inning and secured the victory for FSU by inducing a groundout to the circle. Waldrop (16-3) allowed two runs on one hit in the final 3.1 innings of the game, giving up just one walk and recording three strikeouts.
VT starter Heinz pitched 6.1 innings and gave up nine hits, six runs with four walks and four strikeouts. Tyler (10-5) took the loss for the second consecutive game, giving up one run and three hits in 1.2 innings with one strikeout.