No. 1 Florida State takes down No. 6 UK, Georgia Southern in Renegade Classic
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida State softball team (2-0) is off to a great start in 2015, winning both games on Saturday at the Renegade Classic. The Noles defeated Georgia Southern, 8-0 in six innings, and also No. 6 Kentucky, 3-2. Freshman third baseman Jessica Warren led all hitters with five base hits on two doubles and two home runs and drove in four RBI.
“It feels great to start off the season with a couple of wins over two quality teams,” said Florida coach Lonni Alameda. “I think there were some nerves that were affecting us early, but we played through it, found our rhythm and were able to play Seminole Softball. Lacey [Waldrop] and JB [Jessica Burroughs] were excellent in the circle for us again, and it was good to see some of the freshmen, like Jessica Warren, come up big for us today.”
Burroughs started the game in the circle for FSU and was dominant early. The sophomore retired the first 11 batters she faced, including six strikeouts, before allowing a bloop single to right center in the top of the fourth.
That base hit proved to be the only baserunner surrendered by Seminoles as Burroughs (1-0) earned the win after she sent down the final seven Eagle batters of the game.
She retired 18 of 19 batters for the game, finishing with 6.0 innings pitched, one hit, zero walks and eight strikeouts, marking the second time in her career that she faced just one over the minimum. She went 15-for-16 against Southern Miss on February 16, 2014.
Offensively against the Eagles, FSU jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first as Warren led off the game with a walk and was moved to third on a double by junior Alex Kossoff. Senior shortstop Maddie O’Brien drove in the game’s first run on an RBI groundout to second base.
O’Brien added another RBI in the third inning on a sac fly to center to score Warren who reached on a single to left field. Victoria East scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning after she hit a single, stole second and advanced on a throwing error on the Georgia Southern catcher.
Florida State exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure the run-rule victory. Alex Powers led off the inning with a single to right field which was immediately followed by an RBI double to right center by senior Bailey Schinella. Freshman Korina Rosario also doubled and an RBI groundout by Ellie Cooper extended the FSU lead to 5-0.
A walk by Macey Cheatham and a sacrifice fly by freshman Morgan Klaevemann set the stage for Warren to end the game as her two-run home run to right field gave the Seminoles the 8-0 victory.
Game two against Kentucky was an intense matchup of top 10 teams that both played in the 2014 Women’s College World Series. Lacey Waldrop earned the start for the Noles and showed lots of poise early on. In both the first and second innings, the Wildcats were able to get runners on third base with one away but both times Waldrop and the Noles were able to leave them stranded.
The game remained a shutout until the bottom of the third inning when Jessica Warren lined a solo home run over the fence in right center. Powers scored later in the inning to make it 2-0 after a single to right and a pair of errors on a groundball by Schinella.
Warren extended the lead to 3-0 on an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth after Klaevemann singled to left, stole second and came in to score.
From the second inning to the sixth, Waldrop retired 14 consecutive batters, striking out nine, before allowing a leadoff walk in the seventh inning to Griffin Joiner.
The Wildcats added two hits and two unearned runs in the inning after a fielding error by Warren at third base extended the frame. Waldrop secured the win by inducing a foul pop out to Cheatham at catcher.
Waldrop (1-0) tossed 7.0 innings in the complete game victory, allowing four hits, two unearned runs, one walk and 12 strikeouts. It marked the sixth time in her career that she recorded 12 strikeouts in a game.
The Renegade Classic concludes on Sunday with three more games. Georgia Southern takes on Kentucky at 10 a.m., Kentucky faces Florida State at 12:30 p.m., and the Noles will play Georgia Southern in the final game at 2:30 p.m.