TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In front of 2,138 fans and in her first career game against the Gators, redshirt senior Kylee Hanson pitched a gem on Wednesday night as No. 13 Florida State (34-7) earned a 4-1 victory over No. 6 Florida (34-7) in the first game of the annual Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown.
Hanson tossed a two-hitter and posted five strikeouts in the complete game victory to improve to 20-3 on the year. It marked the eighth consecutive start where she allowed two or fewer hits, and her 14th of the season in 23 appearances.
It is the first time that Florida State has won consecutive games against the Gators since 2006. The Seminoles have won four straight games over ranked teams in 2018 and are 8-3 on the season against teams in the NFCA Top 25.
HIGHLIGHTS: Check out some of the top plays from our 4-1 win over No. 6 Florida! pic.twitter.com/KiecNSSid3— FSU Softball (@FSU_Softball) April 12, 2018
“Kylee pitched a great game,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “The game plan was to attack the zone and be able to mix speeds early. Against a lefty-dominated lineup, as a righty pitcher, that was a pretty good job for her. A great team effort and Carsyn had some big swings and set the tone for us, and a lot of great defensive plays.”
The Seminoles got an early lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the first by Carsyn Gordon. She drove a 1-1 pitch to deep center, nearly hitting FSU Director of Coaches Video Craig Campanozzi in his scissor lift at the height of the top of the scoreboard.
Florida tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third as Jordan Roberts drew a leadoff walk and Alex Voss ran for her at first. A sacrifice bunt moved her to second base and Voss scored on a one-out RBI double by Kayli Kvistad.
Hear from head coach Lonni Alameda, Kylee Hanson and Korina Rosario on preparing for tomorrow's Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown! pic.twitter.com/QLUlEsGKyS— FSU Softball (@FSU_Softball) April 10, 2018
Florida State retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth as Gordon led off with a walk. Sydney Sherrill traded places with her on a fielder’s choice and Jessie Warren hit a single off the third base bag to put Seminoles at first and second with two outs. Zoe Casas lined an RBI single to center to make it 2-1 FSU.
Deja Bush entered to run at second for Warren and Bush and Casas executed a perfect double steal to move into scoring position. A walk to Cassidy Davis loaded the bases, but the Noles could not add any more runs as the inning ended with a pair of strikeouts.
Florida threatened in the top of the fifth as Aleshia Ocasio hit a one-out double off the top of the wall in center that was inches away from tying the game. A pair of two-out walks to Nicole DeWitt and Amanda Lorenz loaded the bases, but Hanson got out of the jam with a pop out to second base.
The Seminoles rode that momentum to a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to break the game open. Morgan Klaevemann led off the inning with a slap single to shortstop and came in to score on an RBI triple by Cali Harrod, her fourth triple of the season. Gordon drove in her second RBI of the game a batter later on a ground out to short for the 4-1 Seminole lead.
Hanson retired the Gators in order in the sixth and the seventh to close out the game.
“It was surreal,” said Hanson. “I couldn’t stop looking up at the crowd and taking it all in. I only get one year of this, but it was incredible. I can’t believe they get to (play in this rivalry) every year, that was so much fun. Florida is a very patient team, and we knew we’d have to roll with the punches and go at them as best I could with strikes.”
The Seminoles hit the road for a three-game series at Boston College (21-15, 8-3 ACC) on April 13-15. The Eagles will be commemorating their new stadium at the Brighton Complex this weekend and games are at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.