2020 THE Spring Games

Florida State Walk-off Win On Opening Day Over UNC And No. 1 Alabama

Florida State Walk-off Win On Opening Day Over UNC And No. 1 Alabama

Florida State Walk-off Win On Opening Day Over UNC And No. 1 Alabama

Feb 8, 2020 by FloSoftball Staff
Florida State Walk-off Win On Opening Day Over UNC And No. 1 Alabama

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two games, two exciting finishes on Opening Day for the Seminoles as No. 8 Florida State (2-0) opened the 2020 JoAnne Graf Classic with a pair of wins over RV North Carolina (0-2) and No. 1 Alabama (1-1) on Friday afternoon.

Freshman Kiersten Landers placed an RBI bunt single in the bottom of the eighth to carry the Noles over the Tar Heels, 2-1, in game number one, while a grand slam from Dani Morgan capped a five-run comeback in the bottom of the seventh against the Crimson Tide, allowing Elizabeth Mason to drive home Landers for the winning run in the eighth for the 8-7 victory.

Landers finished the day 6-for-9 from the plate with a double, three RBI and three runs scored as the redshirt freshman made her collegiate debut on Friday. Senior Cassidy Davis earned the win in relief in both games as she combined for 3.0 innings without allowing a hit and posting five total strikeouts.

“It was definitely exciting,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “And I think that’s what we are all about, building our journey and seeing what we are as a team. A lot of people came up in a lot of different positions and Cassidy Davis was huge coming in to close out the games. It is just day one/game two, but what a way to start off. It is a long journey ahead for us. The grit that the team had tonight is a maturity piece, and we are a very young team, so if they already have that, then this season could be really exciting for us.”

Game 1: No. 8 Florida State 2, RV North Carolina 1 (8 innings)
Landers got things started as she lined a double into the left field corner to begin the top of the first, and later came in to score on an RBI single by Mason as the Seminoles took a 1-0 lead.

Landers also showed off her short game in the third inning, dropping a perfect bunt in front of the plate for a single.

Caylan Arnold also shined early in her FSU debut, as the senior transfer struck out the first four batters she faced and retired nine Tar Heels in a row to start the game, before Destiny Middleton reached on an error to begin the top of the fourth inning. A wild pitch moved the UNC runner to third and an RBI single by Kristina Burkhardt tied the game at 1-1.

Both offenses struggled in the middle innings as the teams combined for just two baserunners from the next 22 batters spanning from the fourth until the top of the seventh.

Florida State got the winning run on base to begin the bottom of the seventh as Sydney Sherrill worked back from a 1-2 count to draw a leadoff walk, but a groundout and a pair of strikeouts sent the season opener to extra innings.

UNC’s Abby Settlemyre led off the top of the eighth inning with a single through the right side and moved up to second base with one out on a stolen base. Davis entered the circle to relieve Arnold and retired the next two batters to end the threat.

Sophomore Josie Muffley started the FSU half of the eighth inning with a ground ball to third base that was thrown wide of the bag at first, allowing Muffley to advance to second. A groundout moved Muffley to third with two outs and Landers drove in the winning run with a bunt single in front of the plate.

Arnold allowed just four hits over 7.1 innings with one unearned run, zero walks and seven strikeouts in the no decision. Davis (1-0) picked up the win in relief, retiring both batters she faced, including a strikeout.