The Daily Nole

FSU Softball Looks to Do What FSU Baseball Couldn’t

Maury Neipris/FSU athletics

Tuesday night at Dick Howser Stadium was a disappointing one as Florida State was handled by rival Florida, 8-2. The loss gave the Gators the season sweep over FSU and marked a 10th defeat for the Seminoles at the hand of their rivals in 12 tries. Fortunately for FSU fans however, Tuesday night wasn’t the last chance for the Seminoles to top Florida on the diamond.

On Wednesday night in Gainesville, Florida State’s eighth-ranked softball team will face the No. 1-ranked and 2-time defending national champion Gators.

Florida is off to a 38-3 start this season, thanks to a pitching staff with a combined ERA of 0.85. Kelly Barnhill has a 14-0 record for Florida while Aleshia Ocasio leads the team in saves and has an 0.45 ERA.

Offensively, Kayli Kvistad and Amanda Lorenz are each hitting better than .400. The two have combined for 11 home runs and 74 RBIs.

FSU is off to a solid start as well at 31-4. The Seminoles have won four straight and 26 of 27 overall.

Seven different Florida State players are hitting better than .350, including junior first baseman Alex Powers, who leads the ACC with a .458 batting average. Sophomore outfielder Morgan Kalevemann leads the ACC in on-base percentage. Jessica Warren has been the biggest supplier of power this season for Florida State, leading the team with 9 home runs and 39 RBIs.

On the mound, Jessica Burroughs and Meghan King have been a dynamic duo for the Seminoles. Both have been recognized by the ACC for their performances this season. King threw a perfect game in a March 12 win over Tulsa while Burroughs’ 18 wins is tops in the ACC.

Like the baseball team, FSU’s softball team has had its recent trouble with Florida. The Gators have taken three straight in the series. The last FSU win came in eight innings two years ago in Gainesville.

Playing against the best has been tough this season for Florida State. FSU is just 4-3 against ranked opponents and was handled 6-2 and 10-3 when it hosted second-ranked Michigan in the ACC/Big Ten Softball Challenge in February.

Taking down Florida on Wednesday night would serve as a big statement for the Seminoles. It would also go a long way in helping them land a top-8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That would mean the Seminoles wouldn’t have to leave Tallahassee until the Women’s College World Series.

Wednesday’s contest is the first of two meetings between the teams this season. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. EST and will air on the SEC Network. FSU will host Florida on May 4.

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