The Daily Nole

FSU Softball Rallies Past Louisville to Open ACC Tournament, 7-4

Phil Kelly/FSU athletics

Things didn’t get off to the most promising starts for Florida State at the ACC Softball Tournament in Atlanta on Thursday, but the top-seeded Seminoles wound up getting past No. 8 seed Louisville, 7-4.

FSU (45-10) went ahead for good with four runs in the fourth inning. After an Anna Shelnutt sacrifice fly tied the game, a Louisville throwing error allowed Cali Harrod to score and give the Seminoles a 4-3 lead in the frame. Carsyn Gordon hit an RBI single to extend the lead to 5-3 before coming around to score on another error from the Cardinals.

Things for Louisville (33-20) couldn’t have started much better. Sidney Melton led off the contest with a home run to give the Cardinals the early lead. Louisville extended that lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the second inning, thanks to an FSU error and a bases loaded walk to Melton.

Florida State finally broke through in the third inning on a 2-run home run by Sydney Sherrill. After the 4-run fourth, the Seminoles extended the lead to 7-3 on a solo shot by catcher Anna Shelnutt.

The game was hardly a thing of beauty as the teams combined for six errors, with four coming from Louisville. Five of the game’s 11 runs were unearned.

Melton and Blaire Bass each had two hits for the Cardinals and each scored a run. Melton drove in two while Nicole Pufahl scored two of the four runs for Louisville.

The Cardinals actually outhit FSU, 7-6. Three — or half — of the FSU hits came off the bat of Sherrill. Gordon scored a pair of runs while Shelnutt plated two in the victory.

ACC Pitcher of the Year, Kylee Hanson, struggled in her first ACC Tournament start. Hanson lasted just 1 1/3 innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on four hits. Meghan King worked five innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.

The Cardinals threatened late after the first two batters reached base to begin the seventh inning. FSU’s Cassidy Davis was able to shut the door and get the save by inducing Pufahl into a game-ending double play. Megan Hensley took the loss for the Cardinals.

The victory for Florida State is its 13th straight in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles will advance to the semifinals to face either fourth-seeded Boston College or No. 5 seed Notre Dame on Friday. FSU took two of three from both of those teams during the regular season.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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