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The No. 7 Florida State softball team (9-3) shared the final day of the Clearwater Invitational with a run-rule win over No. 22 Louisiana (5-5) and a one-run loss to No. 12 Alabama ( 6). -2).
FSU 10, Louisiana 2nd
Mack Leonard wasted no time in her first at-bat against Louisiana as she smashed a 1-1 pitch up and out of the park for her first home run of the season. Krystina Hartley followed up with a triple shot down left midfield, her first long ball of her career, and made it a 4-0 game. Leonard added her second RBI of the day with a sacrificial flyout at center, allowing Kaley Mudge to score for the fifth run in two innings.
Allison Royalty was in circles for her third start of the season and was electrified throughout. She recorded four Cajuns strikeouts and knocked out six straight batters in the middle innings. She finished the day with 5.2 innings of work at 84 spots, her longest stint as a Seminole and her second win of the season.
Leonard came to the save with two outs and forced a groundout on Hartley for the third in the sixth. At the end of the inning, Mudge sent a single straight fair from the right field line, moving Hartley into third place and scoring for Muffley before Leonard crushed another pitch for a nearly identical home run as their first. The hit was a triple bomb that extended the lead to 9-2. Later in the inning, Kaia LoPreste claimed the right to drive home the 10th and final run and enforce the running rule to end the game 10-2 after six innings.
Alabama 2, FSU 1
Then the stage was set for a prime-time heavyweight clash between two national champions in the states of Florida and Alabama.
Kathryn Sandercock was the night’s starting pitcher and showed why she is one of the best pitchers in college softball. She retired the Crimson Tide lineup first time in order and did not allow a batter on base until the fifth inning.
The Tide took the lead with two solo shots late in the fourth inning to score the opening runs of the game, but Jahni Kerr had an answer. She stepped onto the plate as the Noles’ first chance to get revenge, and did so with a home run to the left, her eighth career home run and second hit of the day to put the Seminoles on one.
The pitching duel continued throughout the night as both teams scored just seven goals combined. Sandercock ended up 5.1 innings on 63 pitches, conceding just three hits and forcing 11 groundouts. Makenna Reid came on with a runner and knocked out the first batter before forcing a fly ball that Kalei Harding camped under to end the inning.
Kerr came batting with two outs in the top of the seventh and missed a rocket that allowed her to reach first in the tie run. Amaya Ross came on the pinch run and stole second base, hitting the throw and moving up to third place due to an error in the game. The FSU’s night ended with a groundball to first base.
Florida State finished the Invitational with victories over No. 15 Arizona, No. 4 Arkansas, and No. 22 Louisiana.
The Seminoles return home with a quick turnaround against North Florida at 6 p.m. Wednesday on ACC Network Extra. They then begin the Unconquered Invitational the next day, with five games over three days, all available on ACC Network Extra.