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Recap of FSU Athletics’ weekend

One word to describe FSU athletics this weekend: dominant. Florida State athletics went a combined 14-0 this weekend. The highlights of the weekend came from the softball team (6-0), the baseball team (4-0), and the men’s basketball team (22-point win). This spring has gone as perfect as possible for FSU athletics so far, and these teams are just getting started.

Softball:

3-1 win vs. #23 Ohio State

7-4 win vs. #3 Oklahoma

9-1 win vs. #7 LSU

17-6 win vs. Minnesota

10-5 win vs. FAU

5-2 win vs. #6 Tennessee

FSU softball started their season off 5-0 last weekend at the JoAnne Graf Classic, and only got stronger at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational this weekend, going 6-0 and improving to 11-0. The defending champs have picked up right where they left off last season and look just as good, if not better. The Noles played six games in three days, including three versus top 10 teams, and they made it look easy. WCWS MVP, Meghan King led the way, going 3-0 versus No. 23 Ohio State, No. 7 LSU, and No. 6 Tennessee, while only allowing four runs. The offense exploded this weekend for 15 home runs in just six games. That’s an average of 2.5 home runs per game.

The top eight hitters in the FSU lineup are all hitting over .300 on the season. Freshman pitch, Kathryn Sandercock, also picked up three wins on the weekend, including shutting down No. 3 Oklahoma. Sandercock has provided a great number two option behind Megan King this season, her record is already up to 5-0. The highlight play of the weekend came from Dani Morgan, absolutely robbing Tennessee of a game-tying home run.

The softball team returns to Tallahassee this week to take on South Alabama on Wednesday, and Lipscomb, Elon, and Samford over the weekend in the Unconquered Invitational.

Baseball:

11-0 win (no-hitter)

16-3 win

6-5 win (walk-off)

9-1 win (all vs. Maine)

The baseball team opened up Mike Martin’s 40th and final season in grand fashion versus the Maine Black Bears with a no-hitter on opening day. Preseason All-American, Drew Parrish, threw five innings of no-hit ball before relievers Conor Grady (3 innings) and Chase Haney (1 inning) finished off the no-hitter. Freshman Robby Martin drove in five runs to start his college career. The win also included HR’s from Reese Albert and JC Flowers.

CJ Van Eyk showed off his electric stuff on the mound in game two of the series with eight strikeouts in five innings. FSU’s middle infield of Mike Salvatore and Nander De Sedas carried the offense to 16 runs with four RBI’s apiece. Elijah Cabell provided the highlight of the weekend with his first hit and HR in game two, which measured 443-feet.

Game three was the best baseball game of the four games. Maine took their first and only lead of the weekend on a Jake Roper grand slam in the top of the 4th, but LHP Clayton Kwiatowski came in the game and shut down the Bears for the next 2.1 innings, shutting down all seven batters he faced. Tyler Ahearn showed off his arsenal of pitches in the 7th inning, throwing up to 96-mph and using his slider effectively to strike out two batters in his one inning of work. The offense did its part at the end of the game, as FSU’s freshmen made their impact. Down by one in the last inning, Cabell led off with a walk, Martin double’d him home, and Matheu Nelson drove him home for the walk-off win.

Shane Drohan showed his ability striking out seven batters in three innings of work on Sunday in his first career start. Relievers Antonio Velez and Jack Anderson also pitched well in game four in their first FSU appearances. JC Flowers drove in two runs and threw his first inning off the mound on Sunday. Flowers was the #1 RHP in the state of Florida coming out of high school, and could get a lot of work out of the Noles’ pen this season. Martin added three more RBI’s on the weekend with a bases-clearing double in FSU’s seven-run 7th inning on Sunday, bringing his total to nine on opening weekend.

Mike Martin and co. travel to Jacksonville for a matchup with the Dolphins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19. RHP Conor Grady will get the midweek start for the ‘Noles as they look to stay unbeaten. FSU returns to Dick Howser stadium for a weekend series against the Youngstown State Penguins after the road trip to Jacksonville.

Basketball:

69-47 win @ GT

A total team effort at Georgia Tech led to a blowout win for the Noles’ seventh straight victory. FSU only had two players in double digits, Devin Vassell (11 points) and Christ Koumadje (10), but five other Noles scored at least seven points. FSU out-rebounded the Yellow Jackets 50-38 and held GT to just 27.1% from the floor for the game. 35 of FSU’s 69 points came off the bench, and the highlight of the game came from a walk-on. Harrison Prieto slammed down his first career dunk (high school or college) with 13 seconds left in the game.

FSU played at their own level rather than playing down to GT, which they have down the last few seasons on the road in the ACC. Leonard Hamilton and squad are turning that image around, winning their last 3 away games. FSU will have to be up to the challenge this week as they travel to Clemson on Tuesday at 9 and Chapel Hill on Saturday to take on No. 8 UNC. FSU should move up in the rankings this week as they prepare for two tough road tasks.


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