Chatt Valley Defeats Eagles Friday to take Series Opener

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – A four run second inning wasn’t enough for the Tallahassee Community  College Eagles (7-10), as they fell to the NJCAA No. 6 Chattahoochee Valley Pirates (Ala.), 9-6.

After the Pirates scored three runs in the first two innings, Deyvid
Silva and Tucker Rayburn started got walked to begin the bottom of the second, and Chris Clark was hit by a pitch. Silva scored on a wild
pitch by Chandler Newman for the Eagles’ first run of the game.
Haughton got hit by a pitch to make the bases loaded once again, and Jack Hartman showed his patience by forcing another walk, driving in Rayburn in the process.

Newman was pulled after facing five batters in the inning, walking three and hitting two. The Eagles were able to get one more run off of new pitcher Charles Crosby when Tanner Thomas hit into a fielder’s choice and drove Clark home.

The Eagles notched one more run in the fourth when Josh Nothdorft
drove home Haughton. The 5-3 lead would be the Eagles’ largest of the night.

Eagle starting pitcher Brooks Buckler (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 K, 4 BB)
had his shakiest outing of the season against a Chattahoochee team
that came into the game with a .337 batting average.

He settled down after the second inning, giving up only one hit
between the third and fifth innings. However, things started to
unravel in the sixth for him and TCC. MJ Rookard was hit by a pitch
and advanced to sacrifice bunt. Brandon Hill hit a routine fly ball to
left field, but a botched catch allowed Rookard to score, and Hill to
reach second. Jayson Cook singled to left and got Hill to third. TCC
got Isaac Phillips to ground out, and Hartman made a phenomenal play to throw Cook trying to make it from first to third. However, before the play was complete, they allowed Hill to score, tying the game at five apiece.

The Eagles scored once more in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to a
single by Curtis to drive home Hartman.

Alex Stobert came on to pitch in the seventh for the Eagles, but
didn’t last long. He faced four batters, and gave up three hits and
three runs. He picked up his first loss of the season.

With the 9-6 loss, the Eagles have lost five straight, and 10 of their last 12.

They continue their three-game weekend series against the Pirates
Saturday Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

FSU Women Finish Their Last Regular Season Home Game With a Win Over Pittsburgh

Emma Vargas, Correspondent (@EmmaVargasFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The FSU women’s basketball team played their last regular season home game with a sound win over the Pittsburgh Panthers 79-48. The evening was especially significant for the team’s seniors, who celebrated this victory on their senior night and added to the team’s record of winning five consecutive senior night games. Seniors Gabby Bevillard, Brittany Brown, Kai James, Leticia Romero, and Ivey Slaughter were recognized in a special ceremony with their families and Coach Sue Semrau before the start of the game.

The revered seniors certainly earned the attention and celebration they received tonight. They are the winningest team in the program’s history, with 103 wins overall and 50 ACC wins, the first team ever to accomplish this feat. For their third straight season, they have thus far held all of their opposing teams to under 60 points.

Tonight, these seniors also performed well individually. Three of the five scored in the double digits, with Romero’s points all coming from three-pointers. The team could consistently count on Romero, Brown, and junior Chatrice White to get points on the board during dry spells.

Coach Semrau had nothing but praises for seniors’ and the rest of the team’s performance.

“Working hard is the culture that these guys have created,” said Semrau. “They’re contagious in that they make everyone follow their lead. The way they’ve worked has set the standard and is part of our culture now.”

The Seminoles (25-4, 13-2) maintained a comfortable lead over Pittsburgh (13-15, 4-11) throughout the game. They made a strong statement in the second quarter when the FSU defense only allowed six Panther points for that quarter and 17 points overall as they headed into the half. The second quarter also saw a 14-1 run by Florida State, with even contributions among its players. Brown finished the half with a dramatic buzzer-beater three-pointer.

Pittsburgh’s scoring woes continued into the second half, although to a lesser degree. Throughout the game, they experienced many missed shots of all sorts and appeared discombobulated altogether. One exception to this was forward Brenna Wise, who scored 22 of her team’s 48 points. This, however, was not enough to close the Seminole’s 21-point lead at the beginning of the next half.

Both the third and fourth quarters contained dry spells from scoring that each lasted up to several minutes between both teams. Slaughter made significant contributions to her team’s points in the third quarter, and as usual served as a dependable playmaker in this game. The final quarter also had a series of three-pointers between Brown and Romero. In the final minute and 18 seconds, the seniors walked off their court for the last time in their careers, leaving the team’s younger players to finish the game.

“Mental toughness, personal growth, community service, and sisterhood are things which I developed and will carry with me from my time at Florida State,” senior Ivey Slaughter explained after the game. “Coach Sue encourages us to make positive impacts in people’s lives.”Both teams will move on to ACC Tournament play on Sunday. Pittsburgh will face Syracuse at

Both teams will move on to ACC Tournament play on Sunday. Pittsburgh will face Syracuse at 2 pm, while FSU travels to play at Notre Dame at 1 pm. In this, FSU is seeking to win its first ever ACC championship.

Godby Advances Over Rickards

Andrew Miller, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)Godby  overpowered Rickards by a final of 65-50 on Tuesday night, advancing them to the next round of the state playoffs.

They played classic Godby basketball for almost the entire game, full-court pressing their opponent on defense and attacking the paint on offense until Rickards got into foul trouble.

Rickards (19-9) tried giving Godby (25-1) a taste of their own medicine with full-court pressure to start off the game, but it did not seem to slow Godby down.

“They pressed up on us all night, so the lane was open for us to attack,” Godby point guard Montre Edwards said.

Instead, the Cougars jumped out to a commanding lead in the first quarter—one it never relinquished—holding the Raiders scoreless for the first six minutes of the game.

Godby’s lead swelled in the second quarter as the home team attacked the paint relentlessly. Senior center Corbin Merritt had a thunderous dunk and subsequent block on the defensive end with four and a half minutes to go in the quarter, which is a testament to the team’s insistent hustle and aggressiveness.

At one point, Godby led 26-5. Rickards responded with an 8-0 run to get them back into the game at 28-13 with a minute left in the half, including a jump shot as the halftime buzzer sounded. Godby led 29-15 at halftime.

The momentum stayed with Godby in the second half. They immediately came out on a 13-6 run to double Rickards’ score 42-21, a product of continuing to force turnovers and draw fouls. At times, Rickards looked frantic and could not effectively set up their offense.

Many of the Raiders’ offensive woes can be attributed to the Cougars’ unshakeable defense. The Edwards twins kept tight pressure on the ball and Merritt was bothering shots all night, a tough combination to overcome when your bench is not as deep as your opponent’s.

“We played tremendous defense,” Godby head coach Andy Colville said. “To come out here and play that well from start to finish, I think we proved that we are one of the better—if not the best—teams in this area.”

When you take a step back and look at what Colville and his squad have accomplished this year, it is hard not to be impressed.

“A lot of them didn’t play last year.” Colvile said. “And none of them played two years ago when we were undefeated. I think that says a lot about our program and our kids, to have the chance to go back to Lakeland with not one player that was on that [2014-15] team.”

Godby advances to the regional semifinals against Ribault, where they will play on February 24 for a trip to the Final Four.

Karp Brilliant, Bullpen Falls Apart in the 9th

TJ Knapp, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The forecast wasn’t the only ugly sight at Dick Howser Stadium on Tuesday as Florida State fell apart in the ninth inning in a painful 4-2 loss to South Florida.

Heading into the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead, FSU (2-2) was looking at it’s first save opportunity of the season. Three walks, two hit batters, and four runs later, the Seminoles found themselves on the losing end of this in-state matchup for the first time since 1989.

USF (3-1) enjoyed a solid day from six different pitchers, including starter and former Florida State player Ryan Valdes. While there was actually a decent amount of hard hit balls, the group managed to hold the Noles to only one hit, an RBI double by Rhett Aplin in the first inning. Meanwhile it took six pitchers to get FSU through the top of the ninth inning alone.

“We gave them their runs, we gift wrapped it and looked them in the eye and presented it to them, ”said coach Mike Martin after the game. It was clear 11 was disappointed with the loss, but not discouraged with his club.   “I’ve got 600 and something losses, this ain’t nothing new, we have to look at this as a learning experience.”

It wasn’t all bad news for the Seminoles as this game actually gave us some really, really good news; Andrew Karp is legit. The redshirt sophomore allowed no runs on three hits while setting career highs in innings pitched (7.0) and strikeouts (9), which is actually two more strikeouts than he had all of last season. This success is especially encouraging for Karp, who had to redshirt his freshman year due to a horrible car accident and a shaky first season which saw him struggle to the tone of a 6.91 ERA.

“It means a lot, it’s a testament to the coaches, the training staff and the strength coaches getting me ready and putting me in a position to succeed.” Karp also noted he believes this success is a result of the work he put in during the offseason on his delivery and regaining the velocity that made him successful before his injury.

The bitterness that the end of this game brought shouldn’t overshadow how sweet Karp was out there, and coach Martin felt the same way. “Isn’t it a shame? What a throw-away start, the guy was absolutely gorgeous.”

The ninth inning brought to light a problem that the noles really didn’t know they had, and that of course is the inability to get the last three outs with the game on the line. Simply put, the Seminoles need to address their closer situation and that was something else 11 harped on.

“We will get together as a staff and decide who is going to close, and when that decision is made, he’ll know, by George it’s mine in the ninth!” Martin said. “He’ll be the only one that’s going to close it, leave him out there, and let him know this is it.”

It remains to be seen who will ultimately be named the closer, but a few names to keep an eye on are seniors Jim Voyles and Alec Byrd, as well as junior sidewinder Chase Haney. All have showed the ability to get big outs in the past, but all of them also contributed to that ugly collapse in the ninth to the Bulls.

The Noles look to put this one behind them as they try to bounce back this weekend against Samford (2-1) starting this Friday at 3PM.

Florida A&M defeats Hampton

Calvin Sykes, Correspondent (CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Florence Ouattara scored 20 points to lead Florida A&M past the Hampton Pirates 62- 44 on Monday at Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

Shakerrya Morrison had 14 points and Cedricka Sweeting added 10 for FAMU (10-16, 8-5 MEAC).

Monnaz Finney- Smith, who ranks number 12 in scoring in the Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference, scored 16 points to lead Hampton.

Katherine Broomfield | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

The Rattlers outrebound the Pirates 55 to 36 behind the second leading rebounder of the MEAC Morrison.

“I love how gritty [Morrison] is on the boards. She just loves to rebound and I mean she doesn’t need to score. She just has a nack for the ball. She is just relentless on the boards, but my goal for her is to be first in the MEAC standings for rebounding,” FAMU head coach LeDawn Gibson said.

Florida A&M was held to 9 of 31 shooting from the field in the first half as opposed to the Pirates only making 8 of 28. Florida A&M out- shot the Pirates from the three point line – 64 to 50 percent.

Hampton pulled within 26 – 23 on a 3-0 run, but Ouattara made a three pointer to extend the Rattlers’ lead. FAMU led 29-23 at halftime after leading by as many as 11 points at the mid-way point in the first half.

The Rattlers took control after of the game after Hampton’s brief burst. The Rattlers went on a 13-6  run to push the lead to 42-29 and held on for the rest of the game.

Because it was Senior Night for FAMU, it was their final home game of the season. The Rattlers will next play South Carolina State in Orangeburg, S.C. on Saturday. Tip-off will be at 2 p.m.

Hampton gives the Rattlers their third loss in a row

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

Florida A&M men’s basketball team has continued to struggle offensively this season. Monday night the Rattlers (7-18, 5-7 MEAC) had another disappointing night in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center. FAMU was defeated 72-55 by the Pirates of Hampton University on Senior Night. The loss is the third in a row for the Rattlers.

The only senior on the FAMU men’s team is forward Trey-Cary Warren. In honor of Senior Night, Warren started. Warren put five points on the board for the Rattlers and 2 rebounds, an offensive, and defensive.

Katherine Broomfield | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

FAMU shot 33.9 percent from the field, whereas Hampton shot a little better at 47.2 percent. The Rattlers were heavy on the free-throw line, shooting 71.4 percent. Head coach Byron Samuels said the goal is to get to the free-throw line at least 25 times. Shooting 15-21 from the free-throw line was not enough to secure a win over the two-time defending champions of the MEAC.

“We try to be aggressive, we got there. Our goal every game is to get there at least 25 times and shoot at least 75 percent, so we accomplished that feat,” Samuels said. “The greater issue is we didn’t shoot the ball well from the floor.”

Hampton (11-14, 8-4 MEAC), who stands third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, did not make the match-up against the Rattlers easy. Freshman guard Jermaine Marrow put up 31 points for the Pirates. The Pirates had 39 rebounds, AJ Astroth and Kalin Fisher had seven each.

“I thought we defended pretty well for the majority of the game, but certainly the Marrow kid gets hot, hits two or three 3s in a row,” Samuels said. “Hampton is a good team, it’s a good basketball program. They’re used to winning, finding ways to win.”

Junior forward Desmond Williams offensively and defensively ran the court. He had 12 points and 8 rebounds for the Rattlers.

The Rattlers are 22-11 against Hampton, and the Pirates have won each of the last five meetings between the two teams. Last season, the Rattlers loss in overtime 71-65.  Overall, Hampton has won seven of the last nine games against FAMU, and the Pirates are 7-6 against the Rattlers on the road.

“We just didn’t have it tonight,” Samuels said. “I probably didn’t do my best job getting our guys prepared with the turnaround. We tried to rest, keep our legs fresh. Hats off to Hampton, but I’m hurting for our guys, disappointed. We’ve got to find a way to get some energy and continue to fight.”

This is the last game for the Rattlers at home, and they have two more until the MEAC Tournament in March. FAMU will face South Carolina State on Feb. 25 and rival Bethune-Cookman on March 2.

Florida State Men’s Basketball Pushes Home Winning Streak to 20 After Handling Boston College

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – No. 19 Florida State stopped a 2-game skid with a 104-72 victory over the Boston College Eagles.

After being shutout in his last game against Pittsburgh, and snapping a 35-game double-digit scoring streak, Dwayne Bacon redeemed himself with a team-high 16 points. In the second half, one of Bacon’s four three-pointers brought to the 1,000 point mark for his career. He is the 46th Seminole to accomplish the feat.

Coach Leonard Hamilton said that his performance against Pitt wasn’t a cause for concern.

“You’re going to have one of those days,” said Hamilton. “He just scored 1,000 points as a sophomore, so I mean, he knows what he’s doing on the court.”

FSU (22-6, 10-5) got out to a comfortable 55-31 lead at the half after shooting an impressive 54% from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, they held BC (9-19, 2-13) to 26% from three, and 32% on all field goals.

FSU also had a huge advantage from their bench, who outscored BC 59-2. PJ Savoy lead all FSU bench players with 15 points, going 4-for-9 from the field and 3-for-8 from three.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who came into the game with the third best assist-to-turnover ratio in the ACC, lead the Seminoles with 10 assists and zero turnovers. On the defensive side of the ball, he really impressed BC coach Jim Christian.

“Mayes is one of the best ball pressure guards in the league,” said Christian. “He doesn’t get enough credit.”

With the win, FSU has won its 20th straight home game, and 17th home game of the year, which sets the school record for most home wins in a single season.

The Seminoles go on the road to play Clemson on Saturday, Feb. 25 and Duke on Tuesday the 28 before returning home for the last game of the regular season against Miami on March 4.

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M VS Hampton

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M women’s basketball (9-16, 7-5 MEAC)  and men’s basketball (7-19, 5-8 MEAC) teams will host a doubleheader against Hampton University Monday in Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

Saturday, FAMU took on the Spartans of Norfolk State. The women were able to secure a 59-51 victory over the MEAC’s second-place team. It took the game to go into double overtime to determine the outcome of the men’s game. NSU outlasted the Rattlers, winning 77-65.

Last season, the Lady Rattlers were able to bring home a 66-59 victory over the Lady Pirates. The men were not able to secure a win over Hampton in a 71-65 loss for FAMU.

Khadejra Young was the leading scorer and rebounder for FAMU. She had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Rattlers. Malcolm Bernard led the men’s team in points and rebounds as well. Bernard had 23 points with 11 rebounds.

Hampton’s women are 14-11 and the men are 11-14. Both teams are 8-4 in the MEAC.

Monday’s game will also serve as Senior Night for the Rattlers. Free admission will be granted to those with a valid FAMU ID. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Mike Martin Hits Another Milestone As FSU Takes the Series Over VCU

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – As No. 5 Florida State got their second win of the season against Virginia Commonwealth 11-3 on Sunday, manager Mike Martin picked up his 1,900th victory of his 38-year career.

All of his wins have come at FSU, and he is only 75 behind Augie Garrido for most all-time by an NCAA manager. Martin did not shy away from how he felt about number 1,900.

“It means that we’ve had some outstanding athletes here in our program for a long time,” said Martin, who also has 17 conference championships and 15 College World Series appearances. “It’s been a great ride, we just want that ride to continue to where we’re trying to get to.”

Early on, the Seminoles (2-1) were able to continue their offensive dominance they showed Saturday. Taylor Walls started the scoring when he was walked on base, and driven in by Cal Raleigh in the first inning. The Seminoles scored three more in the second to jump to a quick 4-0 lead.

Continue reading Mike Martin Hits Another Milestone As FSU Takes the Series Over VCU

Seminoles Crash Rams’ Party

TJ Knapp, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State rebounded in a big way with a 12-3 blowout victory over Virginia Commonwealth to even the series at one apiece.

FSU (1-1) put on an offensive clinic, tallying 12 hits and going 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Runs came in bunches for the Noles as they scored all 12 runs across four innings with six players accounting for all of the RBIs. Four batters enjoyed multi-hit games, and first-year Seminole Rhett Aplin crushed a two-run home run for his first career hit.

“What a difference a day makes,” said coach Mike Martin. “It’s amazing how a dinger can wake everybody up. It was the first one of the year and a big lift for our ball club, [Aplin] is certainly capable of messing up the party. He’s learning, he’s earning himself a spot against right handers. I’m very happy for him.”

Continue reading Seminoles Crash Rams’ Party

Lady Rattlers Upset Elite Conference Foe

Stanley Brooks, Correspondent ( @StanleyBrooksFS on Twitter)

Florida A&M University’s women’s basketball team surprised many people with their 59-51 win over Norfolk State University. The Lady Rattlers held their ground against NSU, who are the number two team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Senior guard Florence Ouattara led the team in scoring with 12 points while senior forward Alicia McCray and junior guard Shakeyrra Morrison both put up double-doubles with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

“I thought Alicia played a heck of a game. I’ve been waiting on Alicia to do this all year and she just played an all-around great game tonight, she was just fearless.,” head coach LeDawn Gibson said.

 

Katherine Broomfield | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

McCray filled up the stat sheet with her performance in the paint. 10 of her 13 rebounds were defensive rebounds and she got all of the team’s six blocks.

The Lady Rattlers turned the ball over 21 times but managed to hold the Spartans to 25% shooting from the field for the night and only three of NSU’s players were able to score more than six points.

“I think their heads and hearts are in the right place. I think going into the end of the season we’re in the right place mentally and physically,” Gibson said.

The last three games of the season are all conference games and two of them are against top-four teams in the MEAC.

“We got two more home games to incite the fans and to get some more people out there to support us for the MEAC,” Gibson said. “We just got to go out there and be fearless and try to put ourselves in a better situation for the MEAC tournament.”

The Lady Rattlers look to end their season on another win streak after getting their first win since North Carolina A&T snapped their five-game win streak.

“I think we have a great team. We’ve been on a rollercoaster ride, we lost two last week that I don’t think we should’ve lost but we did. We’re just trying to bounce back this week and move forward and continue to work,” Gibson said.
The Lady Rattlers play their next game on Monday against Hampton University. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

Recap: The Godby Cougars Defeats the Mosley Dolphins, 71-40

Janne Mundin, Correspondent (@JMundinFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Godby varsity basketball team defeated the Mosley Dolphins, 71-40,  Thursday, February 16. This game was part of the 2017 FHSAA Boys Basketball State Championship – Class 6A Semifinals.

Senior Corbin Merritt and Junior Trey Jones were the top scorer for Godby, scoring 18 points. Mosley was led by Senior Jacorian Calloway with the score of 18 points, followed by Junior Stacy Burse, scoring 9 points.

The Cougars came out strong in the first few minutes, scoring 13 points. Mosley fell behind quickly, and didn’t score at all until much later in the 1st quarter, ending the first quarter with the score 18-7. The Dolphins pulled through on the 2nd quarter, led by Jacorian Calloway, scoring 10 points. Godby led during halftime, 40-20.

Janne Mundin

Both teams experienced technical foul at the same time during 2nd quarter, scoring 1 point each  by Godby’s Jones and Mosley”s Calloway.

“When it comes to games, [Merritt] is really good”  Godby’s coach Andrew Colville said. “He’s an MVP in Las Vegas during a tournament.”

Godby Cougars will be going against Rickard Raiders on Tuesday, February 21st for the regional Semifinals. The winner will then advance to the Regional Semifinals on February 24th.

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