TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the first time in over a year, Deondre Francois will trot onto Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium as the starting quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles.
Francois last appeared in the opening game against Alabama last September in Atlanta, Ga. Francois exited the game in the fourth quarter after being tackled from behind. Later that week, it was revealed that he tore his patellar tendon in his right knee, and would miss the remainder of the 2017 season.
The redshirt junior won ACC Rookie of the year honors in 2016, posting a 20:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 3,350 yards with a 142.1 quarterback rating.
Francois was also competing with redshirt freshman Bailey Hockman and sophomore James Blackman, who replaced Francois last year.
Seminole fans have been longing for the start of this season after the hiring of head coach Willie Taggart. Last season’s 7-6 record was the worst at FSU since 2009.
No. 19 FSU opens the season against No. 20 Virginia Tech on Monday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – An 8-3 win over the Washington Huskies gave the Florida State softball team its first National Championship in the fastpitch era and third title overall on Tuesday.
Redshirt junior Meghan King led the come-from-behind victory from the pitcher’s mound. The lefty pitched seven innings, giving up five hits, three runs and struck out four.
The Seminoles (58-12) are the third team in NCAA history to come through the loser’s bracket to win the WCWS title. Texas A&M did it in 1983 and UCLA accomplished the feat in 2003.
The Huskies (52-10) jumped out to a three-run lead in the top of the first. Taylor Van Zee got things started with a leadoff single. She was able to score when Jessie Warren threw away a ball to the bag at first on a sacrifice bunt. A pop fly to shallow center fell between two Noles to allow another run to score and an RBI groundout by Taryn Atlee accounted for the final run.
Florida State responded in the bottom of the first. Warren hit a single to left field to set up a two-run homer by Anna Shelnutt to cut the Huskies lead to 3-2.
In the second, Zoe Casas hit a double to left-center that was followed by a Cali Harrod walk. Two batters later, Elizabeth Mason gave the Noles their first lead of the game with a single to right-center. The hit allowed both Harrod and Casas to score, putting the Noles up 4-3. Warren then recorded an RBI single in the inning, increasing the Seminoles’ lead to 5-3.
In the third inning, Sydney Sherrill doubled to left-center. It was double number 29 on the year for the freshman, setting a new ACC record and tying the NCAA single-season mark.
Washington threatened the Noles in the fourth inning as the Huskies loaded the bases with a pair of singles and an error on King with two outs. King escaped the situation on a groundout to end the inning.
Two home runs for FSU in the fourth sealed the game and the title for the Lady Noles. Mason crushed a 2-2 pitch over the wall in center, giving FSU a 7-3 lead. Warren followed with a moonshot to center that gave her 13 total hits in the Women’s College World Series, tying the record for most hits in a single tournament.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the first time in school history, Florida State softball has willed themselves to the Women’s College World Series Championship Series in Oklahoma City.
The Seminoles (56-12) were given the No. 6 seed in this year’s run in the WCWS and managed to pluck the top-seeded Oregon Ducks 4-1 and then the No. 3 UCLA Bruins in an elimination game 12-6 to advance to WCWS championship series.
“Trusting in all of our core values that we create the foundation of in the fall and seeing that come out today was amazing,” FSU head coach Lonni Alameda said.
This year’s go in the WCWS has been nothing less than relentless for FSU softball. The Seminoles went yard four times while batting seven of their 10 hits for extra bases. The ladies won six elimination games of the 2018 postseason to ensure a chance at possibly winning their first ever WCWS Championship. Those six elimination games for the Seminoles in 2018 tie an NCAA postseason record set by UCLA in 1985.
Throughout FSU’s five games in the 2018 WCWS, the Seminoles have managed to hit 14 extra-base hits with eight being doubles and six home runs. That’s among nine different Seminole players.
The Seminoles will face the No. 5 Washington Huskies (52-8) in a best of three championship series. Game one will be on Monday at 7 p.m. Meghan King will start on the mound for the Seminoles as they look to take game one.
Jessie Warren for FSU will look to continue her success on the plate against the Huskies. Warren has 82 home runs in her career, tied for ninth most in NCAA history. She also has 271 RBI’s passing Kasey cooper for eighth-most in NCAA softball history.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the 41st consecutive year, the Florida State Seminoles find themselves in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. And once again, the road for five of the 64 teams in the field will run through Tallahassee.
The Seminoles (43-17, 20-13) are getting hot at the right time. They are fresh off of another ACC Tournament title–their second in three years. Their finish to the season earned them a No. 7 national seed.
Starting on the mound Friday night will be Cole Sands (7-3, 4.46 ERA). The junior from Tallahassee took on the role of ace after Tyler Holton suffered a season ending arm injury on opening day. Sands exited a game against Duke back in early April with shoulder tightness, and was relegated to a Sunday starting role when he returned on May 7. However, coach Mike Martin is handing him the reigns to start yet another postseason run for the Seminoles.
Drew Mendoza is the hottest FSU hitter coming into the tournament. In the ACC tournament, he went 5-for-12 with 5 RBI and 4 runs. As a whole, FSU’s offense has been a huge strength. They are No. 18 in the nation in runs scored (406) and No. 1 in walks (381).
Here is how the rest of the competition looks as a whole for this regional:
Florida State (43-17, 20-13)
Team Batting Avg.: .268
Team ERA: 3.94
Record vs. Top-25 (According to USA Today): 10-9
Big Wins: @ No. 8 UNC (2 out-of 3), @ No. 11 Clemson (ACC Semi), vs. No. 19 NC State (2 out-of 3)
Mississippi State (31-26, 15-15)
Team Batting Avg.: .278
Team ERA: 4.25
Record vs Top-25 (According to USA Today): 11-5
Big Wins: Vs. No. 5 Ole Miss (2 out-of 3), vs. No. 1 Florida (sweep), vs. No. 3 Arkansas (sweep)
Oklahoma (36-23, 14-10)
Team Batting Avg.: .273
Team ERA: 3.84
Record vs Top-25 (According to USA Today): 3-5
Big Wins: Vs. No. 32 Baylor (sweep), @ No. 44 UCF (2 out-of 3)
Samford (36-24, 16-8)
Team Batting Avg.: .269
Team ERA: 3.48
Record vs Top-25 (According to USA Today): 1-1
Big Wins: @No. 44 UCF, vs. No. 14 Auburn
The Seminoles kick off their postseason against Samford at 7 p.m. The winner of this regional will face the winner of the Clemson regional, which could potentially be Clemson, St. John’s, Vanderbilt, and Morehead State.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State started their defense of the ACC championship on the right foot, defeating the Virginia Cavaliers 3-2 in 11 innings.
FSU (40-17, 16-13), scored first on a Cal Raleigh double in the first inning, followed by another double in the third inning. The Cavaliers (28-25, 12-18), with a run already scored in the top half of the third, tied the game in the fourth inning off a Justin Novak single to score Cayman Richardson .
It remained tied at 2 runs, but Virginia came close to breaking the game open in the eighth inning. With one out, the Cavaliers loaded the bases, with their clean-up hitter coming to the plate. FSU manager Mike Martin called on relief pitcher Clayton Kwiatkowski to get them out of the jam. The sophomore proceeded to strike out the next two batters to escape the inning.
Kwiatkowski pitched the final 3.2 innings of the game without giving up a hit.
The big break for the Seminoles came in the 11th inning. With Drew Mendoza on first base, Reese Albert hit a double to score Mendoza to defeat Virginia 3-2. This is the second walk-off hit for the freshman this week. On May 18, he also hit the game-winning home run in the 10th inning against North Carolina State.
With the win, FSU has now won 40 or more games in 41 consecutive seasons. That’s the longest such streak in the nation, with Louisville at No. 2 with 7 consecutive seasons.
FSU’s next game will be Friday at 7:30 p.m. against NC State. The winner of that game will advance to the ACC semifinals.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – No. 10 Florida State scored the final six runs against Notre Dame (32-21) to take a 6-1 win on Friday to advance to Saturday’s ACC Championship Game.
For Florida State (46-10), it will be the sixth consecutive year that the team has played in the ACC title game. They will play the winner out of No. 2-seed Pitt and No. 3-seed North Carolina. That game will be on Saturday at noon.
Sydney Sherrill was 2-for-3 at the plate for the Seminoles. She also connected on her FSU-record 25th double of the season, which moves her into a tie for 17th in NCAA single-season history.
“Quality day today,” FSU head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We had some chances early but just didn’t get the swing off the in the first couple of innings. We worked at-bats and situations later in the game and Meghan and Kylee had really good days in the circle. Now we get to wait and see who comes out of the Pitt and UNC game to have a real Atlantic versus Coastal ACC Championship Game tomorrow.”
The Championship Game between FSU and whoever wins the other matchup will be broadcast live on ESPN.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State’sCorion Knight secured a second-place finish in Thursday’s ACC Outdoor Championships men’s high jump. The Noles’ 11 points placed the team in fourth place behind Syracuse (23 points), Louisville (19) and Notre Dame (12.5). There are 15 total teams competing at Miami’s Cobb Stadium.
Knight set a lifetime-best with his jump of 2.21 meters (7-3) and Brandon Tirado finished in sixth-place in the hammer to help the Noles get in position for one of the top three spots.
“I just want to do my part,” Knight said. “We have a great team. We’re in a good position to win another ACC Championship and I just want to do my part.”
Eleonora Omoregie grabbed a share of third place in the high jump, clearing 1.69 meters (5-6.5) for FSU’s women. Teammates Hannah Welsh and Kayla Maczuga shared sixth place at 1.64 meters (5-4.5). The Seminole women are in eighth place with 7.5 points.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – A game between rivals Miami and Florida State wouldn’t be complete without a nail-biting finish. And that’s exactly what the 4,432 people at Dick Howser Stadium were treated to on Friday night.
The No. 14 Florida State Seminoles (30-13, 12-9) defeated the Miami Hurricanes (17-24, 10-12) in a 2-0 shutout.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it was Florida State and Miami. Did you expect anything less?” said FSU manager Mike Martin.
FSU catcher Cal Raleigh was the first and only source of offense when he hit a two-run home run to center field in the 1st inning. Neither team would score again the rest of the night.
“I was just looking for a fastball to hit, and obviously I put a good swing on it,” said Raleigh, who went 2-for-3. “Obviously things didn’t go the way we wanted to for the rest of the offense, but that’s just baseball. Some days you score two, some days you score twenty.”
Miami starting pitcher Jeb Bargfeldt retired the next 15 FSU batters that he faced after the Raleigh home run.
FSU starting pitcher Drew Parrish was effective from the beginning. He struck out nine of the first fourteen batters he faced, and ended with thirteen strikeouts– a career-high for him.
Parrish made it through the 7th inning allowing only two men to reach scoring position, and allowed nobody to reach third. However, he found himself in a jam in the 8th after walking Miami first baseman Raymond Gil and allowing a single to shortstop Freddy Zamora. With only one out, coach Martin went out to the mound to talk to Parrish.
“Coach came out and asked me how I was feeling and I told him I had this all the way and I wanted it more than anything,” said Parrish.
The next batter laid down a difficult sacrifice bunt in front of the mound to advance the runners, and Parrish made the play to get the runner at first.
“Had he not been on the mound, I can’t say every single pitcher on our staff makes that play,” said Martin. “Drew Parrish makes that play.”
The Seminoles’ biggest threat to their lead came in the 9th. Conor Grady came in relief of Parrish and allowed a single to Danny Reyes to start the inning. With Reyes on first, Cal Raleigh attempted to pick him off, but the throw sailed over first baseman Rhett Aplin’s head and into the outfield, allowing Reyes to reach third base. Grady got the next batter to fly out, but then allowed a walk, and hit a batter to load the bases.
That’s when Mike Martin brought in Jonah Scolaro. With the bases loaded and only one out, Scolaro struck out the last two batters to secure the win.
“With his demeanor, you feel good about him coming in the ball game. He doesn’t have any different looks on his face when he comes in,” said Martin. “He just came in against the University of Miami with the bases loaded, one out, and very good hitters, and struck both of them out. It was quite a credit to him.”
The two teams play again tomorrow at 6 p.m. With the victory, Mike Martin is two wins away from becoming the winningest coach in NCAA baseball history.