The season is a little more than a week old, but No. 5 Florida State softball has wasted no time making an early statement. To begin the ESPN Elite Invitational in Clearwater this week, the Seminoles knocked off three ranked teams in three days.
FSU felt little resistance on Thursday or Friday. After beating No. 18 Tennessee 9-3 on Thursday, the Seminoles handled 11th-ranked Texas on Friday, 9-2.
Kalei Harding provided an early spark against Tennessee with a 2-run home run in the bottom of the first. Mack Leonard, who had a 3-for-3 day, helped turn the contest into a laugher as her 3-run homer highlighted a 5-run fourth inning.
Danielle Watson worked six strong innings from the circle to earn the win. Lair Beautae finished with a run scored and an RBI for Tennessee in the loss.
The big inning was again FSU’s friend on Friday. After scoring a run in each of the first two innings against Texas, the Seminoles broke things open with a 6-run third.
Michaela Edenfield’s 3-run blast highlighted the frame. Jahni Kerr would add a 2-run double. Edenfield, Devyn Flaherty and Sydney Sherrill all had two hits for FSU. Mary Iakopo was 2-for-2 with a solo home run for Texas.
After two laughers, FSU got all it wanted against No. 19 Michigan on Saturday. Ultimately, the Seminoles held on for a 2-1 win.
FSU’s offense once again came early. The Seminoles got the scoring started in the second inning when Kaley Mudge drew a bases-loaded walk. In the third, a wild pitch scored Edenfield.
That would be all Watson would need as she allowed just a run on three hits in six innings from the circle. Michigan’s lone run came in the sixth on an RBI single from Lexie Blair. Kathryn Sandercock worked a scoreless seventh to pick up the save.
FSU’s stellar showing in Clearwater began after a 4-3 win over South Alabama on Wednesday. The Seminoles wrap up their stay in Clearwater on Sunday with contests against No. 24 UCF and No. 3 UCLA.
Weekly Commitments: None
Weekly Decommitments: None
2023 Recruiting Class Ranking*: No. 14 nationally, second in ACC (4 total commitments)*
Big Picture: “Tour of Duty” is underway. The Seminoles are less than two months away from their spring game.
Record: 14-12 (7-9 ACC)
Past Week: (1-1), beat Clemson on Tuesday, 81-80; lost at Duke on Saturday, 88-70
Upcoming: at Boston College (Monday); at Virginia (Saturday)
Weekly Commitments: None
Weekly Decommitments: None
2023 Recruiting Class Ranking*: N/A (0 total commitments)*
Big Picture: FSU got back on track with a dramatic win over Clemson, but was no match for Duke on Saturday.
Record: 14-11 (8-7 ACC)
Past Week: (2-1), lost at Miami on Sunday, 76-59; beat Syracuse on Tuesday, 73-67; defeated Boston College on Thursday, 66-58
Upcoming: vs. North Carolina (Sunday); vs. Georgia Tech (Thursday)
Big Picture: FSU bounced back from a tough loss at Miami to win a pair of close games. The Seminoles wrap up their home slate with two big games this week.
Past Week: (1-0), defeated Mississippi State on Saturday, 5-2
Upcoming: vs. Troy (Friday)
Recognitions: Loris Pourroy (ACC Player of the Week)
Big Picture: FSU notched perhaps its most impressive win of the season on Saturday with a 5-2 victory over Mississippi State. It may soon be a ranked team.
Ranking: No. 25 ITA
Past Week: Idle
Upcoming: vs. Clemson (Friday)
Big Picture: After a lengthy rest, FSU is set to open ACC play at home against Clemson.
Track and Field
Ranking: Men No. 20 USTFCCCA, No. 6 USTFCCCA South Region; Women No. 4 USTFCCCA South Region
Past Week: Participated in UofSC Indoor Open on Friday
Upcoming: ACC Indoor Championships (Thursday-Saturday)
Recognitions: Adriaan Wildschutt (ACC Performer of the Week); Lauren Ryan (ACC Performer of the Week)
Big Picture: Instead of South Bend, FSU instead made the trip to South Carolina this week. The Seminoles now turn their focus to the ACC Indoor Championships.
Swimming and Diving
Ranking: Men No. 21 CSCAA; Women No. 24 CSCAA
Past Week: The FSU men finished sixth at the ACC Championships while the women finished eighth.
Upcoming: UGA Last Chance (Saturday and Feb. 27)
Big Picture: It wasn’t the best of showings for FSU as a team, but there were a lot of solid individual efforts.
Ranking: No. 5 NFCA Coaches Poll; No. 5 Softball America; No. 6 USA Softball; No. 5 D1Softball
Past Week: (4-0), beat South Alabama on Wednesday, 4-3; beat Tennessee on Thursday in ESPN Elite Invitational, 9-3; beat Texas on Friday in ESPN Elite Invitational, 9-2; beat Michigan on Saturday in ESPN Elite Invitational, 2-1
Upcoming: vs. UCF (Sunday, ESPN Elite Invitational); vs. UCLA (Sunday, ESPN Elite Invitational); vs. Florida A&M (Wednesday); vs. Hofstra (Friday, Unconquered Invitational); vs. Indiana (Friday, Unconquered Invitational); vs. Hofstra (Saturday, Unconquered Invitational); vs. Indiana (Saturday, Unconquered Invitational)
Big Picture: FSU has put together three very impressive performances in Clearwater. The Seminoles wrap things up on Sunday.
Ranking: No. 11 D1Baseball; No. 12 Baseball America; No. 15 NCBWA; No. 12 Collegiate Baseball
Past Week: (2-0) beat James Madison on Friday, 4-1; beat James Madison on Saturday, 13-2
Upcoming: vs. James Madison (Sunday); at Jacksonville (Tuesday); vs. Samford (Friday); vs. Samford (Saturday)
Recognitions: Parker Messick, P (Golden Spikes Award watch list)
Big Picture: FSU has pitched very well through two games. It will try to sweep its first weekend series on Sunday.
Ranking: No. 31 Golfweek
Past Week: Won Mobile Bay Intercollegiate
Upcoming: Watersound Invitational (Sunday-Tuesday)
Big Picture: After months off, FSU had a stellar comeback this week to win in Alabama.
Ranking: No. 26 Golfweek; No. 24 WGCA Coaches Poll
Upcoming: Moon Invitational (Sunday-Tuesday); Florida State Match-Up (Friday-Feb. 27)
Big Picture: FSU will have gone nearly four months between tournaments when it heads to Louisville this week.
Ranking: No. 3 AVCA
Upcoming: vs. UAB (Saturday, FSU Beach Bash); vs. Cal Poly (Saturday, FSU Beach Bash)
Recognitions: Maddie Anderson (Collegebeachvb.com Breakthrough Player of the Year)
Big Picture: FSU will begin its season at home with the FSU Beach Bash on Saturday.
*Rankings according to 247Sports Composite