FSU softball: Kalei Harding powers Noles past Charlotte to avenge loss

2023 NCAA Division I Softball Championship
2023 NCAA Division I Softball Championship / Ian Maule/GettyImages

FSU softball (1-1) avenged their season-opening loss by dismantling Charlotte 11-0 Friday night in five innings. The Noles needed to clean up several issues from Thursday's loss. Hitting and pitching were two of the issues. Allison Royalty did it for the Noles on the mound, striking out five and issuing zero walks in four innings. She only threw 57 pitches and allowed three hits. Kalei Harding got things started in the bottom of the first with a three-run home run. FSU scored a run in the second and third innings before blowing the game open in the bottom of the fifth with a six-run outburst led by a Kalei Harding grand slam. Harding finished the game 2-3 with those two home runs and a record seven RBI. Michaela Edenfield rebounded from a tough opening night, going 3-3 with an RBI.

Freshmen Issa Torres and Jaysoni Beachum continue their hot hitting, both going 2-3 with an RBI. The FSU offense pounded 12 hits in 23 at-bats in five innings. They also walked four times against two strikeouts and left four runners on base. Freshman Mimi Gooden pitched a scoreless final frame, setting the Charlotte batters down in order on 14 pitches. It was a great response to the season-opener loss. I thought the FSU offense would be the thing that carries the Noles this season while they figure out the pitching. However, Allison Royalty providing that performance was a breath of fresh air from someone that was inconsistent last season. Royalty not issuing a walk and getting out of the jam in the second inning that started off with an error to put a runner on third with no outs was a great sign. The Noles will play Texas Tech Saturday at 1 p.m. The Red Raiders defeated FAMU twice to open their season.

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