FSU softball: Major takeaways from series loss against Syracuse

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

FSU softball (41-13, 19-5 ACC) needed to go on the road and sweep the Syracuse Orange to win the ACC regular-season title with a short-handed pitching staff. They couldn't get it done, losing the first game in walk-off fashion in extra innings, winning the second game 3-2, and getting run-ruled in the third game 13-5. Duke retook the lead in the ACC standings with a series sweep. They would have had the tie-breaker over FSU had the Noles won Saturday's game too. 

Major Takeaways

Freshman Ashtyn Danley has been carrying a lot of the pitching load over the past few weeks. It was her and Makenna Reid for most of the season, but Reid hasn't been available over the past week or so. Danley pitched well enough to win game one, but her defense let her down a few times. Freshman Mimi Gooden pitched well in game two and got the win, and Danley came in to relieve Allison Royalty in game three and just didn't have it. She walked four batters and threw 60 pitches in 1.2 innings. I think the amount of innings she's thrown this year could begin to be a factor. She's thrown 117 innings, and Makenna Reid only threw 79 innings all of 2023, and that's with FSU going to the National Championship series. I believe FSU likely would sweep the series if Reid were available.

The FSU offense didn't get it done at the plate in the series. They only scored 11 runs in the series. The Syracuse defense made a few plays, especially their outfielders, but that's not good enough against a mediocre team like Syracuse. FSU left six runners on base in game one, which cost them, and the murderer's row of hitters didn't play at their usual level. 

FSU must get it together defensively. They had three errors in game one and three in game three. 

FSU will begin a new season in the ACC Tournament on Thursday at 5 p.m. If Makenna Reid can get back by then, I think FSU's chances improve drastically. If not, it's going to be tough sledding in the ACC Tournament and the rest of the postseason. The time off should be beneficial to Ashtyn Danley, who's been in the circle a lot lately. 

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