FSU softball went into 2024 with tons of excitement, with many players returning from last year's team. However, the Charlotte 49ers put a damper on the season opener with a 6-5 extra-inning win in Tallahassee. It was clear the Noles would need pitching to step up with Kathryn Sandercock exhausting eligibility. Emma Wilson got the start and pitched three innings, allowing one earned run, before giving way to Makenna Reid. However, Reid struggled in two innings of work, allowing three hits, two walks, and three earned runs. Freshman Ashtyn Danley looked shaky in her debut, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing three hits, two walks, and an earned run. Emma Wilson returned in relief and pitched well before absorbing the loss. Charlotte was down to their last out in the top of the 10th before two hits brought across the eventual winning run.
-FSU pitching constantly fell behind in counts. Five walks and three hit batters aren't going to get it done.
-FSU batters had some poor at-bats late in the game. Michaela Edenfield in particular, as she swung at balls out of the zone, trying to end the game with one swing before striking out in back-to-back at-bats. Kalei Harding, Devyn Flaherty, Issa Torres, and Jaysoni Beachum had two hits. They had 11 hits and left eight runners on base. FSU had four two-out RBI but failed to capitalize on a couple of opportunities in extra innings.
-Emma Wilson pitched more innings in this game than all last season. She could be valuable in mid-week action.
It's not the end of the world. It's the first game, and we knew they were not going undefeated. It's a long season, and there's quite a bit of youth on this team. I think they'll be fine offensively, but it's the pitching that will need to shape up quickly. Makenna Reid mentioned in a recent interview she felt the pressure a bit going into the season, and it showed. Here's hoping she can find her confidence and be the pitcher they need her to be. The Noles will need to bounce back quickly as they will play Charlotte again on Friday night at 6 p.m. ET.