DURHAM, N.C. - The seventh-ranked Florida State softball team (25-7, 4-1) fell to No. 15 Duke (26-6, 8-3) 2-1 Saturday afternoon at the Duke Softball Stadium in Durham, N.C.
The Seminoles were unable to get anything going offensively, recording just three hits on the afternoon. Jahni Kerr was a bright spot for the Nole going 2-for-3 on the afternoon with a double and a single. The Noles' lone run came on Kaley Mudge's second home run of the season as she went opposite to cut the Blue Devils' lead to one in the top of the sixth inning.
Through the first three innings, the two teams combined for just one base hit as the two starting pitchers, Allison Royalty for FSU and Cassidy Curd for Duke, dominated the game.
Royalty got out of a bases loaded jam in the third inning to keep the game scoreless, but the Blue Devils hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead.
The Noles had a chance to cut the lead in the top of the fifth, but the Noles stranded runners on first and second.
Mudge cut the lead in half with her home run in the sixth inning, and Ali DuBois and the Noles' defense were able to hold the Blue Devils' scoreless in the bottom of the sixth to keep it a one-run game.
Kerr led off the seventh inning with a single, and Mack Leonard was inches away from hitting the go-ahead home run, but the ball was caught just before the wall for the first out of the inning. The Noles were unable to bring Kerr home and took their seventh loss of the season.
The two teams will play in a series-deciding game at noon Sunday on ACC Network Extra.
Game One: Friday
DURHAM, N.C. - Michaela Edenfield's two-run home run in the second inning gave the No. 7 Florida State softball team (25-6, 4-0) the lead, and they never looked back in a 4-1 win over No. 15 Duke (25-6, 7-3) at the Duke Softball Stadium in Durham, N.C.
In the first meeting between the two teams in Durham, the Noles snapped the Blue Devils' five game win streak and held Duke to a season-low three hits. The Noles improved to 8-1 all-time over Duke.
After a scoreless first inning, Jahni Kerr just missed a home run by doubling off the top of the wall to put her in scoring position. A groundout put Kerr on third and Michaela Edenfield stepped in with two outs and hit her fifth home run of the year well past the center field wall to give the Noles the early lead.
Neither team was able to get anything going in the third inning, but Hallie Wacaser reached on an error to lead off the fourth inning.
A fielder's choice and a ground put Katie Dack on second base, and once again, the Noles used some clutch hitting with two outs, this time from Mack Leonard, to extend their lead. Leonard hit one into shallow center field to bring home Dack to extend the lead to 3-0.
Another error allowed Devyn Flaherty to reach base at the start of the fifth inning, and Dack would eventually bring her home on a single to give the Noles more insurance with a 4-0 lead.
Kathryn Sandercock stifled a Duke offense that came into Friday's matchup averaging 6.53 runs per game. In five innings, Sandercock gave up just one hit and did not walk a batter while holding the Blue Devils scoreless.
Makenna Reid came in to relieve Sandercock and got out of a jam after the Blue Devils were able to get one run across in the sixth. The Blue Devils got one runner on in the bottom of the seventh, but a double play ended the game to give the Noles another ranked win.
Sandercock improved to 10-3 on the season is now just one win away from moving in a tie for fifth on FSU's all-time career wins chart.
The Noles will look to win the series against the Blue Devils Saturday at 1 p.m. ACC Network Extra will have the coverage.
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Duke limits FSU to three hits, evens ACC series with 2-1 victory