Longwood softball team overcomes delay, upsets #4 Florida State

Published 1:27 am Sunday, February 12, 2023

Weather delays started out as the main story from the JoAnne Graf Classic in Tallahassee, Florida this weekend. the Longwood softball team sure changed that narrative in a hurry.

A Lancer program that has a storied legacy of success stunned No. 4 Florida State with a 5-4 win on Saturday night that goes down as the highest ranked win in the program’s history.

Longwood (1-1) persevered to earn the win after a weather delay pushed the start back to 6 p.m. Then, in the sixth inning, weather again forced a temporary stoppage.

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However, the Longwood softball team, who claimed a share of the Big South regular season title last year and have won five Big South Tournament titles in 10 seasons, never wavered, and their patience was rewarded with a one-run win over the preseason ACC favorites.

Longwood softball tosses three-hitter

The pitching staff combined to throw a three-hitter against a Seminole side that won 55 games a season ago, and the offense piled up 11 hits that paved the way for five runs.

Freshman Maggie Chapin earned the win in her first collegiate start, and she didn’t allow a hit while pitching into the fifth inning. She struck out four.

“Maggie has worked so hard,” said head coach Dr. Megan Brown. “She has grown so much these past few months and is seeing the results of her hard work.”

Er’ron Burton earned the save with 2.2 relief innings. She struck out a pair and clamped down on a Florida State rally.

“Er’ron loves to pitch, and she is also a tremendously hard worker,” said Dr. Brown. “We knew that great teams like Florida State don’t go away easy, and I am very proud of how our team fought down the stretch tonight.”

Starting off strong

Longwood roared out of the gates early with a two-run first inning. They tacked on three more in the second when Lauren TaylorKayley DeVivi and Korynna Anderson all cranked out RBI singles. The Seminoles fans in attendance could only watch in shock as their team was quickly trailing 5-0.

Florida State (2-1) finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth as Katie Dack’s three-run blast cut the Lancer lead to 5-3. The weather interfered again in the sixth inning and suspended the game for more than one hour.

Upon the returning to play, the Seminoles drove in another run to cut the Lancers lead to only one run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Burton, who started Friday’s game against Purdue, slammed the door shut by retiring the side in order, 1-2-3, in the bottom of the seventh.

“I’m so excited for our young ladies and this team,” said Dr. Brown. “It took all 18 of them tonight and was truly a team effort on all fronts.”

The Lancers will be back in action tomorrow morning to conclude the weekend’s games at the JoAnne Graf Classic. The Longwood softball team will take on Purdue at 10 a.m. and will face Florida State in a rematch of Saturday night’s thriller at 12:15 p.m.