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Pitt softball suffers series loss to FSU Seminoles

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John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

By Ashwini Sivaganesh / Assistant Sports Editor

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The Pitt softball team came up short this past weekend in its final home series of the season against the vaunted No. 6/7 Florida State Seminoles at Vartabedian Field.

The senior day doubleheader on Saturday saw the Panthers (30-18, 7-12 ACC) lose back-to-back games to the Seminoles (42-5, 19-1 ACC), 16-11 and 4-3. The final contest on Sunday afternoon resulted in Pitt’s crushing defeat, 15-5.

In honor of senior day, the dads of Pitt’s six graduating seniors threw out the first pitches.

The Seminoles started strong, putting up a pair of runs in the top of the second before Jessica Warren hit a grand slam to make it 6-0.

Pitt senior Jenna Modic and sophomore Giorgiana Zeremenko made valiant efforts to cut the lead to 7-4 with back-to-back home runs in the third.

FSU was unstoppable as it scored a three-run homer in the fourth, then added four more runs in the top of the fifth.

The Panthers plated six runs in the last two innings — Modic sent a second ball deep for the day and Erin Hershman hit a homer to left field — but the game ended in a 16-11 defeat.

The second game started slow with four scoreless innings.

The Seminoles scored three in the fifth, with the first coming on a two-run homer by Victoria Daddis sent over the center field wall.

FSU was on its way to a shutout until the Panthers attempted a comeback in a heart-wrenching final half inning.

The bases were loaded after Pitt’s Kaitlin Manuel was hit by a pitch. Senior Kathryn Duran then walked to bring home senior Ashlee Sills before redshirt-senior Shelby Pickett sent a blooper over the head of the first baseman, allowing Manuel and Hershman to score.

Duran represented the tying run on third base, but a groundout by redshirt-senior Maggie Sevilla ended the game 4-3.

FSU’s dominance at the plate on Sunday helped it clinch the series sweep against Pitt.

Manuel got Pitt on the board first in the bottom of the second with her third homer of the season, but FSU separated itself with eight runs in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead.

Pitt tried to catch up with a pair of RBI singles and a solo homer by sophomore McKayla Taylor, but the Seminoles sealed the victory 15-5 by plating six runs in the last two innings.

“We performed pretty well offensively this weekend,” Pitt Head Coach Holly Aprile said. “We made adjustments against two of the best pitchers in the conference, put up runs and battled at the plate. I thought we did a really good job there.”

The Panthers will play their final series of the regular season in Chestnut Hills, Mass. against Boston College starting May 7 at 1 p.m.

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Pitt softball suffers series loss to FSU Seminoles