Pitt softball concludes season at ACC Tournament


Victor Wu

Jenna Modic pitched her last game as a Pitt Panther. | Wenhao Wu / Staff Photographer

By Ashwini Sivaganesh / Assistant Sports Editor

In a rematch of last season’s ACC title game, the Pitt softball team again ran into the vaunted Florida State Seminoles.

Despite a hearty comeback effort from the Panthers, the results landed in the Seminoles’ favor for the second time.

Under the morning blue sky in Raleigh, North Carolina, the No. 8 seed Pitt Panthers (31-21 overall, 8-14 ACC) faced the top-seeded Seminoles (46-8, 21-2 ACC) on Thursday, this time in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Florida State came out on top in an 8-0 shutout victory.

After the Panthers went down in order in the top of the first, senior Jenna Modic took the circle for Pitt in the last game of her collegiate career.

Modic gave up the first hit of the day in the bottom of the first on a single by FSU junior Ellie Cooper, then settled in and kept the Seminoles off the board.

Sophomore Giorgiana Zeremenko tallied Pitt’s first hit in the top of the second with a single down the right field line, but sophomore Erin Hershman and senior Ashlee Sills were unable to bring her home.

The Seminoles’ high-powered bats lit up in the bottom half of the inning.

A single up the middle and two consecutive walks loaded the bases with one out. FSU then sandwiched a pair of RBI singles around a bases-loaded walk and fielder’s choice to take a four-run lead.

Seminoles starting pitcher Meghan King registered another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third, inducing three consecutive groundouts to third baseman Jessica Warren.

Modic gave up a pair of walks and a double in the bottom of the third, but catcher Kathryn Duran gunned down Carsyn Gordon at second base and Modic stranded runners on second and third to keep the Panthers close.

The fourth inning saw all three batters on both sides retired in order, then Pitt had its best chance at a comeback in the top of the fifth.

Hershman doubled to right-center with one out before Sills drew a walk. A double steal followed by junior Kaitlin Manuel’s walk loaded the bases for the Panthers, but King struck out first-year infielder Olivia Gray for the second out. Senior Shelby Pickett then popped out to end the inning.

FSU’s Sydney Broderick grounded a ball to short in the bottom of the fifth and beat the throw to first. After stealing second, Broderick came around to score on Gordon’s RBI single.

Sophomore pitcher Kayla Harris replaced Modic in the circle and stranded three runners on the basepaths, but the Seminoles had extended their lead to 5-0.

Modic singled to left field in her final collegiate at-bat in the top of the sixth, but King got Zeremenko to ground out to keep her shutout intact. A three-run home run by Broderick in the bottom of the sixth put the game away, as FSU won 8-0 to advance to the semifinals.

“It doesn’t matter who you are playing, you can’t bunch up what we bunched up in the second inning,” head coach Holly Aprile said in a press release. “Those sort of things are just too much to overcome. We could have hit our way back into it but it was more about the opportunity of where we could have scored some runs but were unable to cash in on them. That was where we needed to be better.”

The Panthers ended their season by making the conference tournament for the second year in a row and finished three wins shy of tying the single-season team record.

Earlier Thursday morning, Hershman earned All-ACC First Team honors while Modic and senior Maggie Sevilla made the All-ACC Second Team.

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