McNeese softball used the long ball here Tuesday night to stun 9th ranked Florida State, 6-1 in the first of seven games for the Cowgirls that will be played in the state of Florida in the next five days. The win is the first McNeese win over a Top 10 ranked team since defeating 8th ranked Texas A&M in 2014.
“The lineup battled in the box and extended some at bats and we were able to capitalize on some big swings,” said head coach James Landreneau.
McNeese (7-3) got home runs from sophomore Alexandria Saldivar and senior Erika Piancastelli that accounted for five of the six Cowgirl runs.
Saldivar, the native of Princeton, Texas gave McNeese a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning with her first home run of the season, a two run home run that scored pinch runner Toni Perrin. Perrin pinch ran for Morgan Catron who was hit by a pitch to start the inning.
One inning later, after walks to Lauren Brown and Brenique Wright, Piancastelli, the Carlsbad, Ca. native sent her third home run of the season over the centerfield fence for a 5-0 lead. The three RBI gives Piancastelli a team high 11 on the season.
Florida State (8-2) avoided the shutout with a run in the sixth but McNeese got the run back in the top of the seventh when pinch runner Paydn Williams scored on a wild pitch.
As a team, McNeese picked up five hits with five RBI and drew eight walks off three Seminole pitchers. The Cowgirls handed Florida State starter Meghan King, one of two Seminoles named to the USA Today Top 50 Watch List for Collegiate Player of the Year, her second loss of the season as she falls to 3-2. King entered the game with an 0.86 ERA but was chased from the circle in the fourth inning after giving up two runs on three hits and three walks.
Junior Justyce McClain led McNeese with two hits with Saldivar, Piancastelli and Catron picking up on hit apiece.
Cowgirl starter, freshman Caroline Settle picked up her third win against a ranked team this season with the complete game to improve to 4-1 on the year. Settle worked her way out of a few jams, getting out of a four innings with a runner in scoring position including the bases loaded in the second inning.
“Settle pitched a gem tonight. She was able to command the bottom of the zone effectively and was able to change speeds. She stayed composed and pitched herself out of some tough jams.”
McNeese will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. to face North Florida Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., central time before taking part in the Eastern Michigan Madeira Beach Spring Invitational in Madeira Beach, Fla. over the weekend.
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