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Clemson maintains its mastery of Florida State with 8-4 triumph

Ryan Mottl pitched a six-hitter and Clemson kept up its domination of Florida State on Thursday with an 8-4 victory at the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament.

The Seminoles have built a powerful program and own a case full of trophies and honors. None of that seems to matter against Clemson, which has won all four meetings this season and is the only league team with a winning record (24-17) against Florida State since it joined the conference eight years ago.

Clemson faces league champion Georgia Tech today. Florida State plays North Carolina in an elimination game.

Mottl, a senior who pitched into the seventh but did not get the victory when Clemson beat Florida State 5-4 on May 7, battled through two bad innings.

He walked Chris Smith to lead off the game and gave up consecutive singles to John-Ford Griffin and Marshall McDougall as the Seminoles took a 1-0 lead. But he struck out Ryan Barthelemy and got Karl Jernigan to ground into a double play.

Mottl retired 12 of the next 13, seven on strikeouts, as Clemson moved in front 4-1.

The Seminoles broke loose momentarily. Smith singled to start the sixth, Griffin walked and McDougall hit his 12th homer over the 30-foot fence in right to tie it at 4.

Mottl gave up only a hit and a walk the rest of the way. He had 10 strikeouts, the most he has had in his past 40 starts. It was his first complete game since a 17-3 NCAA Tournament victory over Delaware on May 29.

Clemson showed some uncharacteristic power; only last-place Duke had fewer home runs than the Tigers' 27 this season.

Catcher Brian Ellis hit his first homer in more than a year to give Clemson a 2-1 lead. Mike Calitri's fifth homer made it 4-1.

After McDougall's blast, Khalil Greene hit his fifth homer for the winning run.

Women's softball

FSU 2, LONG BEACH ST. 0: Sophomore Kimmy Carter's two-run double in the sixth lifted the Seminoles in an NCAA region game at UCLA.

Staci Brandon led off the sixth with a single to leftfield for her second hit. Serita Brooks reached second on a throwing error while trying to sacrifice, sending Brandon to third. Carter then hit a blast to centerfield, driving in both.

FSU's Leslie Malerich allowed three hits while striking out three.

""We knew it was going to be a tough game because Long Beach is a very good team," FSU coach JoAnne Graf said. "I was a little concerned since we hadn't played in two weeks, and it took us a little while to get our bats going. We finally started hitting and got a couple of runs and with Leslie on the mound, we felt pretty confident."

Tennis

UF 5, NOTRE DAME 0: The Gators routed the Irish to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships.

Florida faces Arizona State at 8 a.m. today. The Sun Devils upset Duke 5-2.

UF is 4-0 all-time against ASU, including 3-0 in NCAA dual-match play. The teams last met in the quarterfinals of the 1997 NCAA Championships, when the Gators won 5-1.

"We've have been playing very solid tennis since the SEC tournament and continued that today," UF coach Andy Brandi said. "The first day there are usually a lot of nerves and ugly matches, but today we really seemed to be in a good mental framework and did a very good job."

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