The Daily Nole

FSU Softball Slugs Past UCLA, Bound for National Championship Series

Ryals Lee/FSU athletics

For the first time in Florida State softball history, the Seminoles are headed to the best-of-three national championship series. The Seminoles clinched that spot with a second straight win over UCLA on Sunday night, 12-6.

After pitching dominated the early parts of the day at the Women’s College World Series, the bats caught fire for Florida State in the nightcap. It wasn’t a bad night for UCLA (58-7) either as the teams combined for seven home runs.

Cali Harrod got the scoring started for the Seminoles (57-12) with a solo shot in the top of the second inning. After an error by the Bruins allowed the Seminoles to double the lead to 2-0, Jessie Warren blasted a 2-run homer to give her team an early 4-0 advantage.

After UCLA’s Taylor Pack cut the lead in half during the bottom of the inning with a 2-run home run, Sydney Sherrill blasted a 3-run home run — her second in as many nights — to extend the lead to five in the top of the fourth. Pack added two more RBIs with a single in the bottom of the fourth.

FSU’s Carsyn Gordon had the Seminoles thinking run-rule after her 3-run shot capped a 5-run fifth inning to make the score 12-4 in favor of the Seminoles, but Briana Perez hit a solo homer in the bottom half of the inning to keep the Bruins alive. Bubba Nickles added a solo home run for the Bruins an inning later to cap the scoring.

Kaylee Hanson wasn’t at her best for FSU, but picked up the win by allowing five runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Cassidy Davis and Meghan King, who threw a complete game in a 3-1 win over UCLA earlier in the day, combined to throw the final 2 2/3 innings. Selina Ta’amilo, who relieved Rachel Garcia, and was one of three UCLA pitchers to work took the loss.

Eight different FSU players scored a run and eight drove one in. Sherill and Gordon each had three RBIs. Warren was 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Nickles scored three times for the Bruins while she and Pack each had three hits. As a team, UCLA outhit FSU, 11-10.

Each of the last six wins for the Seminoles in the NCAA Tournament came with the team facing elimination. FSU opened the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City by blowing a 4-run lead in a 7-4 loss to UCLA on Thursday night. The 12 runs on Sunday night was the most for Florida State during the NCAA Tournament and most for the team since a 13-2 win over Georgia Tech on March 30.

The No. 6 nationally-seeded Seminoles will be the visiting team on Monday night when they face No. 5 national seed Washington. FSU is the first ACC school ever to reach this point. The Huskies went 3-0 during the Women’s College World Series and locked up a spot in the national championship series with a 3-0 win over Oklahoma early Sunday.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply