The Daily Nole

FSU Softball: National Championship Match-Up Analysis

Maury Neipris/FSU athletics

For the first time in program history, Florida state softball is in the national championship series. The Seminoles start a best-of-three on Monday night against Washington.

The Huskies won their only national title in 2009, but have been runner-up on two other occasions. FSU is the first ACC team ever to reach this point.

How They Got Here

Florida State’s improbable postseason run arguably started with a 4-run seventh inning to top Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship. After breezing through the Tallahassee Regional, the Seminoles (56-12) fell to LSU in the first game of the Tallahassee Regional before rallying to win the next two the very next day.

FSU’s last six wins have come while facing elimination. After dropping the Women’s College World Series opener to UCLA on Thursday, the No. 6 nationally-seeded Seminoles won four games in two days on Saturday and Sunday, topping Georgia, Oregon and the Bruins twice.

Washington’s path to the national championship has come with less resistance. The Huskies, the No. 5 national seed, are 8-0 in the NCAA Tournament with four shutouts. After sweeping the Seattle Regional, the Huskies took down Alabama in two games during the Seattle Super Regional.

Washington (52-8) has gone a perfect 3-0 at the Women’s College World Series with two wins over 2-time defending national champion Oklahoma and one over Oregon.

Statistical Breakdown

Both Florida State and Washington rank in the top 100 in all offensive categories. The Seminoles have supplied a little more power and speed while the Huskies hit about 25 points better than FSU.

When it comes to earned run average and fielding percentage, both teams are in the top 10 in each category with Washington faring a little better in each. The Huskies boast the nation’s best ERA and haven’t given up more than two runs in any game since May 6.


Although she hasn’t been completely healthy this season, Jessie Warren has again powered the FSU offense. The 2-time ACC Player of the Year and senior third baseman, Warren leads the team in the major categories with a .394 average, 20 home runs and 68 RBIs. ACC Freshman of the Year, Sydney Sherrill, has homered twice in the last three games for the Seminoles and has 12 on the season to go along with a nation-leading 28 doubles.

Carsyn Gordon has been a consistent bat up in the order with a .313 average, 12 home runs and 51 RBIs. Gordon, a junior first baseman from Miami, leads the team with 60 runs scored. Throughout FSU’s run, the Seminoles have gotten contributions from all throughout the lineup. Zoe Casas and Elizabeth Mason have come up big for the Seminoles over the last two days.

Washington’s Sis Bates leads the Huskies with a .395 batting average and is among seven Washington players hitting at least .300. Senior Julia DePonte’s 15 homers leads the team; she is one RBI behind team-leader Kirstyn Thomas, who has 55. Thomas has 12 homers this season while Taylor Van Zee is third on the team with nine to go with a .378 batting average.

Bates leads the Huskies with 52 runs scored. Kelly Burdick, who hits .359, provides the speed for Washington. She has a team-high 22 stolen bases. Shortstop Cali Harrod has 33 to lead the Seminoles in that category.


One area where Washington looks to have the advantage is in the circle. Not only do the Huskies possess a better team ERA, they have a more rested staff. Gabbie Plain and Taran Alvelo have anchored that staff and may be the best one-two punch in the country. Plain is 22-4 with a 0.98 ERA while Alvelo is 23-4 with a 1.10 ERA.

The two have combined to strike out more than 400 opposing batters in more than 340 innings of work. As a team, the Huskies lead the country in earned run average. The Huskies also lead the Pac-12 in fielding percentage. Bates was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.

FSU has a pretty good duo in its own right when it comes to pitching with ACC Pitcher of the Year, Kylee Hanson and junior Meghan King, an All-ACC selection. Hanson is 30-6 on the season with a 1.33 ERA and ranks in the top 25 nationally with 241 strikeouts.

During the NCAA Tournament however, King has been FSU’s best pitcher. She’s 24-6 on the year with a 1.23 ERA. During the Women’s College World Series, she has a pair of complete game wins to go with a save. She’s appeared in each of FSU’s five games in Oklahoma City.

vs. Common Opponents

Against common opponents this season, Florida State fared much better than the Huskies. FSU was 12-4 while Washington was 8-6. Against Minnesota and Portland State, the Seminoles were 2-0 against each while Washington was 1-0 against each.

The Huskies went a perfect 4-0 against Alabama this season while the Seminoles were 1-1. Washington also topped Notre Dame in the only match-up while FSU was 3-1, which included an ACC Tournament victory.

Where FSU fared better was against Pac-12 competition. The Seminoles were 2-1 against both Oregon and UCLA. The Huskies went 0-3 against each of those teams during the regular season before topping Oregon in the Women’s College World Series.


Game 1: Monday at 7 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Game 2: Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Game 3: Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. EST (ESPN, if necessary)

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

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