The Daily Nole

Natio’Nole’ Champions! FSU Softball Drubs Washington for First Title, 8-3

Maury Neipris/FSU athletics

With their first national championship on the line, Florida State softball seemed to be battling early jitters. Once those subsided, Washington never really had a chance.

The Seminoles won their sixth straight Women’s College World Series game on Tuesday night and their first-ever national championship with a 8-3 win over Washington. Meghan King settled in to go the distance from the circle while the unlikely heroes from the previous two days continued to be heroes.

With the help of a passed ball, a throwing error and some shoddy FSU defense, Washington was able to break through with three runs in the top of the first. Noelle Hee and Taryn Atlee drove in runs with productive outs after Taylor Van Zee scored on a throwing error by FSU third baseman Jessie Warren.

After hitting a solo home run for all of Monday night’s offense, Anna Shelnutt got the Seminoles started on Tuesday night with a 2-run home run to cut the lead to 3-2 after an inning. Florida State went ahead for good in the bottom of the second on an RBI single from Elizabeth Mason that went past right fielder Trysten Melhart and rolled all the way to the wall, allowing a second run to score. Mason would come home on an RBI single from Warren later in the inning to make it 5-3.

Mason and Warren however, weren’t done producing. After hitting the game-winning 3-run home run on Sunday to force a decisive game in pool play against UCLA, Mason delivered a 2-run shot in the fourth inning on Tuesday night to double the FSU lead from 5-3 to 7-3. Warren followed that up with a solo shot to cap the scoring for FSU (58-12).

Warren and Mason combined for five of the nine Florida State hits, with Warren having three. Each scored twice while Mason plated three runs for the Seminoles to Warren’s two.

After a rough first inning that produced three Washington runs, including two unearned, King settled in and allowed just three hits the rest of the way and five for the night. The Huskies’ last legitimate scoring threat came in the third inning with a 2-out rally while trailing by two.

Washington loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a fielding error by King, but the FSU lefty was able to get Kelly Burdick to ground out to second base and end the inning. From there on, the Huskies managed just one base-runner.

King wound up being the winning pitcher for Florida State in four of its six Women’s College World Series wins. The Seminoles came to Oklahoma City as the No. 6 national seed. Of the six teams they knocked off, only No. 7 national seed Georgia was seeded lower.

The national championship on Monday night is the first for any FSU program since soccer claimed the prize in 2014. Warren was named the Women’s College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player.

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

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