The Daily Nole

FSU Softball: Top 5 Moments from 2018

Maury Neipris/FSU athletics

Florida State softball completed a dream season earlier this week as the Seminoles downed Washington in two games during the national championship series in Oklahoma City at the Women’s College World Series.

FSU won six straight games in four days to win its first national championship. Narrowing all the exciting moments from the greatest season in program history down to five wasn’t easy, but that’s what we try to do in this piece.

Here’s a look back at the five greatest moments for the Seminoles during the campaign:

Carsyn Gordon’s inside-the-park home run pushed FSU past Auburn in the Tallahassee Regional on May 19. (Photo courtesy of Katie Baker/FSU athletics)

5. Gordon’s Inside-the-Park Walk-Off (May 19)
A pitcher’s duel in the second game of the Tallahassee Regional between FSU and Auburn needed extra innings to be decided. In a 1-1 contest in the bottom of the eighth, junior first baseman Carsyn Gordon led off the inning with a flare down the right field line. The sinking hit slipped under the glove of Auburn right fielder Alyssa River and rolled all the way to the wall, allowing Gordon to round the bases for an improbable walk-off inside-the-park homer in a 2-1 victory for the Seminoles.

4. Warren Breaks ACC Home Run Record (Feb. 21)
Jessie Warren became a bit of a household name for her performance during the Women’s College World Series, but she was well-known to FSU fans and opposing pitchers long before that. In the second game of a doubleheader at South Alabama, the now 2-time ACC Player of the Year cemented her place in ACC history by breaking the conference’s home run record. Warren tied it with her 66th career blast on a solo shot in the first and broke it an inning later with a grand slam to center. Warren leaves FSU in the top 10 in NCAA history with 83 homers.

Anna Shelnutt’s walk-off 3-run homer against Pittsburgh on May 12 gave FSU a fifth straight ACC title. (Photo courtesy of Sara Davis/ACC Digital Network)

3. Shelnutt’s ACC-Clinching Blast (May 12)
After four straight ACC Tournament titles, Florida State’s streak was not only in jeopardy, it looked dead. Thanks to some shoddy defense, Pittsburgh was able to push four runs across in the top of the sixth in the ACC Championship to break a scoreless tie. The Seminoles managed to get a run back in the bottom of the sixth and another in the seventh when catcher Anna Shelnutt came to the plate with two runners on and FSU down to its last out. Shelnutt took the first pitch from Pittsburgh’s Kayla Harris and blasted it over the left field wall for a walk-off 3-run home to give the Seminoles an improbable 5-4 win and a fifth straight ACC title. Shelnutt would hit another dramatic home run in the top of the sixth on Monday night to give FSU a 1-0 win over Washington in the first game of the national championship series in Oklahoma City.

2. Mason’s WCWS Game-Winner Keeps FSU Alive (June 3)
With Florida State facing elimination against UCLA, it looked as though missed opportunities earlier might come back to bite the Seminoles. Down 1-0 with two outs in the sixth inning, freshman and No. 9 hitter Elizabeth Mason stepped to the plate with two runners on and a chance to be the hero. Down in the count 1-2 to Bruins’ All-American Rachel Garcia, Mason kept her hands back on the delivery and hammered the pitch over the right-center field wall. The 3-run blast served as the difference in a 3-1 win as the Seminoles would clinch a spot in the championship series with a 12-6 win over UCLA later in the night. Mason also delivered the single that put the Seminoles ahead for good and a 2-run blast two innings later in FSU’s title-clinching win over Washington on Tuesday.

Jessie Warren’s diving catch in the seventh inning on Monday night was a play that will live in FSU lore. (Photo courtesy of Maury Neipris)

1. Warren’s Remarkable Catch Turned Double Play (June 4)
Florida State clung to a 1-0 lead in the first game of the national championship series against Washington as the Huskies came to the plate for their final at-bat in the seventh inning. After the lead-off hitter reached for Washington off FSU pitcher Meghan King, Trysten Melhart laid down a bunt in an effort to move her over. Out of nowhere came a diving Jessie Warren who made the catch and threw to Sydney Sherrill to double Taylor Van Zee off at first. The catch would thwart the Washington to rally and help Warren earn a place in FSU lore as well as the Most Outstanding Player of the Women’s College World Series.

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

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