The Daily Nole

Seminole Sunday Summary: FSU Softball Falls in WCWS Finals

Florida State Athletics

Florida State softball needed just one win for its second national championship, but it was not to be. Top-seeded Oklahoma won the final two games of the Women’s College World Series to take the crown.

After winning the first game of the finals, FSU had two chances to win one game but Oklahoma was just too much.

Thanks to a 2-run first-inning home run from Elizabeth Mason, the Seminoles took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning on Wednesday, but Jocelyn Alo’s 2-run blast during a 4-run inning put the Sooners ahead for good in a 6-2 victory.

FSU never led in the decisive game on Thursday. Early solo homers by Alo and Jayda Coleman set the tone in a 5-1 win for Oklahoma.

A double on a misplayed pop-up by FSU’s Sydney Sherrill in the top of the third inning cut the Oklahoma lead to 2-1, but the Sooners responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Coleman’s 2-run double served as the big blow.

Oklahoma pitcher Giselle Juarez was outstanding over the final two games. She allowed just a run on two hits on Thursday to help clinch a national championship.

As was the case in 2018, FSU had to win four straight elimination games just to reach the Women’s College World Series finals. After topping Arizona and Oklahoma State, the Seminoles beat No. 3 national seed Alabama in back-to-back nights to do just that.

On Sunday night, pitching was the story in a 2-0 victory. Caylan Arnold and Kathryn Sandercock combined to throw a 2-hit shutout.

The contest was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when Sherrill drew a bases-loaded walk to score Dani Morgan. Morgan would score the game’s second run on an RBI single from Josie Muffley in the sixth.

In the winner-take-all game on Monday, FSU clinched its spot in the finals with an 8-5 win over the Crimson Tide. Elizabeth Mason set the tone with a 3-run home run in the first inning.

With a run in the second and four in the third, FSU raced to an 8-0 lead. Kaley Mudge and Kalei Harding each finished with two RBIs for the Seminoles. Mudge tied a WCWS record with five hits in the contest.

Alabama was able to crawl back into the contest with the help of star Bailey Hemphill. Hemphill blasted a 2-run homer and plated three of the five Alabama runs in the loss.

In the first game of the finals on Monday, FSU was again fueled by a stellar start in an 8-4 win over Oklahoma. The Seminoles led 7-0, thanks largely to a 2-run home run and a 2-run double from Harding.

In addition to the four RBIs, Harding also scored twice during a 3-for-4 night. Sherrill drove in a pair of runs in the win.

Danielle Watson gave FSU 5.2 strong innings from the mound, but was replaced after the Sooners brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth. Sandercock recorded the final four outs to preserve the FSU victory. Kinzie Hansen and Nicole Mendes hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth to spark the Oklahoma offense.

The victory gives Oklahoma its fourth national championship since 2013. FSU finishes the year with a record of 49-13-1.

Football

Weekly Commitments: None
Weekly Decommitments: Gabriel Harris, 4-star 2023 DE* (No. 81 overall*)
2022 Recruiting Class Ranking*: No. 13 nationally, first in ACC (8 total commitments)*
Big Picture: FSU had another decommitment this week. This time, it was a 2023 prospect.

Men’s Basketball

Weekly Commitments: None
2022 Recruiting Class Ranking*: N/A (0 total commitments)*
Big Picture: It remains a quiet time of year for basketball programs.

Baseball

Record: 31-24
Ranking: No. 18 Baseball America; No. 25 NCBWA
Past Week: (1-1), lost to Southern Mississippi in Oxford Regional on Sunday, 7-4
Recognitions: Matheu Nelson, C (Posey Award finalist; Golden Spikes Award semifinalist)
Big Picture: FSU’s season came to a disappointing end on Sunday with a loss to Southern Mississippi in the Oxford Regional.

Track and Field

Ranking: Men No. 6 USTFCCCA, No. 1 South; Women No. 10 USTFCCCA, No. 2 South
Past Week: FSU men finished 10th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships; FSU women finished 14th
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: FSU had a strong showing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships as both the men and women finished in the top 15.

Softball

Record: 49-13-1
Ranking: No. 7 NCFA Coaches; No. 10 Softball America; No. 8 D1Softball; No. 10 national seed
Past Week: (3-2), beat Alabama in Women’s College World Series on Sunday, 2-0; beat Alabama in Women’s College World Series on Monday, 8-5; topped Oklahoma in Women’s College World Series on Tuesday, 8-4; lost to Oklahoma in Women’s College World Series on Wednesday, 6-2; lost to Oklahoma in Women’s College World Series on Thursday, 5-1.
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: FSU made an improbable run to the national championship series, but came up one win short.

*247Sports Composite rankings

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

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