The (#13) LSU Tigers (46-20) tie the Tallahassee Super Regional against the (#4) Florida State Seminoles (55-7-1) with a 1-0 victory today at JoAnne Graf Field in Tallahassee.
Today’s game was played in Tallahassee but the Tigers were designated as the home team so FSU batted first. Morgan Klaevemann started the game with a fly out to center after working the count full. Jessie Warren was up next and she was hit in the knee with a pitch. She started the last game by getting hit in the head. Alex Powers followed with a walk. Carsyn Gordon lined out to third but Warren advanced to third anyway on an errant throw. Powers then stole second but LSU pitcher Allie Walljasper ended the inning by getting Dani Morgan to ground out to third. Seminole starter Meghan King got off to a hot start by setting the Tigers down in order with a ground out, pop up and a strikeout.
In the second Walljasper set the Noles down in order with a fly out, ground out and pop out. King also put down LSU 1-2-3 with a foul out and two ground outs.
Walljasper continued her impressive pitching in the third getting two ground outs and a strikeout to put FSU down in order. King started out by walking Sydney Springfield. Amber Serrett dropped a sacrifice bunt to third but ended up on second when Warren made a throwing error. Claire Weinberger who was pinch running for Springfield went to third. Aliyah Andrews then singled to right scoring Weinberger. LSU had runners on the corners with nobody out. Emily Griggs then singled to third on a high hopper but Warren held the runner at third. The Tigers now had bases loaded with nobody out. King beared down and got two straight strikeouts (Jaquish, Landry). Amanda Doyle was up next. She eventually popped up to Powers at first but Powers lost the ball in the sun and dropped it. Two runs would have scored but the umpire ruled the ball foul. Powers was standing in fair territory but her glove according to the ump was in foul ground. Doyle then hit a liner down the left field line that would have again resulted in runs but it was ruled foul by the umpire. The replays were inconclusive but one of them showed that the ball was maybe millimeters foul. Doyle eventually flied out to end the inning when Carsyn Gordon made a nice play on a liner in right field. LSU scored one unearned run on two hits and an error.
In the fourth Powers again walked but she was stranded after Walljasper got a pop up, groundout and fly out to end the inning. Shemiah Sanchez started the inning with a single up the middle for the Tigers. Constance Quinn advanced Sanchez to second with a groundout to second. Springfield singled Sanchez to third with a hit to centerfield. LSU then put on a squeeze play but Amber Serrett couldn’t get the bunt down so Sanchez was caught in a hotbox between third and home. FSU catcher Sydney Broderick eventually tagged her out but Sanchez stayed alive long enough for Springfield to advance to third. Serrett would later ground out to Warren at third to end the inning.
FSU went down in order again in the fifth with a ground out, a strikeout and a foul out. LSU also went down 1-2-3 but it was far from uneventful. After King set down the first two hitters with groundouts, catcher Sahvannah Jaquish stepped in the batter’s box for the Tigers. Jaquish hit a screaming liner that hit King in the cheek and then ricocheted straight to Warren who caught it for the out but she threw to first anyway. King went straight into the clubhouse for medical attention but she seemed okay as she returned to the game. It was a scary moment though.
In the sixth FSU again went down in order when Klaevemann couldn’t beat out a bunt. It was a nice bunt but first baseman Doyle made a nice play to field it and get it to Quinn who was covering first. Warren then grounded out to third. Powers then hit a ball that ricocheted off of Walljasper’s foot right to Sanchez at third who make a nice play to nip Powers at first. King came back in and showed no ill effects from getting hit by the liner as she set LSU down in order with a strikeout, a fly out and a foul out.
In the seventh Gordon hit a ball to shallow centerfield but second baseman Quinn made a nice over the shoulder catch for the first out. Dani Morgan then struck out on a 2-2 pitch. Sydney Broderick then hit a single up the middle to break up Walljasper’s no hitter. However, the Noles couldn’t capitalize as Ellie Cooper flied out to center to end the game and give LSU the 1-0 victory.
Walljasper (15-5) had the Noles off balance all game and got the win with her one-hitter. She pitched seven full innings. She had two walks and three strikeouts. She made 100 pitches (67 strikes). King (27-3) took the loss. She pitched six full innings giving up one unearned run on four hits. She had one walk and four strikeouts. She made 87 pitches (68 strikes).
FSU saw its nation leading 36 game home winning streak snapped. This was FSU’s first loss (7-1) this post season.
The story of the game was obviously Walljasper but King also pitched really well today. FSU just couldn’t solve Walljasper with her excellent movement and the spin she had on the ball. The Tigers also played great defense behind her. It will be interesting to see whether LSU head coach Beth Torina brings her back to pitch the rubber game or turns again to game one starter Carley Hoover.
These same two teams will meet in the rubber game of this series. The winner will advance to the WCWS in Oklahoma City. The game will be tomorrow at 1pm at JoAnne Graf Field (ESPNU). Game one winner Jessica Burroughs (27-4) will be in the circle for Florida State. She will face either Carley Hoover (14-7) or Allie Walljasper (17-5) for LSU.