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FSU softball advances to the regional final in an extra innings thriller

Carsyn Gordon sends FSU into the final with a walk-off inside-the-park home run.

NCAA Football: Independence Bowl-Southern Mississippi vs Florida State Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

(6) Florida State (49-10) defeats Auburn (40-16) 2-1 in eight innings. FSU advances to the regional final tomorrow.

Game Recap

FSU sent redshirt junior Meghan King (20-6, 1.26 ERA) to the circle to face the Tigers. King was sharp early striking out the side in the first. Auburn countered with senior Kaylee Carlson (21-6, 1.35 ERA). Carlson walked Jessie Warren to start the game but then got the next three Seminoles in order to end the inning.

King allowed a single to Alyssa Rivera but got the other three Tigers to end the inning. Dani Morgan started the inning with a bunt single. Anna Shelnutt got down a sacrifice bunt. Morgan made it to third with some aggressive base running but she was stranded there as Carlson got out of the inning.

Morgan Podany laid down a nice bunt for a single but King got the other Tigers out to strand Podany at second. Warren singled for the Noles and advanced to second on a hit from Sydney Sherrill. However, both runners were stranded when Carlson got Zoe Casas to strikeout to end the inning.

Casey McCrackin started the inning off for the Tigers with a bunt single. After a Courtney Shea pop out to Cali Harrod at short Tannon Snow reached on a fielder’s choice advancing McCrackin to second. Rivera walked to load the bases. McCrackin scored on a Kendall Veach sacrifice fly for the first run of the game. King beared down and got Makenna Dowell to ground out to Warren at third to end the threat. Dani Morgan started the FSU half of the inning with a shot that went straight to Rivera in right for the first out. Shelnutt came up and doubled to right. Deja Bush pinch ran for her. Elizabeth Mason advanced Bush to third with a ground out. Cali Harrod tied the game with a single up the middle to score Bush. After Harrod stole second - she is 31-31 in stolen bases for the year - Morgan Klaevemann grounded out to Carlson to end the threat.

King got Auburn out in order in the fifth. Carlson did the same to the Noles in the bottom of the inning.

King enjoyed another 1-2-3 inning in the sixth. Carlson matched her by setting down the Noles in order in the bottom of the sixth.

In the seventh King set Auburn down in order again. She was on a streak of 11 straight outs. Carlson hit Klaevemann with a pitch but got the other Noles out to strand Klaevemann at first.

With the score knotted at one the game went to extra innings.

King continued to cruise and got Auburn out in order in the top of the eighth with three ground outs.

In the bottom of the eighth Carsyn Gordon entered the batter's box for FSU. On a 3-1 pitch Gordon took an inside out swing and sliced a dipping liner down the right field line. Right fielder Alyssa Rivera took a chance and dove for the ball but couldn't execute what would have been a spectacular catch. The ball bounced past her to the wall in foul territory. Rivera was on the ground so Casey McCrackin had to race after the ball all the way from her position at second base. Meanwhile Gordon was tearing around the bases. McCrackin eventually chased down the ball and got it to cut off woman Kendall Veach. Veach fired an excellent throw to catcher Courtney Shea but Gordon was already past her for the inside the park walk-off homerun. It was Gordon's tenth of the year and it gave FSU the 2-1 victory.

Post Game

It's understandable that Carsyn Gordon will get most of the ink after this game; after all how many inside the park walk offs have you ever seen. However, Meghan King deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Noles in the game so that Gordon could win the game with her heroics. King pitched eight full innings giving up 3 hits, one run, one walk and 8 strikeouts. Her ERA went down to 1.24 with the performance. She stepped up big time for her team today against a tough Auburn lineup.

Auburn will play the winner of the Jacksonville State - Kennesaw State game this evening. The winner of that game will play FSU in the Regional Final tomorrow at noon. The Noles would have to lose both that game and another game in order to be eliminated. They will likely have game one winner Kylee Hanson starting and if she loses they will be able throw King in the clincher if necessary. Stranger things have happened but it is tough to imagine both of them losing especially since they have pitched 13 combined innings in this tournament and have given up only one run. This was a huge game for the Seminoles as they have put themselves in the driver's seat to reach the Super Regionals.