(6) Florida State (50-10) advances to the Super Regionals of the NCAA softball tournament with a 10-0 victory over Jacksonville State (35-25).
The game was played in Tallahassee but FSU was technically the road team in this game. Faith Sims started in the circle for the Gamecocks. She started off by hitting Jessie Warren; the first batter she saw. Sims followed that up by walking Carsyn Gordon. Sydney Sherrill reached on a fielder's choice so FSU had runners on first and second with one out. After an Anna Shelnutt strikeout, Zoe Casas walked to load the bases. Dani Morgan grounded out to end the threat.
The last time Kylee Hanson faced the Gamecocks she dominated them with a no-hitter. She picked right up where she left off against JSU by striking out the side in the first inning.
Sims set the Noles down in order in the top of the second with two pop outs and a ground out. Hanson continued her dominance with three more strikeouts in the bottom of the second.
Warren led off the third with a double to right center. Gordon and Sherrill walked to load the bases. Shelnutt delivered a sacrifice fly to score Warren and advance Gordon to third. After Sherrill promptly stole second Zoe Casas walked on four pitches to load bases again. JSU head coach Jana McGinnis replaced Sims in the circle with Kirsten Titus. Morgan delivered a sac fly to score Gordon. Harrod reached on an infield single to score Sherrill. Cassidy Davis followed with a single and advanced to second on the throw from right field. Harrod and Casas scored on the play. Morgan Klaevemann flied out to end the threat. All told FSU scored five runs in the inning on three hits.
Hanson kept rolling in the bottom half of the third. She set the Gamecocks down in order without a ball leaving the infield.
Warren started the fourth with a single after being given the green light on a 3-0 pitch. Deja Bush pinch ran for Warren and stole second. She then reached third on the errant throw. Gordon walked and then stole second. Sherrill doubled to score Bush and advance Gordon to third. Titus hit Shelnutt with the pitch to load the bases. Casas singled to right to score Gordon. Nicole Rodriguez came in to replace Titus in the circle for JSU. Rodriguez was able to end the threat by getting three straight outs. However FSU was now up 7-0.
Hanson continued to be untouchable by striking out the side for the third time in the game.
Klaevemann started the inning by getting called out for hitting the ball while outside the batter's box. Warren walked on four straight. Gordon reached on a fielder's choice that erased Warren at second. Gordon then stole second but got caught in a rundown and got tagged out trying to stretch it to third. Hanson set JSU down again in order, ho hum.
Sherrill started the sixth by grounding out to short. After a Shelnutt walk FSU loaded the bases with a hit by pitch and another walk. Cassidy Davis then fouled out to end the threat.
In the top of the sixth Hayley Sims ledoff with a double to break up Hanson's perfect game. It was the only hit JSU got off Hanson in her 11 innings pitched against the Gamecocks this weekend. However, Jacksonville State couldn't capitalize as Hanson stranded Sims at second by retiring the next three batters.
Sabrina Stutsman pinch hit for Klaevemann and struck out. After a Warren flyout Gordon worked a walk. Sherrill came up and parked the second pitch she saw over the left centerfield wall. Shelnutt was then hit by a pitch. Casas drove her home with a double. After Morgan reached on an error, Harrod grounded out to end the inning.
Cassidy Davis came in to relieve Hanson. A single to Taylor Beshears was sandwiched between three quick outs to end the game giving FSU a 10-0 victory.
Hanson (27-4) was dominant once again. She pitched six innings and only allowed one hit. Her ERA went down from 1.03 to 1.00.
Sherrill was 2-4 with a HR, two runs scored, three RBI and a walk. Casas was 2-2 with a run, two RBI and two walks. Gordon scored three runs on four walks.
FSU reaches 50 wins for the 17th time. The Noles have 16 straight regional victories.
Florida State will now host a super regional against the winner of the Baton Rouge regional. (11) LSU is the favorite to emerge from that regional. The Tigers upset FSU in the supers last year when the Noles were the fourth overall seed. I will have much more on this super regional in advance of the games that are scheduled to start on Thursday.