No. 10 Florida State (45-11-1) defeated No. 11 Arizona (41-15) by a 4-3 score to stay alive in the College World Series in Oklahoma City, OK.
Caylan Arnold took the ball for Florida State. Arnold started out strong retiring the first six Wildcats in order. Alyssa Denham started for Arizona. She also pitched well early. Denham gave up a walk in the first and pitched around a single in the second as the Noles couldn’t capitalize on the base hit.
However, Arizona broke the scoring seal in the third inning when Malia Martinez hit a no-doubter over the left centerfield wall. The solo shot gave the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead. Denham followed that up by retiring the Seminoles in order in the bottom of the third on three straight groundouts.
Arnold started off the fourth by striking out All-American Jessie Harper looking. After a walk, Sharlize Palacios singled to center. Alyssa Palomino-Cardozo singled to right center to load the bases. Head coach Lonni Alameda came in to relieve Arnold with Kathryn Sandercock. Carlie Scupin delivered with a sacrifice fly to give Arizona a 2-0 lead. Sandercock then struck out Malia Martinez to end the threat. Denham retired the first two Noles in the bottom of the fourth. Cassidy Davis then singled. Devyn Flaherty walked on four straight pitches. Kalei Harding then walked on four straight. Wildcat coach Mike Candrea came out to change pitchers. Mariah Lopez came in and ended the bases loaded threat when Dani Morgan flied out.
Hannah Martinez reached on an error by Josie Muffley at shortstop. Janelle Meono followed with an infield single on a hotshot to short. Reyna Carranco advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Harper was intentionally walked to load the bases. Dejah Mulipola lined out to Elizabeth Mason at first. Palacios ended the inning by bouncing out to Sandercock. This was huge by FSU and Sandercock to get out of this inning with no damage. If Arizona could have capitalized on this bases loaded opportunity the season would probably be over right now.
In the bottom of the inning Muffley was hit by a pitch but Lopez pitched around the mistake and kept the Noles scoreless.
Sandercock struck out the side in the sixth. Mason fouled out to start the bottom of the inning. Davis followed with a four pitch walk. Flaherty was nailed with a pitch in her ribs but she shook off the pain to take first base. After a Harding strikeout, Dani Morgan slammed a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall to give FSU a 3-2 lead.
THE NOLES ARE NOT READY TO GO HOME JUST YET!!!— Florida State Softball (@FSU_Softball) June 5, 2021
: ESPN pic.twitter.com/DGw7596IQ1
Anna Shelnutt reached on an error but the inning ended on a strikeout.
Hannah Martinez started the seventh inning with an infield hit. After a fielder’s choice Carranco doubled with a ground ball up the middle. Morgan was shifted over to the left in centerfield and she wasn’t in her normal position to cut off the ground ball. The double scored a run and Arizona tied the game at 3 apiece. Sandercock stopped the bleeding with a pair of groundouts to end the inning.
Kaley Mudge started the bottom of the seventh with a single through the right side. Sydney Sherrill flied out for the first out. Mason followed with a groundball. Arizona tried to force Mudge at second but a throwing error allowed Mudge to advance all the way to third with some alert baserunning.
The Noles have runners on the corners with one out!— Florida State Softball (@FSU_Softball) June 5, 2021
Cassidy Davis came up and drove Mudge in with a sacrifice fly to end the game and keep the season alive for FSU.
I’ll have more thoughts after tonight’s game but this FSU team has proven to be pretty impressive in the clutch. They never say die and that is a great quality to have in the postseason.
Florida State will face Oklahoma State tonight at 9:30pm (scheduled time) on ESPN.