No. 10 Florida State (43-10-1) defeated No. 7 LSU (35-21) by a 1-0 score tonight in game one of the Baton Rouge Super Regional.
Shelbi Sunseri (11-7) started in the circle for LSU. After a flyout, Sydney Sherrill singled to centerfield. Kalei Harding then reached on a fielder’s choice. Elizabeth Mason lined out to second base to end the inning.
Kathryn Sandercock (24-2) stepped into the circle for Florida State. Sandercock retired the Tigers in order in the bottom of the first.
Dani Morgan singled with two outs in the bottom of the second. Sunseri induced a popout to end the inning. Sandercock got three straight ground ball outs to set the Tigers down 1-2-3.
Josie Muffley started the third with a single up the middle. Kaley Mudge moved Muffley to second with a sacrifice bunt but Sunseri ended the threat with two straight outs. Sunseri induced a walk to start the inning after a 10 pitch battle. Morgan Cummings came up and hit a laser but it was right at Devyn Flaherty at second base. Flaherty was able to snag the liner and pick off Sunseri at first to complete the double play. Sandercock got Danieca Coffey to ground out to end the inning.
Flaherty delivered a two out single to start the fourth. She advanced to second on a passed ball but Dani Morgan grounded out to end the inning. Aliyah Andrews started things off with a single to centerfield for LSU. Ciara Briggs sacrificed her to second. Taylor Pleasants flied out to center but Andrews tagged up and reached third. Amanda Doyle flied out to Harding in right field to end the inning.
Both teams were retired in order in the fifth.
Sherrill started the sixth with a single through the right side. Harding followed with a single to center and the Noles had runners at the corners with no outs. After a foul out, Cassidy Davis delivered a fly ball to right field. Sherrill tagged up at third and beat the tag to score the first run. Taryn Antoine delivered a strong throw to make it close but the fly ball from Davis was too deep to get a runner with Sherrill’s speed. Harding then stole second but Flaherty grounded out to end the inning. Sandercock retired the Tigers in order in the bottom of the sixth.
Sunseri set the Noles down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Briggs started the bottom of the inning with a single through the left side. Pleasants advanced Briggs to second with a groundout. Doyle hit a screamer that Sherrill snagged at third for the second out. Georgia Clark ended the game with a groundout to Flaherty at second base.
Kathryn Sandercock pitched a complete game with 2 hits, one walk, 2 strikeouts and no runs. It took her 87 pitches (59 strikes). Sandercock lowered her ERA to 1.04 with the two hit gem.
Sydney Sherrill was 2 for 3 with a run scored.
Get used to this Seminole fans. This is how FSU wins games this year; pitching and defense. Sandercock was obviously sensational with the two hit gem but the defense was outstanding behind her. LSU had a few hard hit balls that the defense simply ate up. This style is dramatic and can be tough on the nerves but it gets results. FSU has not shown the ability to consistently win slugfests against top teams but the Seminoles can beat anyone if they get pitching like this and the defense stays solid.
It is such a big deal that FSU was able to keep LSU stars Aliyah Andrews and Ciara Briggs off the base paths. They are the only steal threats to speak of on the roster but they can’t cause havoc with their speed if they can’t get on base.
This game reinforces what we already knew. If the Seminoles can generate any kind of offense they are a tough out for anyone. We will see if the bats can wake up tomorrow.
These same two teams will meet tomorrow at 7pm for game two of the Baton Rouge Super Regional. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.