Continuing our rewind series, and the football BYE week, we look at a truly historical moment in FSU softball lore. After winning the national championship in 2018, the 2019 Florida State softball squad looked to get back to Oklahoma City.
After completing the regular season and winning the ACC tournament title, the ‘Noles came back home to hose the Tallahassee regional. In the first game, they put themselves in the winners bracket, after winning against Bethune-Cookman. In the 1-0 game, they matched up with the USF Bulls, and were the designated away team.
The pitching matchup was redshirt senior, Meghan King, for FSU and Georgina Corrick for USF. The ‘Noles got on Corrick early, starting with two back to back walks in the first inning. With two runners on base, sophomore Sydney Sherrill tacked on another double to her record, scoring Cali Harrod from second base. FSU left two runners on base as the USF secured the next three outs.
Sherrill started off with a walk, and later advanced to third on a double from redshirt sophomore, Elizabeth Mason. A bunt by Dani Morgan brought Sherrill back home, putting the ‘Noles up 2-0.
A one out walk to Cassidy Davis loaded up the bases for freshman, Makinzy Herzog. Down 1-2 in the count, Herzog hit a grand slam off of Corrick, extending the FSU lead to 6-0. USF went to the bullpen, opting for Nicole Doyle to replace their starting pitcher. After allowing multiple walks, she got Sherrill, who was batting for the second time this inning, to fly out to end the damage.
A one out single from Morgan soon brought up junior Leslie Farris with two outs. In a 2-0 hitters count, Farris homered off of Doyle. The USF defense quickly got off the field after Herzog flew out on the first pitch she saw. FSU got back on defense with a 8-0 lead heading into the late innings.
In the bottom of the inning, freshman Kathryn Sandercock, who replaced King in the 3rd inning, allowed a one out single. With one runner standing on first base, a second single placed runners on the corners. With the Bulls threatening, a double steal was successfully conducted, resulting in a steal of second base and home, giving USF a run on the board. Sandercock and her defense produced two outs and kept the run scoring to one.
Now with a 8-1 lead, FSU looked to end the game early. Senior Zoe Casas led off the inning, looking to turn the lineup over with runners on base. On the first pitch of her at bat, she homered off of Doyle, successfully putting the ‘Noles in run rule territory.
Following Casas was the top of the lineup, Cali Harrod. Similar to her fellow senior class member, Harrod saw one pitch before taking Doyle deep for the second homer of the inning.
USF quickly went to the bullpen again, this time for Cheyenne Eggens. Looking to capitalize on the new change, senior Carsyn Gordon did just that. On the 2-1 count, she welcomed Eggens with a home run of her own, making it the third consecutive long ball of the inning.
Now with an expectation, Sherrill stepped into the batters box. Just like Gordon, and the two batters before her, Sherrill homered to straight away center field.
USF made quick work of the next three batters, and Sandercock retook her place in the circle. She sat down the three batters she faced and ended the game and secured the win.
The four consecutive long balls by the ‘Noles marked the first time in NCAA Tournament history that any team has ever accomplished such a feat.
After run ruling USF, FSU came out on top versus South Carolina, claiming the Tallahassee regional. They soon welcomed the Cowgirls of Oklahoma State, and fought hard for three games before ending their season in a decisive game three of the Tallahassee super regional. In 2019, the ‘Noles posted a 55-10 record.