In the winner's bracket game, Florida State’s Kathryn Sandercock got the start against the surprise starting for University of South Florida in Antoinette Hill. It was the ‘Noles who were the designated away team at JoAnne Graf field in Tallahassee.
Kaley Mudge started off the game with a single and Sydney Sherrill followed suit with a walk. No outs on the board brought Kalei Harding to the plate, who singled to bring in the game's first RBI.
Still with no outs, Mack Leonard doubled to bring home the two runners that occupied the bases, giving FSU a 3-run lead over the Bulls. After four batters, Hill secured the first out from a ground ball on the infield. The power did not stop there, Jahni Kerr beat out a single that bounced off the first base bag to bring in another run.
Up 4-0 and still in the first inning, Michaela Edenfield singled off the right field wall to put runners on the corners. Head coach Ken Erickson pulled Hill and replaced her with Erin Poepping to face the ‘Noles 8 hole hitter, Chloe Culp. Poepping got the pitch too up and in on Culp and put her on first base via the hit by pitch.
FSU loaded the bases for Josie Muffley, the last batter that the USF pitching staff had not faced yet. Muffley drove the offspeed pitch into left field, bringing in two runners. Culp and Muffley remained on with now a 6-0 lead. Poepping went on to face Mudge for the first time as she induced a ground ball to the first baseman. Electing to get the runner at home, the throw was late and Culp and Mudge were both safe.
Down 7-0, now with two outs and another walk given up, the bullpen was called on yet again. Now with Lexi Kopko in the circle, she got the ground out to end the 29 minute first inning.
FSU kept their 7-0 lead going into the 5th inning, thanks to the work of Sandercock keeping the Bulls off the board. In the top of the 5th, Amaya Ross led off with a pinch hit home run to put the 8th run on the board. Kopko worked quickly to sit down the next three Seminole batters.
A pinch-hit for Amaya! #OneTribe— Florida State Softball (@FSU_Softball) May 21, 2022
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In the bottom of the 5th, Mack Leonard entered to relieve Sandercock and quickly ended the inning. FSU took the game from the Bulls 8-0, they will advance to the regional final on Sunday.
FSU’s will face Mississippi State Sunday at 2 pm on ESPN2