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No. 3 FSU Softball falls to No. 1 Oklahoma to end 2023 season

Thank you for everything, Team 40

Charles Mays/Tomahawknation

In the first game of the WCWS championship final, Florida State softball played a scoreless game with the Oklahoma Sooners until mid inning relief started the offense for the Sooners. Looking to keep their title hopes alive, the Seminole’s would need to win game 2 to force a winner take all.

After being the away team in the first game, FSU is the home team for the second go around. Getting the start, Kathryn Sandercock retired the side, turning it over to the bottom of the 1st.

Facing Alex Storako for OU, a single from Kaley Mudge and bunt that was fielded as an error allowed Jahni Kerr to reach safely. Two outs were put up as the runners advanced sixty feet but were left there on a ground out.

An infield hit started off the 2nd inning for Oklahoma, but a pop up doubled off the runner to clear the bases and add another out. Sandercock gave herself a second strike out as she faced the minimum through two innings.

In the top of the 3rd, things started to become difficult for FSU. A walk and two straight singles loaded the bases with no outs. Facing the top of the lineup, two fielders choice for the runner at home got the first two outs of the inning. A fly out to left got FSU out of the jam and left the bases loaded for OU.

After FSU’s lead off walk was erased on a fielders choice, Jahni Kerr got on base via a single to put two on. After getting robbed of a home run for the second out, Oklahoma ended the inning with a ground out.

Still 0-0 in the 4th, Sandercock rebounded from her last inning with a 1-2-3 of the Sooners offense.

In the bottom of the 4th, one out brought up Mack Leonard against Storako. On a 2-2 count, Leonard went yard to break the scoreless tie. Now with a 1-0 lead, a strike out and ground out ended the inning.

Back out for the top of the 5th, Sandercock faced 7-8-9 of the lineup. For her first batter, she gave up a homerun that tied the game at 1 a piece. With a tie game, the Sooners went back to back to take a 2-1 lead. Still with no outs, Sandercock and her defense got the next three batters to keep the score what it was.

After getting a lead in the previous half inning, OU went back to Jordy Bahl in replace of Storako. In relief, Bahl went 1-2-3 for the Seminoles, and soon came in as a pinch runner in the bottom half after a lead off walk. A single into center put another runner on, and a bunt moved them both over and added an out for FSU.

A fielder’s choice to get the runner from 2nd to 3rd resulted in an out, another run scored, and a safe baserunner on first. A fly out to Mudge ended the inning, but OU extended their lead to 3-1.

Through the bottom of the 6th and 7th, Bahl and Sandercock didn’t allow any more runs, but Bahl ended as the victor. FSU softball ends their season in the 2023 WCWS as national runner ups. They will see the departures of seniors Kathryn Sandercock, Josie Muffley, Kaia LoPreste, Ali DuBois, Mack Leonard and Bethaney Keen.