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No. 10 FSU softball takes down No. 3 Alabama to stay alive in the College World Series

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The gritty, gutty Florida State Seminoles

Syndication: Tallahassee Alicia Devine/Democrat

No. 10 Florida State (47-11-1) shut out No. 3 Alabama (52-8) by a 2-0 score to stay alive in the College World Series in Oklahoma City, OK.

Game Recap

Florida State was designated the home team for this game. Caylan Arnold took the ball for the Seminoles. Bailey Hemphill hit a hotshot to short that Josie Muffley had trouble fielding cleanly and she was able to beat out the infield single. Arnold ended the inning with a strikeout and a line out. Lexi Kilfoyl was the starter for Alabama. Kaley Mudge greeted her with a single. However, Mudge was called out after leaving early on a steal attempt.

After that the game was delayed by 2 hours and 36 minutes due to weather. First the delay was due to a lightning strike in the area but later rain came to delay the game further.

After the game resumed, Sydney Sherrill worked a walk. Elizabeth Mason reached on a fielder’s choice but Kilfoyl ended the inning with a strikeout.

Arnold set the Tide down in order in the second inning. In the bottom of the inning Josie Muffley hit a two out single through the right side but she was stranded at first.

Arnold continued to cruise in the third retiring Bama in order. Kilfoyl matched her by retiring the Noles 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third.

In the fourth, Hemphill started it off with a four pitch walk. However, Arnold got three straight outs to end the inning. In the bottom of the fourth the pitcher’s duel continued as Kilfoyl struck out the side.

In the fifth Maddie Morgan connected on a one out single to left field. Kayla Davis came in to pinch run. She went to second on a passed ball. Taylor Clark was hit on the bill of her batting helmet by a pitched ball. Fortunately she was okay as she advanced to first. The Tide now had their biggest threat of the game with runners on first and second with one out. Kilfoyl struck out for the second out. Arnold was replaced by Kathryn Sandercock in the circle. Sandercock got Alexis Mack to ground out to Devyn Flaherty at second to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth Dani Morgan singled when she hit the ball back to the pitcher and Kilfoyl had trouble fielding it. After a Muffley lineout, Anna Shelnutt singled to advance Morgan to second. Kaia LoPreste pinch hit for Kalei Harding but she struck out. Mudge used her speed to beat out an infield single to short and the bases were loaded. Sydney Sherrill worked a walk after falling behind 0-2 and the Noles had a 1-0 lead.

Mason popped out to end the threat.

Sandercock set Bama down in order the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the inning Dani Morgan hit a two out triple into the gap in right centerfield. This ball should have been a double but Elissa Brown dropped the ball while fielding it and Morgan alertly took an extra base.

Muffley then promptly singled through the right side to score Morgan with the insurance run. The Noles had a 2-0 lead.

Muffley hurt herself a bit going back to first so D’Aun Riggs came in to pinch run for her. Riggs stole second and advanced to third when the throw from the catcher got away. However, she was stranded at third.

In the seventh inning Sandercock set the Tide down in order with three straight ground ball outs to end the game.

Post Game

Caylan Arnold went 4.2 innings giving up 2 hits and no runs with 5 strikeouts and one walk. Kathryn Sandercock earned the win going 2.1 innings giving up no hits or runs with no strikeouts or walks. Arnold had 74 pitches (51 strikes) while Sandercock had 19 pitches (13 strikes).

Sydney Sherrill and Josie Muffley delivered the RBI for Florida State.

Alabama’s loss snaps a 20 game winning streak.

This game was played under trying circumstances for FSU. Last night’s game finished at 2:18 am local time and the Seminoles had to make a bus at 9:30 am for Covid testing. There was also the matter of the 2 hour and 36 minute weather delay in this game. The way that this team has handled so much adversity speaks volumes about the maturity and resiliency that they have in their clubhouse.

FSU played error free softball in this game. When they can get this level of pitching from Arnold and Sandercock and pair it with high level defense this team can gut out wins against anyone.

The original schedule called for the two teams to play later tonight if FSU won. However, both teams have agreed not to play the game tonight as originally scheduled due to the long weather delay. Instead they will play tomorrow.

Next Game

Florida State and Alabama will meet again tomorrow at 7:30pm with the winner going to the Championship Series. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. The probable starters are Kathryn Sandercock for Florida State and Montana Fouts for Alabama.