LIVE UPDATES: Seminoles 8 - Alabama 5 (FINAL)
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (WCTV) - Florida State is one win a way form a trip to a second Women’s College World Series Championship Series appearance in three tournaments, but they’ll need to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide for a second-straight day to do so.
The Seminoles forced this evening’s “if-necessary” game with a 2-0 shoutout win over the Tide Sunday night in a game that ways delayed by over two and a half hours due to weather in the area.
Because of the delay, the “if-necessary” game was pushed to today instead of being played last night.
Runs have been at a premium all WCWS for the Seminoles and tonight will be no different as the Tribe are set to run into the buzzsaw that is Montana Fouts in the circle for the Crimson Tide.
Fouts, who was rested by Bama Sunday to keep fresh for a potential if-necessary game, will take the diamond for the first time since throwing a perfect game against UCLA.
Her perfect game was just the icing on the cake of what has been a dominant World Series.
Attempting to match her pitch-for-pitch this evening should be Kathryn Sandercock, who has been phenomenal for the ‘Noles throughout the elimination round. In her only start since FSU’s loss to UCLA, Sandercock tossed a complete-game victory against Oklahoma State in which she allowed two unearned runs, scattered five hits and struck out eight.
In 6.0 innings of relief, Sandercock has allowed just one run on four hits, one walk and has punched out four.
The set up ahead of tonight has all the makings of an instant classic, there’s just one thing left to do: Play ball.
Below will be a running a live blog of tonight’s game. We’ll have score updates, analysis, stray observations and thoughts. For up-to-the-minute updates and analysis, be sure you’re following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN, but with Oklahoma and James Madison playing first at 4:30 p.m., there’s a good chance we’ll have a bit of a delay.
FINAL: FLORIDA STATE 8 - ALABAMA 5
For the first time in Women’s College World Series history, the WCWS Championship Series will be between two teams who emerged from the losers bracket, as the Seminoles have a date set with the Oklahoma Sooners, the tournament’s top-seed, in the best-of-three series to determine a champion.
Our recap from this wild one is here. 90 minutes ago I was worried we might be dealing with a run-rule. This one turned into a battle.
Middle 7, 8-5 Florida State
Kaley Mudge is 5-for-5 for just the fourth time in WCWS history, and first time since 2009.
Noles try to rally, getting a pair of two-out singles, but a groundout to third ends the frame.
Three outs separate the Noles from Game 1 of the championship series tomorrow.
End of 6, 8-5 Florida State
For the first time since the bottom of the second inning, FSU pitching has retired Alabama hitting in order. The Tide have just three more outs to work with.
An insurance run or two would go a loooooong way here for FSU.
Middle 6, 8-5 Florida State
Elizabeth Mason opens the inning with an infield single but she can’t come around to score, making it only to third.
To the bottom of the inning we go.
End of 5, 8-5 Florida State
Bama gets another run in the fifth on an RBI single from Savannah Woodard, scoring Jenna Johnson, but the Noles make a great defensive play, going Morgan-Mason-Sherrill to tag KB Sides out at third to end the inning.
Bottom 5, 8-4 Florida State
Alabama has cut the Seminole lead in half after a two-run home run off the bat of Bailey Hemphill, the SEC’s player of the year, to make it 8-4 and chase Caylan Arnold from the game.
For the first time since Thursday’s loss to UCLA, Danielle Watson is in the game.
Middle 5, 8-2 Florida State
Things have not grounded to a halt for the Noles, but the offense has slowed considerably. Kaley Mudge, though, shows no signs of slowing down, having recorded her fourth hit of the game in the form of a two-out double, but she’s left stranded there.
End of 4, 8-2 Florida State
Arnold comes in and gets the Tide in order, leaving KB Sides at second base.
To the fifth we go, Noles up by six.
Bottom 4, 8-2 Florida State
The day is done for Kathryn Sandercock after 3.0+ innings of work. She’s pulled for Caylan Arnold after one pitch in the top of the fourth, a double by KB Sides.
Middle 4, 8-2 Florida State
For the first time tonight, the Seminoles don’t plate a run.
Lets see if Sandercock can bounce back in the bottom of the frame.
Bottom 3, 8-2 Florida State
Some life for the Tide here in the third inning as they get on the board to cut into FSU’s lead.
Taylor Clark and Elissa Brown open the rally with back-to-back one-out singles and, after an Alexis Mack strikeout, get on the scoreboard after a Bailey Hemphill RBI single and an infield RBI single from Kaylee Tow on a slow roller to Flaherty at second, in which Tow was able to hustle down the line to plate Brown and make it 8-2.
Sandercock gets a groundout to Mason at first to end the damage and the inning.
To the fourth we go!
Top 3, 8-0 Florida State
Sydney Sherrill does what she does best, knock two baggers, to drive in Mudge and make it an 8-0 game.
A touchdown and a converted 2-point conversion.
Every run this inning has been scored with two out.
I thought FSU would win tonight, I didn’t know they’d do this.
Top 3, 7-0 Florida State
The first batter Kilfoyl faces, Kaley Mudge, singles home Harding and it is 7-0.
I almost cannot believe this is happening.
Top 3, 6-0 Florida State
The day continues to get better for the Seminoles of Florida State, who have pushed their lead to six runs in the top of the third inning.
Devyn Flaherty opened things up by reaching on an infield single and moved to second on Dani Morgan’s single into left field.
Fouts settled down to retire Muffley and Shelnutt, but Kalei Harding sent the first pitch she saw of her at bat into left, scoring Flaherty and Morgan and it’s 6-0.
Fouts’ day is done after 2.2 innings and it’s Lexi Kilfoyl, last night’s pitcher for the tide.
End of 2, 4-0 Florida State
Another 1-2-3 inning for Sandercock, who gets her first stirkeout of the game to end the frame.
Noles have Flaherty, Morgan, Muffley due.
Middle 2, 4-0 Florida State
The excellent start continues for the Seminoles, who jump onto Fouts for a run in the sceond.
Fouts started the inning by issuing her second walk of the game (and WCWS), this time to Josie Muffley, to open the frame, then Anna Shelnutt reached on a throwing error by Maddie Morgan, who tried to start a 5-4-3 double play at second, but Tide second basewoman Savannah Woodard wasn’t there to make the play, so it trickled into right-centerfield and she moved to third.
After a Kalei Harding flyout, Kaley Mudge dropped a bunt, allowing Muffley to score, and beat the play out at first.
Sherrill followed with her second walk in as many innings.
After that, Fouts settled down and struck out Mason and Davis swinging. She has four K’s, but is also trailing by four runs.
End of 1, 3-0 Florida State
Sandercock, spotted three runs before she takes the field, makes quick work of the Tide offense in the bottom of the first, inducing a flyout and two gorundouts.
Top 1, 3-0 Florida State
Well how is that for a start for the Seminoles.
Kaley Mudge leads off the game off Fouts with a single up the middle, Sydney Sherrill works a walk to set the table for Elizabeth Mason...well...
Yeah. Big fly.
3-0 Seminoles in just the second, third and fourth runs surrendered by Fouts this WCWS.
It’s time to decide who Oklahoma’s opponent is going to be between FSU and Alabama.
Tonight is, for all intents and purposes, the main event: Sandercock v. Fouts.
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