Seminoles snap Tide streak at 20, force deciding game with 2-0 win
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (WCTV) - The Florida State Seminoles have forced a winner-take-all game Monday after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide, 2-0, Sunday night in Oklahoma City.
It’s the seventh-straight win in an elimination game for FSU, who snapped Bama’s 20-game winning streak in the process.
Florida State scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the sixth inning against Alabama starter Lexi Kilfoyl.
Dani Morgan led the inning off with a single to Kilfoyl in the circle, Ana Shelnutt shot a one-out single into right field and Kaley Mudge grounded into what looked like a routine groundout to shortstop, but a lazy play by Taylor Clark allowed Mudge to use her speed to be safe and load the bases.
Sydney Sherrill stepped in with the bases loaded and quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count before working four consecutive balls, leading to a bases-loaded walk to plate Morgan and give FSU their first lead of the game at 1-0.
The Noles notched an insurance run on Josie Muffley’s first RBI of the postseason and second hit of the WCWS, when she drove home Dani Morgan on an RBI single into right field.
Morgan set the table the previous at-bat with a triple off the wall in right-centerfield.
FSU’s Kathryn Sandercock (W, ##), who relieved Seminole starter Caylan Arnold after 4.2 innings of work, sat the Tide down in order in the bottom of the seventh to force Mondays “if-necessary” game.
The Noles and Tide started the game just after 4:30 p.m. and got six batters in before the game was put on a two hour, 36 minute delay due to weather in the area.
Following the game’s restart, both Arnold and Kilfoyle showed no signs of rust: Arnold retired 10 of the next 11 hitters she faced while Kilfoyle retired nine of the next 10 batters she saw, striking out six in the process.
Alabama’s biggest threat in the game came in the top of the fifth inning.
Bama third basewoman Maddie Morgan knocked a single into left field and took second on a passed ball. Taylor Clark followed by getting hit in the brim of the helmet with a pitch to put two runners on base for the first, and only, time of the game for the Tide.
Arnold struck out Kilfoyle, making a pinch-hit appearance, for the second out of the inning and was lifted then, allowing Sandercock to enter and end the threat by educing a ground out.
Arnold was strong in her start, scattering a pair of hits and striking out five. Sandercock needed just 19 pitches to retire all seven hitters she faced.
Kilfoyle (L, 13-4) allowed the two runs on seven hits, two walks and struck out nine on 106 pitches.
Sunday marked the first time this WCWS that FSU had players with multiple hits in a game: Morgan collected a pair, scoring both after her fifth-inning single and sixth-inning triple, and Josie Muffley, who knocked her first two hits of the WCWS with a second-inning single and her RBI knock in the sixth.
FSU and Alabama will meet Monday at 7 p.m., with the winner going to the WCWS Championship Series.
Copyright 2021 WCTV. All rights reserved.