LIVE UPDATES: Seminoles 8 - Sooners 4 (FINAL)
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (WCTV) - For the first time in the history of the Women’s College World Series, the Championship Series will feature a pair of teams who emerged from the elimination bracket as the Florida State Seminoles take on the top-seeded Oklahoma Sooners in the first of the best-of-three set to determine the 2021 national champion.
Florida State opened their run in OKC with a shoutout loss, 4-0, to the defending champion UCLA Bruins.
FSU’s scoring drought extended to 12.2 innings in OKC during their first elimination game against the Arizona Wildcats, but a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth by Dani Morgan gave FSU a 3-2 lead and a Cassidy Davis walk-off sacrifice fly lifted the Noles over the Cats, 4-3.
While the Noles have found themselves in a series of nailbiters, the Oklahoma Sooners are putting their record-breaking offense to the test.
After opening their World Series run with an upset loss in eight innings to James Madison, 4-3, the Sooners run-ruled UGA in six innings (8-0), blew the doors the Bruins late (10-3) and swept the Dukes in the semifinals (6-3, 7-1), again using some late-game offense and ending the season’s Cinderella run.
Which brings us to today: The down-but-never-out-of-it Seminoles taking on what has been perceived to be the wire-to-wire best team this season, Oklahoma.
OU relies heavily on the long-ball, boasting two players with more than 20 home runs - the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo (32), Tiare Jennings (27) - and have hit 155 total four-baggers this year, by far the most in Division 1 this season.
It’ll be brawn versus small ball as the first of a potential three games gets underway from Oklahoma City tonight.
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 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
FINAL: FLORIDA STATE 8 - OKLAHOMA 4
Another day, another offensive clinic for the Seminoles. I thought they’d win, I didn’t think they’d do that.
Also, give it up for Danielle Watson: 5.2 innings of four-run ball against the best offensive team in the country.
Tonight’s recap, for all the glory. We’ll see yall tomorrow for, possibly, the last time this season.
Middle 7, 8-4, FSU
A crazy sequence unfolded. I’ll let my tweets do the talking.
End of 6, 7-4, FSU
Sandercock gets a ground ball on the first hitter she faces, but it goes through the legs of Elizabeth Mason into right field to put runners on the corners.
But, they’re left stranded as pinch-hitter Grace Green grounds out to Flaherty at second.
We are through six.
Bottom 6, 7-4, FSU
The Sooners strike for two more runs, again with two outs, to cut into the FSU lead at 7-4.
A leadoff Jocelyn Alo infield single and a Nicole Mendes hit-by-pitch set the table for a two-run single for Mackenzie Donihoo.
Out comes Watson, in comes Kathryn Sandercock.
Middle 6, 7-2, FSU
FSU put a pair of base runners on to lead off the inning after Mudge’s 13th WCWS hit, tying her for the series record, and a Sherrill walk but Mason, Morgan and Flaherty are then retired in order, the latter two on strikeouts.
End of 5, 7-2, FSU
OU threatened by putting a pair on - a one-out single by Jayda Coleman and a two-out single off of Watson’s foot by pinch-hitter Lynnsie Elam - but Tiare Jennings, one of OU’s major power threats, ends the inning by lining out to Mudge in left field.
Two innings left, Noles ahead by five.
Middle 5, 7-2, FSU
Davis opens the inning with a double to left-centerfield but Muffley, Shelnutt and, for the first time tonight, Harding are retired in order after that against new OU pitcher, Shannon Saile.
Bottom 4, 7-2, FSU
The Sooners have struck in a big way as they crush back-to-back long balls to cut into the Seminole lead.
Kinzie Hansen hit the first and Nicole Mendes followed, both with two outs.
Middle 4, 7-0, FSU
This one has gotten out of hand and quickly as the Seminoles are up 7-0 in the top of the fourth.
Cassidy Davis reached on a one-out infield single and Josie Muffley walked to set the table for Kalei Harding, who knocked a two-run double to double the Seminole lead, 7-0.
Harding was followed by a Kaley Mudge infield single and both scored on a Sydney Sherrill single.
Sherrill, in turn, came in to score on a base hit from Elizabeth Mason, making it 7-0.
I told Ben Kaplan before the game started that I thought this would be a low-scoring game. How silly do I look.
End of 3, 2-0, FSU
Daniell Watson has faced the minimum through three innings and the Seminoles lead, 2-0, after three.
Top 3, 2-0, FSU
She had the great throw from right field in the bottom of the second and now she’s given the Seminoles the lead in the top of the third.
Kalei Harding is having herself a game, driving in her and Anna Shelnutt, who led off with a nine-pitch walk, and the Seminoles have drawn first blood.
End of 2, 0-0
Both teams have allowed a base runner via the error, both teams have gotten a double play following the error.
In this instance, it was a Devyn Flaherty fielding error that allowed Nicole Mendes to reach to lead the inning off, but she’s erased on an absolute laser of a throw from Kalei Harding, who delivered a dart to Sydney Sherrill at third to pick her off, trying to tag up to third.
We are in search of our first run after two innings.
Middle 2, 0-0
For the first time since the fourth inning on Sunday, FSU is retired in order on a Devyn Flaherty strikeout, Cassidy Davis groundout and a Josie Muffley flyout, that was about three feet away from being a home run.
End of 1, 0-0
Sandercock retires the Sooners in order, including getting the first strikeout of the game by K’ing the 32 HR hitter, Jocelyn Alo.
Middle 1, 0-0
I have a feeling this is the type of series we’re going to be in for.
Kaley Mudge led the frame off with a single up the middle and moved to second on an error by Grace Lyons, OU’s second baseman, to put two on and no out.
But, Elizabeth Mason hit into a line-drive out in left field, made with a great diving play by Mackenzie Donihoo, and she doubled up Mudge at second for the second out of the inning.
It’s already electric, folks.
We have lineups! And, for the first time in OKC, Danielle Watson will get the start in the circle for Florida State.
OU will counter by putting their 20+ home run hitters at the top of the order. A lot of right-handed hitting in this one, too.
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