No. 3 FSU Softball tops UCF to advance to finals of the Tallahassee Regional
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Noles247) - No. 3 Florida State softball (52-8) advanced to the finals of the Tallahassee Regional with a 5-1 win over UCF (40-20) on Saturday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field. Kathryn Sandercock held the Knights to one run over 6.2 innings and notched her 24th win of the season. Kaley Mudge was 2-4 with two RBI, two runs, and a double. The Seminoles advance to Super Regionals, which they would host, with one more win this weekend.
FSU: 5 runs / 4 hits / 0 errors
UCF: 1 run / 9 hits / 2 errors
Both offenses were quiet through the first two frames. UCF starter Sarah Willis retired the first nine Seminoles she faced. Sandercock worked a 1-2-3 first and stranded two runners in scoring position the second with a strikeout.
UCF opened the scoring in the third. A bunt single and a walk put two RISP for the Knights with two outs. Chloe Evans lined a two-out single off the glove of a diving Josie Muffley to score Johneisha Rowe. Sandercock responded with a strikeout to limit the damage to one.
Kaley Mudge led off the fourth with an infield single for the Seminoles’ first baserunner of the game. Two batters later, Kalei Harding singled up the middle to put runners on the corners. Mack Leonard plated Mudge on an RBI groundout to knot the game at one.
The offense went back to work in the fourth. Michaela Edenfield led off the frame with a walk and was pinch-ran for by Amaya Ross. Ross moved to second on her 19th stolen base. Ross then advanced to second as she just beat a tag at third on a fielder’s choice. With two runners in scoring position, Mudge grounded a ball to first. An errant throw from the first baseman allowed both runners to score as the ‘Noles took a 3-1 lead.
Sandercock responded with an efficient shutdown inning. She retired the side in order on seven pitches. In the sixth, she worked around an infield single for another scoreless frame.
FSU added some insurance to the lead in the seventh. Muffley was HBP to begin the frame before stealing second. Mudge powered a ball over the CF’s head for an RBI double. Mudge came around to score on a fielder’s choice.
Sandercock returned to the circle for the seventh. Back-to-back singles put two on for UCF with one out. She was replaced by Makenna Reid with runners on the corners and two outs. A bunt single loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate. A first-pitch flyout to right-center stranded all three Knights on base to close the game out.
Up Next: The Seminoles will next play on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Their opponent is TBD. Marist plays South Carolina, and the winner of that game will go on to play UCF in Saturday’s night cap. The winner of that game will face the Seminoles and have to beat them twice in a row to win the regional.
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