No. 3 FSU Softball clinches 12th trip to Women’s College World Series with win over Georgia

The Florida State Seminoles celebrate sweeping the Georgia Bulldogs en route to the softball...
The Florida State Seminoles celebrate sweeping the Georgia Bulldogs en route to the softball program's 12th trip to the Women's College World Series(Ryan Kelly | WCTV Sports)
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 12:15 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Noles247) - No. 3 Florida State softball (55-9) is headed back to the Women’s College World Series following a 4-2 win over No. 14 Georgia (42-15) on Friday night at JoAnne Graf Field. The Seminoles will be making their 12th trip to the WCWS following a 2-0 sweep of the Bulldogs. Kalei Harding led the offense with a pair of hits and RBI. Mack Leonard notched her second win of the season in the circle with a season-high 4.1 innings. Kathryn Sandercock shut the door on the Bulldogs with a six-out save, her ninth of the season.

FSU: 4 runs / 6 hits / 1 error

UGA: 2 runs / 5 hits / 0 errors

For the second straight night, the Seminoles’ offense broke out with a crooked number in the third. Bethany Keen and Josie Muffley were both hit-by-pitch to begin the frame.

Autumn Belviy pinch ran for Keen before a groundout moved both runners into scoring position with one out. Belviy barely beat a throw home from short with a head-first slide to score the game’s first run. Then, Kalei Harding lasered her third double of the Super into the left-center gap to extend the lead to three.

Leonard began her evening in the circle with a pair of perfect frames. Jaydyn Goodwin led off the third with a double for UGA’s first baserunner. A single put runners on the corners with no outs. The Bulldogs got on the board on a groundout to first, but Leonard limited the damage to one with her third strikeout. She returned to the circle for the fourth and produced her third 1-2-3 inning. FSU led 3-1 through four.

The right-handed pitcher returned to the circle for the fifth. Her outing ended after a one-out walk. Freshman Makenna Reid replaced her and struck out back-to-back hitters to end the frame. Leonard posted a final line of 4.1 IP (season-high), 2 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 1 R, and 50 pitches.

Michaela Edenfield led off the sixth with a single up the middle. Amaya Ross pinch-ran for the catcher and promptly stole her 20th base of the season. With two outs, Hallie Wacaser lined an RBI single to right to extend the FSU lead back to three.

The Bulldogs quickly got the run back in the bottom half. A throwing error on Harding and an RBI single from Lyndi Rae Davis. Lonni Alameda turned to Sandercock following the RBI single.

Sandercock walked the first batter she faced to put two runners on with no outs. She settled in after the walk. Sandercock induced a weak pop-up on the infield before striking out back-to-back Bulldogs to strand two runners on base.

The redshirt senior returned to the circle for the bottom of the seventh with a 4-2 lead. A pair of singles put two on with one out. A groundout moved both runners into scoring position and put the tying run on second with two outs. Sandercock notched the trip to OKC with a flyout to left.

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