Let’s Play Two! Noles Take Down No. 2 Michigan To Reach WCWS Semifinals
No. 7 Florida State defeated Michigan, 1-0, on Sunday to be one of the final four teams at the 2016 Women’s College World Series.
OKLAHOMA CITY (Seminoles.com) – After using the long ball in yesterday’s win over UCLA, the Seminoles manufactured a run in the bottom of the third inning and Jessica Burroughs pitched a gem in a 1-0 shutout over No. 2 Michigan (52-7) on Sunday afternoon. No. 7 Florida State (55-9) triumphed again in an elimination game at the 2016 Women’s College World Series and will compete in the semifinals later this evening against Auburn at 7:00 p.m. ET.
It is just the third time that Florida State has won two games at the WCWS, matching the performances from 1990 and 2002 when the Seminoles posted a 2-2 record in Oklahoma City.
The shutout of Michigan marked the third WCWS shutout in FSU history – 1-0 vs. Fresno State on May 23, 1990 and 2-0 against Washington on May 29, 2004. The Wolverines entered the game with the nation’s No. 1 offense, averaging over eight runs per game.
“As for our program right now, the fight is just so, so awesome to see and the comfort level after our first game coming out and booting the ball around a little bit,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “The comfort level of going pitch-to-pitch and trusting the process of what we talked about all season. Jessica (Burroughs) had a great day today, and a lot of that comes from having a great catcher to stop a lot of those dropped balls and changeups for her to be able to throw that, so the confidence of them and trusting it to pitch it was amazing to see in big situations there. Really proud of them and really excited about our next opportunity this afternoon.”
FSU’s Cali Harrod opened the game in the top of the first with a diving catch in shallow left field as the freshman shortstop robbed a leadoff single from Sierra Lawrence. Seminole starting pitcher Jessica Burroughs completed a perfect first inning with two groundouts.
Morgan Klaevemann led off the FSU first inning with a walk and stole second on the first pitch to Jessica Warren, her 53rd stolen base of the season. Klaevemann would be left stranded after U-M starter Megan Betsa retired the next three batters to keep the game tied at 0-0.
Alex Kossoff opened the FSU third inning with an infield single, chopping the ball over the head of Michigan third baseman Lindsay Montemarano. Kossoff moved up to second on a passed ball and Klaevemann followed with her second walk of the game and 50th of the season to move into fifth place in FSU single-season history.
Warren reached on a fielder’s choice, retiring Kossoff at third, and Alex Powers battled back from a 0-2 count to draw a walk and load the bases with two outs. The Noles took the lead as Betsa’s pitch to Broderick was in the dirt and got away from U-M catcher Aidan Falk, allowing Klaevemann to score and make it 1-0 FSU. Broderick eventually walked to reload the bases, but a pop out to third ended the inning.
Burroughs kept the Wolverine hitters off balance, retiring 15 of the first 17 batters she faced, including 11 in a row after allowing a walk to Tera Blanco and a single to Falk in the second inning.
The Wolverines got a leadoff single in the sixth from Abby Ramirez and a Sierra Romero walk put U-M runners on first and second with one out. Burroughs and the Seminoles got out of the inning after a fly out and a ground out, maintaining FSU’s 1-0 lead.
U-M’s Falk added her second base hit of the game with one out in the top of the seventh, but Montemarano’s bunt attempt was popped up and caught by Sydney Broderick behind the plate. Burroughs closed out the game by getting a pop out behind first base to secure the win.
Burroughs (29-5) scattered three hits in the complete-game shutout, allowing just two walks and recording six strikeouts to send the Seminoles to the 2016 WCWS semifinals.
“There's a little bit of pressure, but the whole big picture is it's my job out there to keep spinning it and get the defense in there to work on the offense,” said Burroughs. “Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the offense is on fire, sometimes it's not. But that's what I signed up for, and I want to be in that situation, and I think I was the most relaxed today than I have been in a while.
“The defense was playing amazing today, and then Syd back there was huge, just blocking that changeup and big catches out there, Cali Harrod's big catch, and the defense was on today, and sometimes it's either-or in a one-run ballgame and that's what the World Series is all about.”
Betsa took the loss and moved to 28-5 on the year, allowing just one hit, one run with four walks and four strikeouts.
The Seminoles will play again in the 2016 Women’s College World Series later this afternoon against No. 5 Auburn (56-10) in the WCWS Semifinals at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game between the Noles and the Tigers will be broadcast on ESPN2. FSU would need to defeat Auburn twice, once on Sunday and once on Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET, to reach the 2016 WCWS Championship Series.