TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Battling through all seven innings for the third consecutive day, the Seminoles scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over South Carolina (38-23) to punch their ticket to the 2016 NCAA Super Regionals.
No. 7-ranked Florida State (51-8) has reached the Super Regional round of the NCAA Softball Championship five times in program history, including each of the last four seasons.
“We’ve been talking all season about pitch-by-pitch and staying in it and just having that really good mentality of fighting for your team, one through 24, for a full seven innings,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “We’ve been in here talking about the maturity of our team this weekend and Meghan did an outstanding job of staying in it and obviously South Carolina had a game plan against her and she stuck with hers and that was a great sign from a freshman.”
Jessica Warren continued to swing a hot bat, hitting her fourth double of the regional in the bottom of the first inning, driving a pitch into the gap in left center. She would be left stranded as South Carolina starting pitcher Nickie Blue got out of the inning with a groundout to second base.
South Carolina opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning as Kaylea Snaer drove a pitch from Meghan King to the wall in left center for a leadoff double. Jordyn Augustus entered the game to pinch run and moved up to third on a wild pitch. Victoria Williams gave the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Gamecocks threatened in the fifth inning, getting runners on the corners with a pair of singles, but King left them both stranded after a fly out to center to keep the game at 1-0.
South Carolina made a pitching change in the fifth inning, bringing in Jessica Elliott in relief of Blue. Blue finished with 4.0 innings, allowing just one hit, zero runs with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Noles got on the board in the sixth inning as Morgan Klaevemann led off with a four-pitch walk. Ellie Cooper followed with an infield single that was chopped over the head of the SC third baseman.
Warren reached on a fielder’s choice, retiring Cooper at second and putting runners on the corners for Alex Powers. Powers worked a 10-pitch at bat, driving the final offering into right field for an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.
Sydney Broderick gave the Noles the lead with an RBI single to left center, scoring Warren to make it 2-1 Florida State.
King closed out the complete game in the circle, her 18th CG of the season, retiring all three batters she faced in the seventh. The redshirt freshman moved to 24-3 on the season and scattered six hits in the win. King allowed just one run with zero walks and recorded three strikeouts.
Elliott (18-10) took the loss after 2.0 innings of relief, giving up two runs on three hits with two walks and one strikeout.
“I can’t say enough about AP’s at bat,” added Alameda. “But it is a full team effort and they all know that. We’re really excited to move on to next weekend.”
The Seminoles will play in next week’s NCAA Super Regional round against the winner of Utah and Kentucky in the Lexington Regional. Specific game days and times will be announced on Monday.