News agency4 minutes to read
OKLAHOMA CITY – Florida is back to normal.
Katherine Sandercock and McKenna Reid combined for five scoreless innings relief to help No. 3 seed Florida State defeat No. 4 seed Tennessee 5-1 Monday night and advance to the Women’s College World Series.
Sandercock, a veteran ace of the Seminoles, allowed one hit and struck out four times in three innings to claim its tenth save of the year. Reed, a freshman, gave way to Sandercock after allowing one hit in two innings. She claimed wins to improve to 13-0 on the season.
This is more like Florida. Last year, the Seminoles were the #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament but lost in the Regionals. Now, they are in the Championship Series for the third time in the past five Finals.
“It’s every athlete’s dream to finish their career in a national championship game,” Sandercock said. “I always knew we could do it, so I’m really, really, really proud of the team today. Like, I don’t think words can express how happy I am. I’m so happy to be playing one more day and getting to wear the jersey again.”
Florida State (58-9) will play top seed Oklahoma (59-1) in a best-of-three series for the national title starting Wednesday. It is a rematch of the 2021 series, which was won by Oklahoma.
Oklahoma appears to become the first program since UCLA from 1988-1990 to win three consecutive national championships. The Sooners have won four of their six state titles.
Tennessee’s Zaida Boney hit a leadoff solo shot by MacLeonard on the first to open the scoring. It was her sixth NCAA home tournament in nine games.
Florida State’s Michaela Edenfeld answered with a home run in the second. Bethany Kane’s first home run of the season pushed the Seminoles’ lead to 2-1 in the third, and Jahni Kerr’s RBI double in the fifth doubled Florida State’s lead to 3-1.
Tennessee player Payton Gottschall lost. Lady Vols ace Ashley Rogers entered the game on fifth, but her two-run Haley Wakaser shot in the sixth made it 5-1. It was Wacaser’s fourth homer of the year.
Home runs by Keen and Wacaser were examples of how Florida gets contributions from various sources and finds ways to win.
“The ultimate goal when you get here is to be able to shoot it all,” Florida State coach Lonney Alameda said. “There’s no book written on how to do that. You have to go from your past experiences, the senior students, what you think they can consistently offer, and how you can develop your juniors.”
Tennessee’s Keke Milloy, a first-team National Fastpitch Coaches All-American, was hitless on four hits after being one of the tournament’s best performers. The Lady Vols (51-10) have left seven runners on base.
“We had some opportunities,” said Tennessee coach Karen Weakley. “You kind of knew if they got to a point where they had a lead, you’d see Sandercock. She’s so good. She’s one of the better shooters. I saw why tonight.”
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