“Florida State Seminoles defeat UCF 2-1” Written By Mitch Alexander
The Florida State Seminoles played the University of Central Florida UCF Knights in the Winner’s Bracket of the Tallahassee Regional Tournament. The expectation was that this was going to be a pitcher’s duel and a low scoring game. Expectation became reality in this exciting matchup.
The starting lineup for FSU was: Jessica Burroughs (17-5) in the circle, Macey Cheatham behind the plate, Alex Kossoff in Left Field, Morgan Klaevemann in Center Field, Bailey Schinella in Right Field, Jessica Warren covering third, Maddie O'Brien at short, Ellie Cooper at second, Alex Powers at first, and Victoria Daddis as the designated player.
Burroughs had three up and three down in the top of the first inning with her first strikeout of the day. Shelby Turnier (25-6) was in the circle for the Knights and started the inning by striking out Klaevemann. Maddie O’Brien, the walk leader in the NCAA, drew her 69th walk of the season. Warren was also walked. Powers the cleanup hitter hit a line drive to second resulting in a double play ending the inning.
Burroughs induced a popup to the catcher for the first out but walked the next batter for her 14th walk of the season. Using her curve ball, Burroughs earned her second strikeout immediately followed by her third. In the bottom of the inning, Cooper took a full count fly ball to center field for the first out. Schinella also went to a full count and was awarded first base on catcher interference. Kosoff was punched out for Turnier’s second K of the game. Daddis chopped a ball to third which resulted in the third out.
In the top of the third, it was three up and three down with two weak hits to the left side infield and one popup to Left Field. Cheatham bunted in the bottom of the inning but didn’t beat the throw to first for the first out. Klaevemann grounded out for the second out. O’Brien drew her 70th walk of the season followed by another walk to Warren, duplicating the first inning. With two runners on, Powers struck out looking to end the inning.
The first batter popped up to O’Brien, but Burroughs gives up a solo homerun by missing with the backdoor curve to put the Knights on the scoreboard. The next batter took Burrough’s pitch back to the warning track, but the ball was cleanly fielded by Kossoff in Left Field. Warren snagged a popout to third for the final out of the top of the fourth inning. Cooper drove the first pitch to Left Field for a single. Schinella moved Cooper over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Kossoff the lefty slapper with 10 RBI’s on the season drew a walk. Daddis the designated player, was struck out swinging for Turnier’s fourth strikeout of the game. FSU made a substitution putting Harvey in the lineup. Harvey missed the inside pitch for Turnier’s fifth K of the game.
In the fifth inning, Burroughs bobbled a ball resulting in a runner on first, but she quickly regrouped and earned her fourth strikeout of the game. Cheatham threw down to O’Brien covering second and got the put out at second. Burroughs got her fifth strikeout to end the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Klaevemann hit a grounder to the 5-6 gap and just beat out the throw. O’Brien grounded out to first and Klaevemann just beat out the double play at second. Warren was intentionally walked for her third walk of the game. Powers popped up to the third baseman covering the gap. With two runners on, Cooper grounded out to the second baseman, ending the inning.
A flyout to deep Left Field, grounder back to Burroughs started the sixth inning. A gap hit to shallow Left Field put a runner on base who was able to steal second. A wild pitch by Burroughs put the runner on third. However, the sixth strikeout ends the top of the sixth and strands the insurance run. In the bottom half, Schinella grounded out to second for the first out. Kossoff grounded out to Turnier with a full count. Daddis the designated hitter with a full count earned the walk on the 10th pitch of the at bat. The Seminoles put a pinch runner in for Daddis and also puts Victoria East in as a sub, disqualifying Cheatham, the catcher from returning to the game. East, on a full count, also earned a walk. With two outs and runners on first and second, the Seminoles hit the top of their lineup. Turnier looked visibly upset in the circle and fighting for emotional control as well as strikes. Klaevemann went down with a strike out, stranding two and ending the inning.
Daddis, was brought in behind the plate and Burroughs was relieved by Rosario. A single to Right Field followed by a throwing error put the runner on second in scoring position. On a passed ball, the runner stole third base. Rosario walked the next batter. Rosario was sent to Right Field, and Schinella was brought into the circle with runners on first and third. Schinella got the strikeout on a changeup. Next Coach Alameda loaded the bases with an intentional walk. The infield and outfield were brought in shallow. A grounder to second was thrown home getting the second out. A ground out to second ended the inning. O’Brien started the bottom of the seventh inning, with her 13th homerun over the Left Field fence and tied up the game 1-1. Warren as in her previous at bats, was walked. Powers hit a shot down the first base line into Right Field, scoring Warren to win the game!
Next up for FSU is UCF again in the Tallahassee Regional Championship at 12pm ET. The Seminoles are one win away from Super Regionals, presumably in Knoxville.
Mitch Alexander is the CIO for a major electronics company. He coaches both Little League and Travel softball teams. Currently Mitch is completing his PhD. He is a certified SUNY, ASA, and Double Goal Coach. His wife, Marie was one of the first female student athletes in the country to play Little League softball after Title IX was passed and played in the first Little League Softball World Series. Over the years, both have managed teams together and helped spark a love for softball in their student athletes. In his spare time, Mitch designs websites for fastpitch teams and businesses.
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