OKLAHOMA CITY – In a game of 21 outs, it often hurts to give the opposition extras by way of fielding and throwing errors. Committing a season-high seven errors on Thursday, No. 7 Florida State (53-9) was defeated, 5-4, by No. 15 Georgia (46-18) in game one of the 2016 Women’s College World Series as the Bulldogs scored an unearned run in the top of the seventh.
The loss moves FSU into the WCWS loser’s bracket and the Noles will play in an elimination game against No. 14 UCLA on Saturday, June 4 at 12:00 p.m ET.
“Not the outcome we wanted, but definitely like we talked about, we’re kind of a young program, and it’s all about learning,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “I don’t know the last time we’ve put errors like that up on the board but yet still have a chance in the sixth and seventh, so I think there’s a lot of positive things we can pull from it. Now it’s just really understanding the pitch-by-pitch process at the highest level. So I think that’s the one challenge that’s up for us right now.”
After a perfect top of the first in the circle from Jessica Burroughs, the Noles opened the scoring in the bottom of the first as Morgan Klaevemann led off with a single to left field. A sacrifice bunt from Ellie Cooper moved Klaevemann to second and the first pitch to Jessica Warren went over the wall in center for her 19th home run of the season, giving FSU a 2-0 lead.
It marked the 93rd run scored by Florida State in the first inning this season, the highest amount of runs scored in any inning this year.
Defensive miscues from the Seminoles allowed Georgia to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the second inning. The first two Bulldog batters reached base on infield fielding errors and both moved into scoring position after a passed ball. Burroughs retired the next three batters, but the first two, Maeve McGuire and Katie Browne, each hit sacrifice flies to equalize the game.
Georgia got its first two batters on base in the third inning with a pair of infield singles, ending Burroughs’ day in the circle. Redshirt freshman Meghan King came in to pitch for the Noles and retired the first batter she faced on a pop out to the catcher. Back-to-back RBI singles up the middle from Alyssa DiCarlo and Tina Iosefa gave Georgia a 4-2 lead.
FSU’s King and UGA’s Chelsea Wilkinson settled in during the middle innings, not allowing a run for either team until the bottom of the sixth inning.
Georgia threatened in the top of the sixth inning as two more errors from Florida State allowed the first two batters of the inning reach base. King retired the next three batters on groundouts to end the inning and keep the game at 4-2 UGA.
The Seminoles tied the game in the bottom of the sixth as Warren led off with a four-pitch walk and Powers hit her 15th home run of the season to left to make it a 4-4 game. It marked the fourth time this season that Powers and Warren have hit a home run in the same game – vs. Hofstra (Feb. 12), at Notre Dame (April 3) and at Pitt (April 30).
Georgia scored an unearned run in the top of the seventh as Cortni Emanuel reached on FSU fielding error and moved to third on a stolen base and an FSU throwing error. An RBI groundout by DiCarlo gave Georgia a 5-4 lead as four of the five Georgia runs were unearned.
Wilkinson retired the Seminoles in order in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory. She moved to 28-7 on the season, giving up four runs on six hits with two walks and one strikeout.
King took the loss for FSU, surrendering one unearned run, on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts over 5.0 innings of relief. Burroughs tossed the first 2.0 innings and gave up two hits, four runs, one earned with zero walks or strikeouts.
The Seminoles continue play in the 2016 Women’s College World Series against UCLA on Saturday, June 4 at 12:00 p.m., in a game that will be shown on ESPN.
Tickets for the 2016 Women’s College World Series are available now at NCAA.com/WCWS, and there is also a ticket exchange available to buy and sell tickets from other fans.
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