TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 3 seeded Florida State Softball Team (54-9) took the first game of the series over No. 14 seeded Georgia (42-14) with a convincing 8-1 victory in front of 2.002 fans at JoAnne Graf Field. Tonight’s attendance was the third-largest crowd in school history.
The Bulldogs tacked on the first run with a solo shot to right to open up the top of the second. Michaela Edenfield and Devyn Flaherty responded accordingly with a walk and single respectively to begin the frame but were unable to be sent home.
The third inning saw the Seminoles capitalize on their offensive rhythm. Josie Muffley powered the first pitch she saw into the left side for a single before Kaley Mudge blasted the ball into right for an RBI double to tie the game at one apiece.
The dust didn’t settle there as Kalei Harding smoked an RBI double herself into left to take the lead. Harding’s double was the 116th double of the season for the Seminoles which is a new school record. In the next at-bat, Edenfield sent one through the middle to send Harding home before pinch runner Autumn Belviy dashed home on a fielder’s choice to second for a 4-1 advantage after three.
The table was set in the fifth with bases loaded on one out, and Hallie Wacaser delivered with a two-run RBI single into right. Mudge then crushed her third hit of the night into center for another two run RBI single to bring the lead to seven runs. The junior outfielder completed her fifth three-hit game of the season and extended her reign as the FSU hit leader at 69.
Kathryn Sandercock made her 179th appearance in the circle, equaling Leslie Malerich’s record for the most pitching appearances in program history. She conceded just one extra base hit in her 5.2 innings of work, striking out two batters on 63 pitches in her start.
Ali DuBois came in relief for Sandercock and shut down the Bulldog offense. In the five batters faced she sat down three batters on strikeouts in one of her most efficient outings as a Seminole.
The Seminoles will look to punch their ticket to the Women’s College World Series with a victory on Friday. First pitch is set for 8 p.m. and available to watch on ESPN.
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