OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Winning the 12th time this season when the opponent scores first, a three-run home run in the sixth inning by Elizabeth Mason lifted No. 6 Florida State (55-12) to a 3-1 victory over No. 3 UCLA (58-6) on Sunday in the 2018 Women’s College World Series.
The win forces a winner-take-all game between the Seminoles and the Bruins with a spot in the 2018 WCWS Championship Series on the line, where No. 5 Washington awaits after the Huskies defeated Oklahoma, 3-0 earlier today.
Florida State put a pair of runners on in the bottom of the first inning on a single to left by Carsyn Gordon and a walk by Sydney Sherrill, but a pair of strikeouts left them both stranded to end the inning.
A two-out walk to UCLA’s Taylor Pack and a single by Brianna Tautalafua had Bruins on first and second in the top of the second inning, but FSU starting pitcher Meghan King ended the inning with a strikeout, her fourth of the game.
Morgan Klaevemann lined a two-out double into the left field corner in the bottom of the second inning for the 108th double of the season for Florida State. It set an ACC single-season record, surpassing Notre Dame’s total of 107 in 2014.
UCLA scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. A leadoff single and an FSU throwing error put Bruins runners on second and third with nobody out in the inning. Rachel Garcia hit an RBI single to right, her first hit of the 2018 WCWS, to bring in the first run of the game. King ended the inning with a pair of groundouts.
Dani Morgan led off the FSU fourth inning with a bunt single and a single to center by Zoe Casas put Seminoles on second and third with nobody out in the inning. UCLA’s Garcia struck out the side to leave them stranded and keep the Bruins in front, 1-0, after four complete innings.
King had retired eight of nine batters before UCLA led off the top of the sixth inning with a single through the right side by Bubba Nickles. Following King’s eighth strikeout of the game, Sherrill ended the inning with a 4-3 double play. It marked FSU’s 31st double play of the season, which ranks seventh in the NCAA this season.
Morgan hit the first pitch of the Seminole sixth inning to deep center and UCLA’s Nickles robbed her of a home run for the first out of the inning. Following a single by Casas and Cali Harrod getting hit by a pitch, Mason launched a home run to center to put the Seminoles in front 3-1.
UCLA got a pair of runners on in the seventh inning on a one-out single and a two-out walk, but Gordon tracked down a pop up in foul ground to end the game.
King improved to 24-6 in the complete-game victory, scattering seven hits, one unearned run with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
The decisive, winner-take-all game against UCLA will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2. Links for video, FSU softball radio and live stats will be available on the softball schedule page of Seminoles.com.
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