FSU heads to Oklahoma on a ticket from their 5-1 win over Tennessee in the WCWS semifinals. The Seminoles are set to face off against the Oklahoma Sooners, the defending champions, in a best-of-three championship series. The Sooners are coming into this game as obvious favorites, thanks to their 51-game winning streak.
FSU secures their spot in the WCWS after failing to make the World Series tournament last season. In a similar situation to their 2021 run at the WCWS, the Seminoles face off against the Sooners with hopes of coming away on top this time.
Finding different ways to win🤷♂️
— Florida State Softball 🥎 (@FSU_Softball) June 6, 2023
Florida State earns its ticket to Oklahoma from a 5-1 victory over the Lady Vols. The Seminoles scored three home runs and five runs while holding the Vols to just three hits and one run.
The Seminole bullpen was the tale of the tape in their matchup against the Lady Vols. Pitchers Mack Leonard, Makenna Reid and Kathryn Sandercock allowed only one hit each and allowed the Vols an average of 3.57 at-bats per inning.
Sandercock came into the game replacing Reid to pitch the last three innings. She struck out the Vols’ four best hitters, fending off any attempt by Tennessee to come back. Sandercock is a second-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American coming into this series with a 28-3 record and a .51 ERA.
The play by the infield and the outfield was key to keeping Tennessee under control. Going into their match against the Sooners discipline for their infield on tough plays with little to no mistakes will be key to keeping up with Oklahoma.
Oklahoma has had a legendary season and an even more legendary WCWS run. But they had a close call in their matchup against Stanford. Mistakes made against the Cardinal will not go over well with the Seminoles. They look to collect their third straight softball title and the Seminoles look for revenge.
One of Oklahoma’s biggest struggles against Stanford was the rising ball of NiJaree Canady. Canady went in for the fifth inning and put on a clinic, keeping Stanford in the game in the semifinals. She collected six strikeouts and kept the Sooners from getting red hot allowing just four hits and two runs in the last five innings of the game.
If the Seminoles can keep up their pitching excellence against the Sooners and emulate Canady’s rising ball, they can control the offensive power of Oklahoma.
Jayda Coleman, a first-team All-American continues to be the powerhouse for the Sooners. She collected a home run and two runs and was a keystone of the outfield against Stanford. Coleman is just as much a problem in the outfield as in the batter’s box. Whether preventing home runs or making game-saving plays from out to infield Coleman is the player for the Seminoles to plan around.
Coleman has 17 home runs 48 RBIs and an 81.4 slugging percentage this season tearing the stitching off the ball. But even Coleman had a major problem trying to touch Canady’s rising ball. Coleman can be controlled, and the Sooners can be beaten.
The match-up begins with game one Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Oklahoma as the Sooners host the Seminoles.