OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The third-seeded Florida State softball team (58-9) clinched its place in the Women’s College World Series Final after a long-ball filled 5-1 win over fourth-seeded Tennessee (51-10) Monday night at OGE Energy Field. The Seminoles launched three home runs on the night for the second-most in a WCWS game in program history and have advanced to the WCWS Championship Series in three straight WCWS appearances.
Tennessee began the game with a solo home run in the first inning to take the early lead but Michaela Edenfield had the answer. Leading off the top of the second for the Seminoles, she crushed the full-count pitch up and out of the yard to tie the game at 1-1. Edenfield became the first player with multiple home runs in the 2023 Women’s College World Series.
Bethaney Keen led off the top of third and replicated Edenfield’s feat with a monstrous home run over right center to take the lead at 2-1. This was her first home run as a Seminole and first long ball since May 13, 2021.
Keen once again brought the offensive momentum in the top of the fifth with a single to the UT shortstop before Autumn Belviy came in to pinch run for her. Josie Muffley advanced to first on a hit-by-pitch to put Belviy in scoring position and force a pitching change. Jahni Kerr came to the plate with two outs and hit a well-placed single to score Belviy from second and pad their lead at 3-1.
Edenfield started the top of sixth with a walk and was pinch-run for by Amaya Ross. Ross stole second and later tagged up to advance to third. The Noles capitalized on another two-out situation as Hallie Wacaser tattooed her first-ever postseason home run over left field for the third homer of the day and established a four-run advantage at 5-1.
Florida State utilized its pitching staff to great effect with Mack Leonard making the start and working through 2.0 innings. Freshman Makenna Reid came in to work the middle innings and sent two batters down swinging to grab her 13th win of the season. FSU’s all-time appearance leader Kathryn Sandercock entered in the fifth inning to shut down the remainder of the lineup with four strikeouts and no walks on 34 pitches, earning her 10th save of the season.
The Seminoles are now tied for the third-most WCWS Championship Series appearances with three, all coming since 2018, and force a rematch of the 2021 WCWS Championship, taking on No. 1 Oklahoma in a best-of-three series with game one set for Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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