TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Despite having the go-ahead run on base in the sixth and the tying run at the plate in the seventh, the comeback by No. 4 Florida State (55-8-1) came up just short, falling by a score of 6-4 to No. 18 LSU (46-20) on Sunday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field. The loss ended the season for the Seminoles as LSU will advance to the 2017 Women's College World Series.
“Congratulations to LSU,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “It was a hard-fought game and that's completely what was expected today. I couldn't be more proud of this senior class and everything they've done for me and this program. Definitely thought we had it, but we showed a lot of grit and we worked for it. At no point in time do I think we didn't prepare ourselves for this moment, and with the passion of this team, we've done everything to fight and I'm really proud of our program right now.”
The Seminoles put a pair of baserunners on the first inning, but both would be left stranded. Alex Powers matched the FSU all-time record with the 50th double of her career, tying Jessica van der Linden's total from 2001-04. Sydney Broderick followed with a two-out walk, but a pop out ended the inning.
LSU struck first in the top of the third inning as Sahvanna Jaquish hit a two-out, two-run double down the left field line to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Florida State got a run back in the bottom of the third as Jessie Warren led off with a single up the middle. She came in to score on Powers' second double of the game, 19th of the season to match an FSU record and the 51st of her career to standalone on top of that list.
LSU added to its lead with three two-out runs in the top of the fourth. Shemiah Sanchez led off with a double, and following a walk to Amber Serrett, FSU starting pitcher Jessica Burroughs was replaced by Meghan King. Three consecutive singles extended LSU's lead to 5-1 before King ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Noles battled back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to cut the lead to 5-3 after four innings. Cali Harrod opened with a double to left and the sophomore came in to score on an RBI single by Korina Rosario. After an intentional walk to Warren put runners on the corners with two outs, Ellie Cooper drove in her 39th RBI of the season on a single to left, chasing LSU starting pitcher Allie Walljasper from the game.
Carley Hoover came in to pitch for the Tigers and a wild pitch allowed the Seminole runners to move up to second and third, but a pop out to short ended the inning.
Freshman Dani Morgan led off the FSU sixth inning with a double to left center, setting a new FSU team record with 94 in a single season. Back-to-back walks to Rosario and Morgan Klaevemann loaded the bases with nobody out. Cooper hit a sacrifice fly to right to narrow the lead to 5-4, but a pair of groundouts kept LSU in the lead heading to the seventh inning.
The Tigers added a run in the top of the seventh on an RBI triple by Bailey Landry, as the senior lined a ball through the defensive shift all the way to the wall in left center for a 6-4 lead.
Needing a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, Florida State got off to a great start as Broderick led off with a single to left. Leslie Farris pinch-ran at first and moved up to second on a wild pitch by Hoover. Carsyn Gordon followed with a single to center and tried to take second on the throw home, but the relay was cut off to retire her at second for the first out of the inning. Back-to-back fly outs ended the game.
Burroughs (27-5) gave up four runs on six hits over 3.2 innings in the loss, with one walk and four strikeouts. King allowed two runs on four hits, striking out two and issuing just one walk in her 3.1 innings.
Hoover (15-7) picked up the win after her 3.1 innings of relief, giving up three hits, one run and two walks, along with one strikeout. Walljasper allowed seven hits in 3.2 innings, with three runs, two walks and three strikeouts.