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Seminoles’ Super Sweep: Late-inning heroics secure FSU’s spot in World Series after 4-3 win over LSU

Florida State softball after winning the 2021 Tallahassee Regional over UCF.
Florida State softball after winning the 2021 Tallahassee Regional over UCF.(Ross Obley| Florida State Athletics)
Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 10:17 PM EDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WCTV) - Florida State scored in each of the final four innings of softball and notched a Super Regional sweep over the LSU Tigers with a 4-3 win in nine innings Friday night to secure their spot in the 2021 Women’s College World Series.

It’s FSU’s first Super Regional sweep since the Noles swept Utah in the 2016 Tallahassee Super Regional.

Kiersten Landers was the hero for the garnet and gold, shooting the game-winning RBI single down the third-base line to score Dani Morgan from second base and cement the win.

Morgan set the table in the inning with a one-out single into center field and moved to second after Ana Shelnutt worked a full-count walk.

LSU opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning with their first runs of the series off the bat of Georgia Clark, who hit a two-run home run on the first pitch she saw against Seminole starter Caylan Arnold, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

Clark’s longball snapped a 27-inning scoreless streak by Seminole pitching, dating back to the top of the fifth inning in last Friday’s Tallahassee Regional opener against Kennesaw State.

The Seminoles got a run back in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Elizabeth Mason, who recorded just her second hit of the NCAA tournament, to cut the Tigers lead to 2-1.

Mason’s RBI single scored Sydney Sherrill, who set the table with a leadoff walk, the first free pass issued by LSU pitching this series.

FSU tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on a wild sequence of events: Devyn Flaherty led the frame off with a single into left field and advanced safely to second base after Dani Morgan hit into a fielder’s choice to LSU shortstop Taylor Pleasants, but she failed to give the ball to a teammate at either base, leaving all hands on deck.

Shelnutt then sacrificed the two into scoring position and a passed ball allowed by Morgan Cummins on the first pitch of the at-bat to Josie Mufley allowed Flaherty to come in and score, tying the game at 2-2.

Mufley attempted to squeeze Morgan home to win the game, but was unsuccessful and the game went into extra innings.

LSU immediately responded in the top of the eighth inning, with a solo home run from Pleasants to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead, but FSU’s Elizabeth Mason responded with a two-out solo shot of her own, tying the game at 3-3.

LSU starter Ali Kilponen threw 145 pitches in the complete-game losing effort, allowing four runs on eight hit, issuing two walks and striking out five.

FSU’s Danielle Watson earned the victory in relief, her 10th of the season, after tossing 4.2 innings of one-run ball, walking and striking out one.

Watson relieved Arnold in the fifth, who earned a no-decision after 4.1 innings of work (five hits, two runs, two strikeouts).

Mason was the lone multi-hit Seminole, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Pleasants led the way offensively for the Tigers, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI.

FSU will compete in their 11th Women’s College World Series all time and become the first team this year to punch their ticket. The WCWS is set to begin June 3 from Oklahoma City.

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