OKLAHOMA CITY – No. 5 Washington knocked out two-time defending champions and No. 4 Oklahoma, while No. 6 Florida State defeated No. 3 UCLA twice on semifinal Sunday at the Women’s College World Series. The Huskies (52-8) and Seminoles (56-12) meet in game one of the best-of-three championship series, tomorrow, June 4 at 7 p.m. ET.
It marks the first trip to the finals for Washington since it won it all in 2009, while FSU is making its first appearance in program history. It will also be the first program from the ACC to play for a NCAA national championship in softball.
The terrific seasons of the Sooners (57-5) and Bruins (58-7) came to an end today.
Game 13: No. 6 Florida State 12, No. 3 UCLA 6
With their backs against the wall for the fifth time this postseason, the Florida State Seminoles defeated UCLA, 12-6 to complete the loser’s bracket gauntlet and advance to the Championship series. It was the second win over the Bruins today and their fourth straight elimination victory at the WCWS and fifth overall this postseason.
The momentum from the late-inning game-12 win carried over as the Seminoles launched four home runs and never looked back from an early lead. It marked only the second time in 29 trips that UCLA has lost twice on the same day at the WCWS. The only other team to accomplish such a feat was the 1987 Texas A&M national championship squad.
Jessie Warren was 3-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored for the Noles. Carsyn Gordon and Sydney Sherrill each hit three-run long balls, while Cali Harrod also homered for FSU.
The Seminoles left the yard twice and scored four runs in the top of the second inning. Harrod greeted relief pitcher Selena Ta’amilo with a one-out solo homer to get the Noles on the board. Morgan Klaevemann, who doubled, scored on an error to make it 2-0. After Rachel Garcia reentered, Warren followed with a two-run opposite field home run that was almost robbed by Bubba Nickles.
The Bruins cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom half of the frame thanks to Taylor Pack’s two-run dinger to leftfield.
A two-out, three-run bomb to rightfield by Sherrill pushed FSU’s lead to 7-2 in the fourth.
Pack drove in two more runs with a two-out RBI single in the bottom half of the frame, cutting the deficit to 7-4.
The Noles continued to roll offensively with five more in the fifth. Three off those came off the bat of Gordon, who launched the Noles’ fourth round tripper of the game and extended the lead to 12-4.
Kylee Hanson (30-6) picked up the win in 4.1 innings of work.
Briana Perez and Nickles hit solo home runs in the fifth and sixth innings to cap off the scoring. Nickles finished 3-for-3 with a double, home run, three runs scored and a RBI.
Pack ended a strong WCWS with a 3-for-3 outing, home run, double and four RBI.
Game 12: No. 6 Florida State 3, No. 3 UCLA 1
A two out three-run home run in the sixth inning by Elizabeth Mason lifted No. 6 Florida State to a 3-1 victory over No. 3 UCLA (58-6) on Sunday and force a winner-take-all semifinal in the 2018 Women’s College World Series.
In the sixth, FSU’s Dani Morgan hit the first pitch of the inning to deep center, but Nickles robbed her of a home run for the first out of the inning. Following a single by Zoe Casas and Cali Harrod getting hit by a pitch, Mason launched a two-strike, two-run 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.
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.
Garcia surrendered eight hits, struck out seven and walked one in a complete-game effort. Aaliyah Jordan recorded two of the Bruins’ seven hits.
Game 11: No. 5 Washington 3, No. 4 Oklahoma 0
Taran Avelo tossed a complete-game shutout and Julia DePonte drove in two runs as Washington defeated Oklahoma, 3-0 to advance to the WCWS Championship series.
Alvelo (23-4) struck out six, scattered seven hits and did not walk a batter as the Huskies blanked the Sooners for the second time at the WCWS. DePonte homered and finished 3-for-3 with two RBI.
The Huskies grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, Sis Bates dropped down a perfect bunt for base hit, stole second and moved to third when the throw went into center. She would score on an infield single by DePonte.
Alvelo got out of trouble in the second. After the first two batter singled, she sandwiched a pair strikeouts around a lineout to end OU’s first threat of the game.
The Huskies doubled their lead to 2-0 in the third. With two outs and runners on the corners, Hee bounced a RBI single through the rightside plating Taylor Van Zee with the second run.
DePonte pushed the lead to 3-0 with a solo home run in the fifth, the first long ball for the Huskies at this year’s WCWS.
Paige Lowary suffered the defeat. Allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits with a walk. Paige Parker finished off the final four innings, surrendering a run on four hits with four punchouts and zero walks.