OKLAHOMA CITY — For the second consecutive night here at the Women’s College World Series, the Florida State softball team raced out to a monster lead against a heavy favorite.
And for the second consecutive night, the Seminoles had to withstand a furious rally to complete the upset.
They were successful once again.
Now, after knocking off the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners, 8-4, before a very partisan crowd of more than 12,000, head coach Lonni Alameda’s team needs just one more win to claim the Seminoles’ second national championship in the last three NCAA Tournaments.
They have traveled an extremely hard road to get here.
On Monday night, the Seminoles led No. 3 Alabama by eight runs before holding on for an 8-5 victory. On Tuesday, they led the Sooners 7-0 before the nation’s top offensive lineup began to chip away.
Alabama sported a 20-game win streak before falling to the ‘Noles. Oklahoma’s record was a sparkling 54-3 before Tuesday night.
Junior pitcher Danielle Watson got the start and delivered a very strong effort, limiting the powerful Sooners to four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Kathryn Sandercock pitched the final 1 1/3.
Florida State got a huge night from freshman right fielder Kalei Harding, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run and 4 RBIs; Harding also made a brilliant defensive play to cut down a runner at third base.
The freshman put the Seminoles on the scoreboard with a two-run bomb in the top of the third inning. Then she gave FSU a 4-0 lead by lacing a two-run double one inning later.
The Seminoles would tack on three more runs that inning on a two-run single by Sydney Sherrill and an RBI single by Elizabeth Mason.
FSU and Oklahoma will play Game 2 of the championship series Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.
Stay connected with Warchant.com for complete postgame coverage.